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View Full Version : Smooching in old flicks--explain!


Birdmonster
06-30-2005, 12:21 PM
Teeming Millions,

While watching an old time movie last night, I found myself laughing out loud during several rather hammy romantic scenes. We had a leading man & lady in the throes of "passion", but the kissing...man. Their lips were pursed together like a couple of uppity librarians (no offense to any librarians round these parts). I'm not saying I need tongue or anything, but the way they kiss in these old movies strikes me as really cold. Get to the point, you say. Alright.

I wasn't alive in the black & white movie days, so I'm really just wondering: What's the deal? People didn't REALLY kiss like this right? Maybe this was a time where sexuality was just a little more subdued in the movies...So, it follows, when did actors really start kissing realistically? Is there perhaps a hallmark film?

I am in your hands.

-birdmonster

silenus
06-30-2005, 12:22 PM
Different times....different times. You didn't hear swearing or see casual nudity back then, either. Open-mouthed kisses were a no-no under the Hayes Code.

Terminus Est
06-30-2005, 12:25 PM
Yes, people really did kiss like that back then. There wasn't any color, either; everything was in black and white.

ultrafilter
06-30-2005, 12:28 PM
Yes, people really did kiss like that back then. There wasn't any color, either; everything was in black and white.
...uphill, both ways, in knee-deep snow...

Zeldar
06-30-2005, 12:30 PM
I can't help but visualize that bit of Steve Martin's where he starts licking his date's face...

audiobottle
06-30-2005, 12:32 PM
Yes, people really did kiss like that back then. There wasn't any color, either; everything was in black and white.

But what about color paintings? If the world was in black and white, wouldn't the paintings be in black and white too?

Birdmonster
06-30-2005, 12:33 PM
But what about color paintings? If the world was in black and white, wouldn't the paintings be in black and white too?

In the words of Calvin's Dad (from Calvin & Hobbes, of course): "No, the paintings were in color. A lot of artists were insane."

silenus
06-30-2005, 12:34 PM
But what about color paintings? If the world was in black and white, wouldn't the paintings be in black and white too?

They were. They changed to color when the world did, back in the 30s.

CalMeacham
06-30-2005, 12:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by audiobottle
But what about color paintings? If the world was in black and white, wouldn't the paintings be in black and white too?



They were. They changed to color when the world did, back in the 30s.


Unfortunately, the kissing didn't turn more passionate at the same time, so we're left with fossilized cold kisses. Go figure.

Birdmonster
06-30-2005, 12:37 PM
So when did the romantic scene actually become romantic?

Bricker
06-30-2005, 12:37 PM
The world is a complicated place, Hobbes.

silenus
06-30-2005, 12:39 PM
So when did the romantic scene actually become romantic?

Deep Throat, 1972. :D

(or maybe :eek: is a better visual)

dropzone
06-30-2005, 12:41 PM
So when did the romantic scene actually become romantic?Define "romantic." Lotsa folks thought those scenes were plenty romantic. I, for one, need more, like her getting a "money shot" in the face, to think it's romantic.

bouv
06-30-2005, 12:44 PM
Deep Throat, 1972. :D

(or maybe :eek: is a better visual)

Actualy, I'm pretty sure :o is the recognized smilie for a blowjob, as chronicled in the book, Smilies and You: An Introspective Look.

Birdmonster
06-30-2005, 12:45 PM
Yeah...clarification's a wonderous thing. Basically, when did love scenes get hot? In what year would seeing one of these with your Mom make you uncomfortable?

silenus
06-30-2005, 12:48 PM
Actualy, I'm pretty sure :o is the recognized smilie for a blowjob, as chronicled in the book, Smilies and You: An Introspective Look.

Ordinarily that would be so, but if you recall, Miss Lovelace experienced her first orgasm as a result of said blow job. Thus, the look of surprise and wonder.

Birdmonster
06-30-2005, 12:53 PM
Look how far we've come. Now, even our emoticons are sexy.

Eve
06-30-2005, 12:54 PM
Did you ever see Greta Garbo and John Gilbert go at it onscreen? Or Jean Harlow and Clark Gable? Nothing prissy and closed-mouth about them!

Evil Captor
06-30-2005, 01:13 PM
Well, before we get too high-and-mighty about the old days, perhaps we should explain why in cable softcore porn, there are so many scenes where the guy is clearly humping the outside of the woman's thigh ...

Birdmonster
06-30-2005, 01:50 PM
No one can possibly explain that.

MovieMogul
06-30-2005, 02:12 PM
The OP doesn't help matters at all by not telling us the movie or either of the stars. There are plenty of convincing, passionate kissing scenes in old movies (even closed-mouth ones) but it all depended on the chemistry of the actors. Try not making a huge sweeping generalization on just one example...

Birdmonster
06-30-2005, 02:43 PM
True, can't remember the movie. Alas. But the specific movie is actually not the issue here. It's a problem I've had forever. Even when passionate actors pull the pursed lip kiss it looks ridiculous, so I was wondering what I could learn about open-mouthed movie kisses, why they were apparently so shocking, and who finally did something about it. I mean, have you tried to kiss like this? Even if Clark Gable kissed you that, you'd think it was your grandma.

AuntiePam
06-30-2005, 03:00 PM
"Excessive and lustful kissing, lustful embraces, suggestive postures and gestures, are not to be shown." From the Hays Code (http://www.artsreformation.com/a001/hays-code.html) of 1930.

That doesn't explain It Happened One Night, made in 1934, and (IMHO) pretty hot, what with Claudette Colbert showing leg to hitch a ride, and then hanging around a motel room in her slip.

AHunter3
06-30-2005, 03:09 PM
Open-mouthed kisses were a no-no under the Hayes Code.

:confused: Why would you want to kiss someone who has her mouth open? :confused:

Otto
06-30-2005, 03:23 PM
Even if Clark Gable kissed you that, you'd think it was your grandma.
Did your grandma's moustache tickle?

Birdmonster
06-30-2005, 03:50 PM
Terribly. Her beard was worse.

silenus
06-30-2005, 04:22 PM
:confused: Why would you want to kiss someone who has her mouth open? :confused:

Well, I've never been able to get my tongue past pursed lips or clenched teeth. Perhaps you have had better luck. :D

AHunter3
06-30-2005, 05:23 PM
If I've been kissing someone for quite a few minutes I might reach the point that doing the tongue thing sounds appealing rather than revolting, but it's not how I'd start out.

I think I just don't like mouths anywhere near as much as lots of other folks do.

Birdmonster
06-30-2005, 05:43 PM
Back to the OP: Apparently the Hayes Code ended in '68, opening the door for the dreaded French Kiss. Any movie buffs going to claim the first instance?

whiterabbit
06-30-2005, 05:53 PM
If I've been kissing someone for quite a few minutes I might reach the point that doing the tongue thing sounds appealing rather than revolting, but it's not how I'd start out.

Naah, it usually takes me a couple of minutes to get into the tongue thing, and that's with the guy I am passionately in love with. I'm just not really into tongues much, I guess.

For non-tongue kisses my lips are generally fairly relaxed, not all pursed up like in the movies. Don't soft lips feel better than tense pursed-up ones? It's not like I either go old-movie-pursed-up-lips or tongues all over the place, there is some middle ground. Quite a bit of it, actually.

Dignan
06-30-2005, 09:27 PM
They were. They changed to color when the world did, back in the 30s.


I didn't think there was color until Ted Turner came along.

auRa
07-01-2005, 05:59 AM
What's always gotten to me is that some of these "old" kissing scenes look more like wrestling matches. The man grabs the woman from behind the head and then they start rubbing faces against each other. It looks almost violent. Their faces are pressed so close against each other it looks like it's not lips touching, but the whole lower part of their face. It's kind of hard to explain--do you understand what I'm talking about?

Evil Captor
07-01-2005, 08:15 AM
Well, I've never been able to get my tongue past pursed lips or clenched teeth. Perhaps you have had better luck. :D

There's another way to kiss? Prying clenched teeth apart was the first thing I had to learn ... :D

Birdmonster
07-01-2005, 10:50 AM
What's always gotten to me is that some of these "old" kissing scenes look more like wrestling matches. The man grabs the woman from behind the head and then they start rubbing faces against each other. It looks almost violent. Their faces are pressed so close against each other it looks like it's not lips touching, but the whole lower part of their face. It's kind of hard to explain--do you understand what I'm talking about?

Completely.

AuntiePam
07-01-2005, 11:51 AM
That's a great observation, about the violent kissing. Do you suppose that since tongues weren't allowed, and kisses were limited to 3 seconds, they figured the face rubbing would convey passion?

Not very imaginative.

I think one of the hottest kissing scenes in an old movie is in It's A Wonderful Life, when Donna Reed is on the phone and Jimmy Stewart is standing next to her, and they're sorta cheek to cheek and breathing hard.
If you make the build-up sexy enough, you don't need a spectacular kiss.

42fish
07-01-2005, 01:45 PM
Back to the OP: Apparently the Hayes Code ended in '68, opening the door for the dreaded French Kiss. Any movie buffs going to claim the first instance?

According to Patrick Robertson, author of the Guiness Book of the Movies, the first French kissing in a Hollywood movie was between Warren Beatty and Natalie Wood in Splendor in the Grass (1961).

Guinastasia
07-01-2005, 09:27 PM
They were. They changed to color when the world did, back in the 30s.


Then why are there still black and white photos?

commasense
07-01-2005, 09:39 PM
Then why are there still black and white photos?Because they're color pictures of the world when it was black and white! Obviously!

My ex-boss's young son actually believed that the world had turned from b&w to color at some time in the past.

Askia
07-01-2005, 10:38 PM
"The world is a complicated place. Whenever it seems that way, I take a nap in a tree and wait for dinner."

Possibly my favorite Calvin & Hobbes.

Walloon
07-04-2005, 05:21 AM
"Excessive and lustful kissing, lustful embraces, suggestive postures and gestures, are not to be shown." From the Hays Code (http://www.artsreformation.com/a001/hays-code.html) of 1930.

That doesn't explain It Happened One Night, made in 1934, and (IMHO) pretty hot, what with Claudette Colbert showing leg to hitch a ride, and then hanging around a motel room in her slip.The Production Code of 1930 lacked an effective enforcement mechanism until 1934, shortly after It Happened One Night was released. Which is why the term "pre-Code" Hollywood really means "pre-Code enforcement."

Various provisions of the Production Code were incrementally dropped from the late 1940s onward, until the Motion Picture Association of American ended the Production Code entirely in 1968 (http://www.filmratings.com/about/content.htm), and foreseeing a state and federal backlash, adopted the voluntary letter rating system (G, M, R, X).

Walloon
07-04-2005, 05:26 AM
You want awkward-looking kisses? The movies' first kiss (http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/papr:@filreq(@field(NUMBER+@band(edmp+4038))+@field(COLLID+edison))) looks like an unfortunate glue accident.

elfkin477
07-04-2005, 10:25 AM
Then why are there still black and white photos?

Because a lot of photographers are insane.

Lissa
07-04-2005, 10:42 AM
The Production Code of 1930 lacked an effective enforcement mechanism until 1934, shortly after It Happened One Night was released. Which is why the term "pre-Code" Hollywood really means "pre-Code enforcement."

The star of that film, Clark Gable, had a favorite trick that he did to make the close-mouthed kisses of the time appear more passionate, tilting his head slightly to obscure the view of their mouths. As I've read, perhaps his co-stars should have been happy about the rules permitting open-mouthed kisses when Clark was their love interest: rumor has it he had horrible breath.

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