This week’s mystery movie has been MGM’s 1929 film “The Kiss,” which was the studio’s (and Greta Garbo’s) last silent film. It stars Garbo, Conrad Nagel and Holmes Herbert. From the story by George M. Saville, scenario by Hans Kraly, musical synchronization by Dr. William Axt, titles by Marian Ainslee, art direction by Cedric Gibbons, photography by William Daniels, gowns by Adrian and editing by Ben Lewis. It was directed by Jacques Feyder. With Anders Randolf, Lew Ayres and George Davis.
“The Kiss” is available from Warner Archive for $17.99.
Writing in the New York Times (Nov. 16, 1929), Mordaunt Hall said:
Golden silence reigns in the Capitol during the screening of Greta Garbo’s latest film, “The Kiss,” the direction of which has been accomplished with consummate artistry by Jacques Feyder, the Frenchman who was responsible for those noteworthy contributions, “Faces of Children,” “Thérèse Raquin” and Raquel Meller’s “Carmen.” This present offering is the first M. Feyder has made in Hollywood and his work in it indicates that he can do quite as well in California as he did in Europe.
It is the direction and the finished acting of Miss Garbo and others that recommend this feature rather than the story, which is no tour de force. The incidents are invariably engrossing and Miss Garbo was never more alluring than she is as Mme. Irene Guarry, the wife of a wealthy silk merchant of Lyons. She first appears in a modish hat, one of those creations that seem to have been inspired by fliers’ headgears. Not a curl or even a strand of hair protrudes under the hard line around her face. She may not look pretty, but she is fascinating, and as the scenes pass along. Miss Garbo becomes increasingly attractive, especially in the closing glimpses, where she is arrayed in black. There are times when she permits her jealously guarded hair to be seen—when she is without a hat, but that is within her home.
Throughout this production Miss Garbo once again reveals her extraordinary talent for screen acting, and under M. Feyder’s guidance she is if anything more impressive than she has been in other films. There is a restraint in this picture and the scenes are charmingly lighted. They glide along instead of jumping.
For Monday, we have a mystery gent.
Update: This is George Davis.
For Tuesday, we have a mystery gent in a high collar. Monday’s mystery guest has given him some unwelcome news.
Update: This is Anders Randolf.
Brain Trust roll call: Mike Hawks (Monday’s mystery gent), Mark Vieira (mystery movie and Monday’s mystery gent) and Howard Mandelbaum (Monday’s mystery gent).
For Wednesday, we have a mystery gent on the phone.
Update: This is Holmes Herbert.
Brain Trust roll call: Mike Hawks (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery guest), Howard Mandelbaum (mystery movie and Tuesday’s mystery guest) and Mary Mallory (mystery movie and Monday’s and Tuesday’s mystery guests).
For Thursday we have a familiar actor when he was very young.
Update: This is Lew Ayres in his feature film debut.
Brain Trust roll call: Howard Mandelbaum (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Sheila (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Mary Mallory (Wednesday’s mystery guest), Mike Hawks (Wednesday’s mystery guest) and Dan Nather (Wednesday’s mystery guest).
And for Friday, our suffering mystery leading lady and her tormented mysterious lover.
Update: This is Greta Garbo and Conrad Nagel.
Brain Trust roll call: Mary Mallory (Thursday’s mysterious young guest), Mike Hawks (Thursday’s mysterious young guest), Beach Gal (Thursday’s mysterious young guest), Tucson Barbara (mystery movie and all mystery guests), L.C. (mystery movie and mystery cast), Bob Hansen (Thursday’s mysterious young guest) and Howard Mandelbaum (Thursday’s mysterious young guest).