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The Kiss (1929)

Passed | | Romance, Drama | 16 November 1929 (USA)
An unhappily married woman is caught up in scandal and murder when her affection toward a young man is misinterpreted.

Director:

Jacques Feyder

Writers:

George M. Saville (from the story by), Hanns Kräly (scenario) (as Hans Kraly) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Greta Garbo ... Irene Guarry
Conrad Nagel ... André Dubail
Anders Randolf ... M. Charles Guarry
Holmes Herbert ... M. Lassalle
Lew Ayres ... Pierre Lassalle
George Davis ... Detective Durant
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Storyline

Irene is unhappily married to an older businessman, but very much in love with a handsome young lawyer. He doesn't want to add to her unhappiness by ruining her marriage; she is terrified of her husband's jealousy and anger. They decide to stop seeing each other, and she bides her time with Pierre, a young friend of the family who walks their dogs and is in puppy love with Irene. When Pierre is about to leave for college, he begs her for a goodbye kiss. She agrees, and who should walk in while it is happening, but her ailing and financially distraught husband... Written by Gary Dickerson <slug@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A woman made for love... sacrificed on the altar of a desperate passion... (Print Ad-Nashua telegraph, ((Nashua, NH)) 5 December 1929)

Genres:

Romance | Drama

Certificate:

Passed | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

16 November 1929 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Kysset See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$257,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric System) (musical score and sound effects)| Silent

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

"Love's First Kiss" with music by William Axt & David Mendoza and lyrics by Raymond Klages was a song published to promote the picture. See more »

Goofs

In the opening credits, the name of André, Conrad Nagel's character, is spelled "Ardré." See more »

Quotes

André: Irene - we can't go on meeting like this.
See more »

Alternate Versions

MGM also released this movie without a soundtrack, as a totally silent film. See more »

Connections

Featured in Glorious Technicolor (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Les Filles qui tombe
(uncredited)
Music by Marc Delmas
See more »

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User Reviews

 
The Kiss that Cost So Much....
24 January 2010 | by marcin_kukuczkaSee all my reviews

As a fan of Greta Garbo films, I consider each one of them highly entertaining and worth seeking out. The Swedish beauty could captivate the viewer in many of her roles to such extend that she was as popular in movie world as, much later, the Swedish band ABBA was in music world. Yet, when I talk to people who are quite knowledgeable about the early cinema, I usually encounter the opinion that Garbo films let them down. "She was such a dramatic lady," they say "she can still make us cry."

Strange as it may occur, to some extend, this pretentious opinion may be found accurate, particularly when we consider the year 1939 and Garbo's first comedy NINOTCHKA made by Ernst Lubitsch. What a change, what a revelation it was! "A true transformation," some said and indeed, NINOTCHKA proved Garbo's talent in comedy (unfortunately forever bound to fail two years later in TWO FACED WOMAN). But few people know that Garbo had wonderfully modern roles in some other films, roles that can still make your day thanks to their charm and convincing portrayals. One of such films is THE KISS with original musical score, the last silent movie of Garbo and MGM directed by Jacques Feyder with whom Garbo worked later on the German version of "Anna Christie" with Salka Viertel. The uniqueness of THE KISS is the fact that it is very different from all other Garbo films.

The kiss of 'good bye' that cost Irene Guarry (Greta Garbo) so much (which was metaphorically Garbo's farewell to silents) is the representation of all human struggles and desires. Simple as the short story may seem, when you watch the film carefully, you realize that the director aimed at conveying some important and a very up-to-date message for all of us: "Listen to your heart not the tyrants of conventions and misery of duties..." There is a bit of everything in the story: wit, romance, jealousy, pardoning... Consider, for instance, the sequence at the court where we get the masterwork of human situation, individual situation in the mute world.

The film can boast terrific artistic merits with scenes of exceptional charm. Here, a mention must be made of the party at Lasalle, which again proves the glamor of the silent era. But, most things we can appreciate here are there thanks to the Swedish Sphinx... Garbo. The great Greta gives another brilliant performance in the lead but, as it has already been mentioned, her role differs from other of her silent roles in the way that Irene Guarry appears to be a particularly modern character as well as her story appears to be extremely appealing to modern audience. It is not as much her vehicle as the story which captivates certain viewers. That, however, does not mean that we easily forget the great actress whose presence illumines the moments and supplies them with unique power. There are exceptional shots of Garbo's face. Consider, for instance, the moment she looks at herself in the mirror. Perhaps not as great as the ultra famous moment in FLESH AND THE DEVIL but also highly worth attention. What a great beauty she was!

So to speak, THE KISS is a very important movie in both Garbo's career and the history of MGM. It occurs to be a great farewell to the silent era, an interesting look at life situation filled with the affection that any kiss deserves... And for Garbo fans somewhere there in the world: a different look at the famous Swede, yet, unique and magnetic as always.


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