Urban legends about film and TV’s first ‘interracial kisses.’

I just wanted to put to rest the “urban lie” (Coen & Coen) concerning the first interracial kiss in film as occurring in Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner (1967). Even film textbooks cite this example, but people, this isn’t even the first time a black man kisses a white woman in a film at all.

Have we forgotten Kubrick’s Killer’s Kiss (1955)?

And just four years after that, we have (gasp) an Asian man kissing a white woman in The Crimson Kimono (1959). This film is a great example of a “mainstream-noir” redressed with modern casting sensibilities. I show this in my film class every other year.

SPOILER ALERT – this is the end scene.

Yes, yes – technically Killer’s Kiss and The Crimson Kimono were fringe films in its day. But if that were the way we were measuring these milestones, why do we not remember Sammy Davis, Jr. kissing Nancy Sinatra on NBC, which (I am quite sure) more people watched than Star Trek!



** Addendum – I just realized someone deleted the video attached to the above article. If anyone has seen the video clip of Sammy and Nancy, please send it my way! – L.

  1. linus said:

    I almost forgot to mention — Island in the Sun, from 1957.

  2. David said:

    1957 Sayonara with Marlon Brando kissing Miiko Taka and Red Buttons kissing Miyoshi Umeki.

  3. linus said:

    I will have to check those out – Thank you!

  4. David said:

    1918 “The Forbidden City”: The actress is Norma Talmadge (Caucasian), but she plays a Chinese princess who kisses a white American man.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: