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  May Irwin (left) and John C. Rice.
Frame enlargement: Silent Era image collection.
The May Irwin Kiss
Also known as [The May Irwin-John C. Rice Kiss], [The John C. Rice-May Irwin Kiss], [The Kiss]
(1896) American
B&W : 50 feet
Directed by William Heise

Cast: May Irwin [the woman], John C. Rice [the man].

Edison Manufacturing Company production; distributed by Raff & Gammon. / Cinematography by William Heise. / [?] Kinetoscope 35mm spherical 1.33:1 format or Standard 35mm spherical 1.33:1 format? / [?] One source notes the film was shot at Raff & Gammon’s 28th Street rooftop studio in New York, New York. [?] Musser-Emerge p. 118 notes the film was shot at the Edison Black Maria studio in West Orange, New Jersey.


Synopsis: An amorous moment from the Broadway play The Widow Jones.

Survival status: Prints exist in the George Eastman Museum film archive; in the Museum of Modern Art film archive; and in the [Canadian] National Film, Television and Sound Archives film archive.

Current rights holder: Public domain.

Keywords: Kissing

Listing updated: 6 May 2012.

References: Film viewing : AFI-F1 n. F1.2998; Altman-Sound p. 92; Bardèche-History p. 18a; Blum-Silent pp. 7, 8; Bohn-Light pp. xv, 110; Everson-American pp. 20, 70, 367; Fell-History p. 24; Kerr-Silent p. 17; Leish-Cinema p. 12; Magliozzi-Treasures n. 3666; Musser-Emerge pp. 118, 119, 128; Ramsaye-Million pp. 257-259, 260, 262a, 270; Shipman-Cinema p. 14; Slide-BigV p. 11; Tarbox-Lost pp. 27, 28, 30, 279.

Home video: DVD.

Silent Era Home Page  >  PSFL  >  The May Irwin Kiss (1896)
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