A kiss can convey so much emotion and feeling, and there’s no better way to capture this than on film. From an innocent first crush as a child to a passionate declaration of love, a kiss is a way to communicate how someone feels towards another. In honour of World Kissing Day, here are 10 of the most memorable kisses in film in no particular order:
1. Lady and the Tramp
The iconic scene from the beloved 1955 animated film is one that has been parodied and reenacted countless times. It is such a sweet, unexpected moment that shows how even movies meant for children can tug at our heartstrings and make us believe in love. But this scene almost wasn’t in the film. Apparently, Walt Disney himself had a hard time being convinced to include it in the final cut. He thought that two dogs partaking in fine dining were pushing the limit in terms of humanisation. Ultimately, Walt was convinced to keep the scene, and audiences have loved it ever since.
2. The Notebook
Oh, the drama that comes with kissing in the rain! As a rainstorm starts, Noah (Ryan Gosling) rows to shore, where Allie (Rachel McAdams) demands to know why Noah never wrote to her. After the revelation that Noah had indeed written to Allie, they share a passionate kiss. This film was McAdams’ first foray into leading lady status, and it cemented Gosling as the “hey girl” heartthrob we know him to be. It also had couples saying, “If you’re a bird, I’m a bird,” to each other for months after its release.
3. My Girl
When you’re young, navigating life, love and friendships can be confusing. That’s exactly what happens to Anna Chlumsky’s 11-year-old Vada in the 1991 film. While sitting under a tree with her best friend Thomas J., played by a young Macaulay Culkin, the two share an innocent first kiss “just to see what’s the big deal.” It’s a brief, yet relatable moment in a film chalked full of them.
4. The Godfather Part II
Not all kisses are the product of romantic love. In the 1974 continuing saga of the Corleone crime family, mafia boss Michael (Al Pacino) is trying to figure out which one of his close associates betrayed him. In this famous scene, Michael grabs his brother Fredo Corleone (John Cazale) tightly by the head and kisses him. This is what’s known in the mafia as “the kiss of death” and signifies that a member of the crime family has been marked for death, usually because of perceived betrayal. He follows the kiss with the line, “I know it was you Fredo; you broke my heart.”
5. Call Me By Your Name
This is the most recent film on this list, but it’s one that is sure to have a lasting impression for years to come. It’s another a tale of first love and how intense it can feel. 17-year-old Elio (Timothée Chalamet) falls for graduate student Oliver (Armie Hammer) who also happens to be his father’s research assistant. The scene where the two share their first kiss is beautiful and warm. The film is one of the most celebrated and talked about LGBTQ movies of the past decade as it depicted a tender yet relatable relationship. It was so loved that a sequel is reportedly in the works.
6. Breakfast at Tiffany’s
The film adaption of Breakfast at Tiffany’s differs from Truman Capote’s short story in many ways, but the “happily ever after” ending is the most memorable difference between the two. In the scene, Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) races through the wet, rainy New York streets in search of the no-name cat she kicked out of her taxi cab. When she finds the cat, she is overcome with emotion and shares a passionate kiss with Paul (George Peppard). It’s a familiar moment where the main character’s emotions finally get the better of them. The only thing that makes this classic “kiss in the rain” better is the fact that the no-name cat is sandwiched between the two the entire time.
Another kissing in the rain moment, but this time it’s upside down. The scene where Spider-Man (played by Tobey Maguire) is hanging upside down and receives his first kiss from Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) after saving her from a group of thugs. It’s an iconic image that puts a twist on the typical “token-of-appreciation” kiss.
8. From Here to Eternity
Few kissing scenes can rival Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr embracing on the beach as waves crash around them. It’s so perfectly dramatic and passionate that it’s hard to believe that they didn’t have true feelings for one another. It’s rumored that Lancaster suggested the actors lie down for the kiss as opposed to the standing kiss that was written in the script. This change makes all the difference and earns the film a spot on this list.
Now seems like a good time to queue the off-key humming/singing of “My Heart Will Go On.” The iconic song plays in the background of another iconic romance scene. As Rose (Kate Winslet) stands at the front of the ship with her arms extended to her sides, Jack (Leonardo DiCaprio) stands behind keeping a careful hold of her. The sweet moment where she is “flying” ends in an even sweeter kiss between the two characters. Their love transcends their vastly different social circles and has you rooting for a much deserved happy ending. *Spoiler,* they don’t get one. The fate of the real Titanic was a grim one, so you kind of know what you are signing yourself up for when you watch the film.
10. The Princess Bride
A case of mistaken identity and the revelation that the man she believes is kidnapping her is none other than her “dead” lover, Westley (Cary Elwes) lead to this reunion-spurred kiss. Because Buttercup (Robin Wright) believed that the Dread Pirate Roberts killed Westley many years ago, she pushed him down a mountainside. As he tumbles down, the truth is revealed as he says “as you wish,” something which Westley used to say to Buttercup. Buttercup realizes that the man in black is Westley, so she Buttercup goes down after him and they share a kiss after many years apart.