A Kiss in the Tunnel (1899)
Director: George ALbert Smith
Cast: Laura Bayley, George Albert Smith
Synopsis: A humorous subject intended to be run as a part of a railroad scene during the period in which the train is passing through a tunnel.
A Kiss in the Tunnel is quite a sophisticated little feature for its time. Phantom rides, in which a camera was fixed to the front of a train and then filmed the passing scenery as the track disappeared beneath it, were extremely popular for a while in the late 19th century, and George Albert Smith, one of the Brighton School filmmakers, used this format to fashion a clever little film by inserting a shot of a couple (played by Smith and his wife) enjoying a couple of kisses between two phantom views of a train entering and leaving a tunnel. Metaphors – whether intended or otherwise – abound, and have done ever since, especially at the hands of Hitchcock. A Kiss in the Tunnel no doubt proved quite saucy to a Victorian audience still conditioned to believe that displays of affection between husband and wife were best confined to the boudoir.
(Reviewed 1st June 2009)