|Title ID||8370||Collection ID||1187|
|Title||The Kiss in the Tunnel|
|Theme||Early film in the South East Transport|
|Keywords||Trains Transport Entertainment Railways Travel|
|Copyright & Access||Copyright restrictions apply, contact Screen Archive South East for details|
A studio scene in which a couple kiss inside a train carriage, bookended by footage shot from the front of a train as it enters and emerges from a tunnel, produced in 1899 by George Albert Smith.
The film opens with a stationary shot of a train exiting a tunnel. The camera starts to inch forward along the tracks, shot from the front of another train to show the driver's point of view. The train and camera enter the tunnel. Inside the train, a couple face each other in a carriage, surrounded by their belongings. The man pinches the woman's cheek affectionately. He takes off his hat to kiss her first on the lips and then both cheeks, taking advantage of the darkness outside the carriage. She blushes, shaking her head and smiling. He sits back onto his top hat, crushing its crown. He corrects the shape and they continue to read. The film closes as the train emerges from the tunnel, shot from the driver's point of view once more.
The central scene of The Kiss in the Tunnel is the only original footage, shot in the studio and edited into Cecil Hepworth's Train Entering and Exiting a Tunnel (1899). Splicing and cutting techniques, developed for lantern projections, create a sense of continuity and sequential narrative.
The Warwick Trading Company, run by Charles Urban, offered exhibitors the studio shot, which could be spliced into footage shot from a moving train already in their possession. Smith's film was remade by James Bamforth the same year, in which the central scene is bookended by shots of the train's exterior and the 'kiss in the tunnel' becomes a passionate embrace.