Vienna in the biggest depression, directly after WW1. In a slum, Lila Leid, the wife of lawyer Leid is murdered, Egon, secretary of one of Leid's clients is arrested. He was with her, and ... See full summary »
Georg Wilhelm Pabst
Irene is unhappily married to an older businessman, but very much in love with a handsome young lawyer. He doesn't want to add to her unhappiness by ruining her marriage; she is terrified of her husband's jealousy and anger. They decide to stop seeing each other, and she bides her time with Pierre, a young friend of the family who walks their dogs and is in puppy love with Irene. When Pierre is about to leave for college, he begs her for a goodbye kiss. She agrees, and who should walk in while it is happening, but her ailing and financially distraught husband...Written by
Gary Dickerson <email@example.com>
"The Kiss" has a fairly predictable plot, but interesting acting from the excellent cast keeps you watching on this one. As others wrote, the Vitaphone soundtrack here was pretty poor, except for one section; all the melodies have been used before in many silent films. Listening to classical Tchaikovsky is not really appropriate for a modern film like "The Kiss."
Greta has some great closeups in this film, but in certain sections seems to be sleepwalking through her role. Conrad Nagel was a delight to watch, he always seemed much more handsome on screen than in his still photos. He is the hero in this film, if the film could really be said to have a hero after everyone lies in court.
Lew Ayres was adorable, and had to have made a great impression on studio bosses when the film was first released, for he went straight from this film into his classic "All Quiet On The Western Front", which made him a star. Holmes Herbert, so good in Pola Negri's "A Woman of the World", here is aged with makeup and plays Lew Ayres' father convincingly. Anders Randolf was a bit jarring as Greta's husband, but his performance was fine too.
The print was decent on this MGM release, compared to another Garbo feature, "The Single Standard", made earlier. But of both films, "The Single Standard" is by far the superior film technically, plot-wise, and in its performances, though its print is more worn.
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