It’s Valentine’s Day! Yay for corporately-created holidays designed to entice people into spending copious amounts of money on flowers, candy, and various stuffed creatures of all types!
I mean … yay for love!
In honor of the day, I’m posting five of my favorite classic movie kisses, from the utterly romantic to the sentimental to the poignant to the giggle-inducing.
1. Lady and the Tramp (1955)
Yes, they’re dogs. But their inadvertent kiss over a plate of spaghetti, accompanied by the gorgeous tune “Bella Notte,” is still romantic as hell. Hey, even a tramp and a rich bitch can find love in this crazy world! Kind of gives you a case of the warm-and-fuzzies, doesn’t it?
2. Notorious (1946)
You knew I’d have a Cary Grant smooch on here. And nothing beats this two-and-a-half minute string of kisses, beautifully shot to highlight the intense emotion and passion behind the embrace. Devlin (Grant) may be an unmitigated bastard to Alicia (Ingrid Bergman) throughout much of the film, but this kiss indicates there’s more depth to his feelings for the woman than he himself is willing to admit or accept.
3. Rear Window (1954)
For a director best known for elements of suspense in his films, Hitchcock certainly knew how to stage a love scene. Even something as simple as being awoken with a kiss is heightened to erotic levels in Hitch’s capable hands. Grace Kelly never looked better on film, and discussions of an empty stomach have never been sexier.
4. Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961)
It sets the bar for practically every cinematic kiss in the pouring rain. That particular motif has devolved into the realm of cliche over the years, but the rain-soaked embrace between Holly Golightly (Audrey Hepburn) and Paul Varjak (George Peppard), complete with an overly patient cat and the lovely strains of “Moon River,” remains a memorable, beautiful moment (seriously, though–poor cat).
5. Singin’ in the Rain (1952)
The least romantic kiss on the list, and yet one of the best. Don Lockwood (Gene Kelly) loathes his silent-film leading lady, the screechy-voiced Lina Lamont (Jean Hagen), who has gotten his new lady love, Kathy Selden (Debbie Reynolds), fired from her job. While filming a love scene for their newest picture, Don lets Lina know just how deep that loathing really is. It’s a truly hilarious scene, and (in my mind) Kelly and Hagen demonstrate more chemistry in this moment than Kelly and Reynolds display throughout the entire film. Odd, sometimes, how the flow of combat heightens sensuality.
Now that I’ve had my say, what are some of your favorite classic movie smooches?