“The Kiss” is a 1929 film with an interesting history. It is one of the last of the silent films released by MGM and was also the final one to feature Greta Garbo before her transition into the “talkers”. Jacques Feyder is the director of this piece which was written by Hanns Kraly. Conrad Nagel, Lew Ayres, and Anders Randolf are included in the cast as well.
Garbo plays a young woman in an unhappy marriage who is having an affair with a successful lawyer. When a much younger man also has his eye on the admittedly lovely Irene, the husband walks in and ends up dead. The police do not believe her claims that her husband killed himself and charge her with murder. Remember when I mentioned that her lover was an attorney? Yeah, he gets the unenviable task of representing her in court.
The plot falls a bit on the cheesy side, but the performances were pretty good. Garbo certainly had the looks where it was believable that she was worth all of this angst and controversy. The historical significance of this film makes it a bit more fascinating as well. I would not recommend watching this lying on the couch after a busy weekend since the music can be rather hypnotic, and one doesn’t have the benefit of raised voices suddenly breaking in to grab the wandering mind.
It’s a film that works quite well for the era it was released and has a pretty fascinating legacy for the real film historians.