In a medium close-up shot of the first kiss ever recorded on screen, two fervent lovers cuddle and talk passionately at hair's breadth, just before the love-smitten gentleman decides to give his chosen one an innocent peck.
The sound has been found in the form of an old Edisonian recording cylinder. The cylinder was repaired, then Walter Murch ACE MPSE synced the film to the correct music in (I believe) 2002. Total running time is approximately 17 seconds.
Auguste Lumière directs four workers in the demolition of an old wall at the Lumière factory. One worker is pressing the wall inwards with a jackscrew, while another is pushing it with a ... See full summary »
They get ready to kiss, begin to kiss, and kiss and kiss and kiss in a way that brings down the house every time.
In 1896 the Edison Company purchased the rights to a motion picture projector that had been invented by C. Francis Jenkins and Thomas Armat. The projector was renamed the Vitascope and had its commercial debut on April 23, 1896. During its first year the most popular film shown using the Edison vitascope was the May Irwin Kiss.
May Irwin who was a Canadian actor, comedienne and singer. Her first starring role on Broadway came in 1895 in a musical comedy created for her by J.J. McNally, called The Widow Jones. In one key scene at the end of the play, Irwin and her costar, John C. Rice, kiss each other with something of a flourish. Many were scandalized when they recreated their stage kiss for Edison's camera the following year, and one clergy member denounced the film as "a lyric of the stockyards". Critic Herbert Stone complained, " . . . neither participant is physically attractive and the spectacle of their prolonged pasturing on each other's lips was hard to beat when only life size. Magnified to gargantuan proportions and repeated three times over is absolutely disgusting!" Despite, or perhaps because of these derisive reviews, the May Irwin Kiss became the most popular film produced that year by Thomas Edison's film company.
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