The Kiss in the Tunnel (1899)
The Kiss in the Tunnel was the second film in a year to feature a young couple kissing on a train as it travels through a tunnel (the first was George Albert Smith’s A Kiss in the Tunnel). Given that the cinema was little more than three years old in 1899 and there were still a million-and-one topics to be covered, it’s quite astounding that so many film-makers spent so much time copying each other’s work (when they were unable to get away with duping the original). There’s something a little earthier about the Bamforth Films version than the Smith original; the couple are younger and better looking and of a lower class and there’s more affection in their hugs and kisses, but the film isn’t as well made. From 1899 onwards trains entering tunnels would regularly be used as a metaphor for sex and, without exception, every film that has used that metaphor has done it better than this primitive effort.
(Reviewed 8th June 2009)