A Notorious Kiss


Today, as it is Valentine’s Day, we celebrate love. Our love of each other, our love for our family, friends, wife/husband, boyfriend/girlfriend. But the cinephiles also celebrate their love for film and love in films.

To do so, Second Sight Cinema is hosting the You Must Remember this… A Kiss is Just a Kiss… Blogathon. Here, each participant will write about a particular kiss in cinema history, and that will be our way to celebrate our love of films. What an original idea!


I’ve decided to go with my personal favourite, which is the “very long kiss” between Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman in Notorious (Alfred Hitchcock, 1946). It is one of the most beautiful kisses ever:


Ahh, this scene just makes my heart beat, gives me chills and makes me fall in love with both Cary and Ingrid. It’s hard to believe the two actors weren’t very comfortable shooting this scene. Well, there’s something very erotic about this scene, but also very poetic. I just love the way Ingrid looks at Cary, with so much love in her eyes and in her smile. The lady certainly was a very convincing actress. I love when she strokes his ear. That adds even more romance and sweetness to the scene.


What’s funny about this film is that the French title is “Les Enchaînés” that means “the chained ones”. I think this scene reflects this title perfectly. Indeed, there is always a connection between the two, even if they aren’t kissing each other’s lips. Cary is going to the phone and Ingrid follows him, putting her head on his shoulder. Cary speaks to the phone and Ingrid holds his neck, etc.


This kiss, of course, defies the Hays Code. According to the rule, an on-screen couple couldn’t kiss for more than three seconds. Hitchcock respected the rules, only the time between each kiss isn’t very long. So, it gives us the impression that it’s a very long kiss. How clever of him! 😉 He also did something similar with the firework kiss in To Catch a Thief.



According to IMDB, there was a lot of improvisation in this scene. The dialogues weren’t previously scripted. Hitchcock just said to his actor to talk to each other like lovers would. This gave place to a very natural discussion, maybe more convincing than if it would have been scripted. They understood Hitchcock’s request. “This is a very strange love affair” was perfectly chosen by Ingrid Bergman. It reflects quite well the relationship her character has with Cary Grant’s character.


Always according to IMDB, the main idea of this kiss is that, for Hitchcock, romance must never be interrupted. Sweet, isn’t it?

I might not be original by saying that this is my favourite on-screen kiss, but what can I say? It’s just so perfect. No wonder why it became as notorious as the film itself. 😉


And you, what is your favourite on-screen kiss?

To read more about them, take a look at the other entries:

A Kiss Is Just a Kiss Blogathon

A lovely Valentine’s Day to all! ❤ ❤ ❤


10 thoughts on “A Notorious Kiss

  1. Very nice tribute to one of the sexiest kisses in classic cinema. I discovered in hosting this blogathon that great kisses in the Code years are few and far between, for obvious reasons. The Code not only restricted the length of kisses, it had a [desired] chilling effect on expressing desire/lust. As a result of which we were cheated out of so many potentially great kisses! Thanks for your piece and for participating in the blogathon!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Some things can be faked…that’s why they call it Acting. But KISSING…you can’t really fake that. I think, on some sub-atomic level, the audience would know it. On some sub-atomic level, I feel Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman…down to my toes…down to my DNA. Yes, this screen kiss is incredible. Glad you got to cover it for Kiss Is Just A Kiss Blogathon, Virginie.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It is fascinating to see how directors were forced to be original because of the Motion Picture Production Code. Mr. Hitchcock, like most directors, was at his best, when carefully constrained by Mr. Joseph Breen’s supervision through the Production Code Administration. Please look at our column about the Motion Picture Production Code of 1930 and its effect on Hollywood.

    Liked by 1 person

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