It Started with a Kiss


1h 43m 1959
It Started with a Kiss

Brief Synopsis

After a whirlwind courtship, an Army officer and his wacky wife try to make their marriage work.

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Release Date
Sep 1959
Premiere Information
New York opening: 19 Aug 1959
Production Company
Arcola Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Cadiz,Spain; Madrid,Spain

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Metrocolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1
Film Length
9,319ft (12 reels)

Synopsis

Dancer Maggie Putnam sneaks out of the Golden Key Café wearing the gown she wears in her show in order to work at a lavish charity ball where she hopes to meet single wealthy men. In the lobby of the hotel holding the charity, Air Force sergeant Joe Fitzpatrick spots Maggie and with difficulty, produces the money necessary to attend the function. Joe finds Maggie at a booth selling raffle tickets for a one-of-a-kind luxury automobile and purchases one ticket. Maggie repeatedly refuses Joe's requests for a date and is angered when he interferes with her flirtation with a wealthy bachelor. After Maggie accidentally tears the back of her dress, she is forced to accept Joe's help to leave the ballroom, but continues to rebuff his advances. Later back at the Golden Key, Maggie is distressed to realize she has lost the torn part of her dress, when Joe climbs in through the window carrying the material. In order to get the fabric, Maggie agrees to a date with Joe the next night. The following evening, Joe arrives late and apologizes, revealing that his company has been given new orders to move to Spain in two days. Over drinks, Maggie and Joe discuss love and Joe is puzzled by Maggie's insistence that, for her, beauty in life lies in possessions, not in people, whom she deems unpredictable. Explaining that he must conduct research to prove to her that love is more important than objects, Joe kisses Maggie. She is startled and admits she could be falling in love with him. Two days later, Maggie and Joe awaken in his apartment as newlyweds. Joe gives Maggie instructions to join him in Spain within the month and then departs. That same afternoon, Maggie is thrilled to learn that Joe has won the luxury car in the raffle. On the Madrid base, after attending orientation, Joe meets his friend, Charlie Meriden, and shows him a letter from Maggie enthusiastically declaring she has a great surprise for him, leading the men to conclude that Maggie must be pregnant. Joe then realizes that Maggie wrote the letter the day after they were married and wonders if she is indeed expecting. A month later, Maggie arrives in Spain where she is immediately scolded by Air Force personnel for wearing slacks. After happily greeting Joe, Maggie staunchly refuses to attend the required orientation for Air Force wives, insisting the Air Force has no jurisdiction over her wardrobe. Although disappointed by Joe's simple apartment, Maggie is happy to meet Charlie and his wife Sally, and other neighbors who immediately offer their congratulations. Realizing the implication of their good wishes, Maggie furiously asks Joe if he believes she could have been pregnant before they married. Maggie then wonders aloud if they married in haste simply because of their strong physical attraction to one another. Concerned that she might get pregnant before she can determine if they are suitably matched, Maggie declares they must have a trial marriage without sex for thirty days. Appalled, Joe balks, but when Maggie threatens to leave, he agrees. The next day Maggie skips the orientation and Joe receives a one-day pass to retrieve his car which will be arriving at the port of Cadiz. Believing he is picking up his old car, Joe is confused when the flashy red car he has won is unveiled and quickly surrounded by curious onlookers. Later at a hotel, while Maggie relishes the attention lavished on her by people drawn to the car, Joe arranges to have a room without a sofa and only one bed. Maggie recognizes Joe's plot that night and angrily retires to sleep in the tub. Joe pleads that marriage cannot exist without sex and when Maggie still refuses, he wonders darkly if she would reject him if he were wealthy. The next day as Joe and Maggie drive back to Madrid, they are spotted by Marquesa Marian de la Rey and handsome matador Antonio Soriano. The American ambassador also notices the car and sends a protest against a serviceman's flamboyant display of wealth to Gen. James O'Connell. O'Connell summons Joe, who refuses the general's offer to ship the car back to the States, claiming it would jeopardize his new marriage. A few days later, the base is visited by Congressmen Tappe and Muir, members of the Armed Forces expenditure committee, who are immediately taken aback upon seeing Joe driving the red car. At the apartment, Maggie tells Joe that they have received an invitation to the marquesa's party and a bullfight, likely due to the car. At the party, Antonio is delighted both with Maggie and the car and Joe reluctantly allows him to drive the car to the bullfight. Antonio reciprocates by inviting the Fitzpatricks to his country estate the next day. The morning of their trip to the country, Joe is informed that he owes several thousand dollars in taxes on the car, but when he asks Maggie about the money she received from her sale of his old car, he is dismayed that she has already spent it on clothes. At Antonio's country estate, the matador's effusive attentions to Maggie disturb Joe, who then realizes he can solve the monetary dilemma by selling Antonio the car. Upset, Maggie gets drunk during a tour of Antonio's winery and Joe leaves in disgust after accusing Maggie of being selfish. When Marian offers to put Joe up at her villa, he agrees. Learning of the car sale, O'Connell cancels the transaction as profiteering and confines Joe to quarters, unaware that the villa is now Joe's quarters. A few days afterward, Marian throws a party for the congressmen and Maggie is invited by Antonio. Seeing Joe at Marian's, Maggie believes that he has defied orders to come to see her, but is stunned when Joe reveals his new quarters are at the villa. Later Maggie sees Joe and Marian dancing and abruptly tells Antonio she will leave Joe and marry him. She kisses Antonio and is puzzled by her lack of feeling for him. That night, Maggie decides to find Joe but is sent to the wrong room by a servant and creeps into bed with O'Connell, another overnight party guest. The ensuing commotion when Maggie realizes her error draws the congressmen, Joe and Marian. While O'Connell desperately tries to hide Maggie, Marian asks him to allow Joe leave to sell the car in another country, which would resolve the mounting difficulties. Unable to find Maggie in her room, Antonio comes to O'Connell's room, and, when Maggie appears disheveled, the men brawl over her. Maggie intervenes to make explanations, then tells Antonio that she must stay with Joe, whom she now knows she loves. Promising to be a proper wife from that moment on, Maggie then happily follows Joe to his room.

Videos

Movie Clip

It Started With A Kiss (1959) - It Gives One Faith In Our Culture A textbook meet-cute (featuring the concept-car Lincoln Futura, which later became the TV Batmobile!), Air Force man Glenn Ford has snuck into the charity ball pursuing the cute blonde showgirl (Debbie Reynolds) borrowing her gown from the night club, openly seeking a husband, Robert Hutton a candidate, in It Started With A Kiss, 1959.
It Started With A Kiss (1959) - I Was Meant For Beautiful Things Out of a dissolve from their first kiss (thus the emphasis on the wedding ring), showgirl Maggie (Debbie Reynolds) and Air Force sergeant Joe (Glenn Ford) are now married, him shipping off to Spain, before he unexpectedly wins the concept-car from the charity auction where they met, in It Started With A Kiss, 1959.
It Started With A Kiss (1959) - I Will Devour Her! Air Force sergeant Joe (Glenn Ford) and wife Maggie (Debbie Reynolds) are minor celebrities in Spain because they drive a futuristic car he won in an auction, so they’re entertained by top bullfighter Antonio (Gustavo Rojo) and Marquesa Marian (Eva Gabor), in It Started With A Kiss, 1959.
It Started With A Kiss (1959) - The Best Kind Of Millionaire Director George Marshall’s opening, a New York night club where sure enough, Debbie Reynolds is the kooky one among the dancer/models, explaining her husband-hunting strategy to her pals (Carmen Phillips, Marion Ross et al), in the somewhat provocative MGM sex-comedy It Started With A Kiss, 1959, co-starring Glenn Ford.

Trailer

Hosted Intro

Film Details

Genre
Comedy
Romance
Release Date
Sep 1959
Premiere Information
New York opening: 19 Aug 1959
Production Company
Arcola Pictures Corp.
Distribution Company
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Corp.
Country
United States
Location
Cadiz,Spain; Madrid,Spain

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m
Sound
Mono (Westrex Recording System)
Color
Color (Metrocolor)
Theatrical Aspect Ratio
2.35 : 1
Film Length
9,319ft (12 reels)

Articles

It Started With a Kiss


By the late 1950s, Hollywood's romantic comedies were getting a little more titillating. Sexual activity had always been slyly implied in films. It still could not be shown, of course, but now the innuendo could be more overt, and the "S" word could actually be spoken on-screen. It Started with a Kiss (1959) is a typical sex comedy of its era that has a "when will they end up in bed?" scenario as its main theme. Glenn Ford and Debbie Reynolds meet cute, kiss quickly, and marry in a hurry. He's in the Air Force, and they take off for his posting in Spain with an expensive new car he's won in a raffle. Practical Debbie worries that theirs is just a physical attraction, and decides to test their love by not having sex with him for a month.

Sex, love, and marriage were very much on the minds of the stars during the making of It Started with a Kiss. Reynolds' supposed "fairytale marriage" to crooner Eddie Fisher had just ended when he dumped her for Elizabeth Taylor. It was one of the great tabloid scandals of the era. Reynolds reluctantly left her two young children to go on location in Spain for the film. But the distance, the work, and her co-stars turned out to be just what she needed to take her mind off her troubles. Glenn Ford's marriage to dancer Eleanor Powell had also ended, and Ford and Reynolds consoled each other. They began dating, and Reynolds says Ford proposed, but she wasn't ready to get involved. Nevertheless, they became and remained good friends.

Reynolds recalls in her memoirs that her costar, sexual free spirit Eva Gabor, took Debbie under her wing and gave her riotous lessons on how to be sexy. Gabor would soon be embroiled in her own romantic scandal. Gabor had become engaged to a New York stockbroker, Richard Brown. Before he got involved with Gabor, Brown had broken off a relationship with a model. Shortly after the film company returned from Spain, the model committed suicide, leaving a note which said she could not go on without Brown. Although Gabor had nothing to do with Brown ending his previous affair, the tabloid headlines called Gabor a "love pirate." Gabor married Brown later that year. They divorced in 1972.

All of this publicity only helped It Started with a Kiss at the box office. Also part of the publicity machine was the promotional tie-in with the car in the film, a $40,000 Lincoln Futura, dubbed "the car of tomorrow." Reynolds and the car made the cover of Life magazine. And it didn't hurt, either, that critics actually liked the film. Variety called It Started with a Kiss "highly amusing," and praised Reynolds' "bright, breezy approach to comedy that puts her just about in a class by herself." Reynolds' and Ford's private lives might have been a shambles, but their careers had never been better. Ford ended 1959 as one of the year's top five box-office stars.

Producer: Aaron Rosenberg
Director: George Marshall
Screenplay: Charles Lederer, based on a story by Valentine Davies
Editor: John McSweeney, Jr.
Cinematography: Robert Bronner
Costume Design: Helen Rose
Art Direction: Hans Peters, Urie McCleary
Music: Jeff Alexander
Principal Cast: Glenn Ford (Sgt. Joe Fitzpatrick), Debbie Reynolds (Maggie), Eva Gabor (Marquesa de la Rey), Gustavo Rojo (Antonio Soriano), Fred Clark (Gen. O'Connell), Edgar Buchanan (Congressman Tappe), Harry Morgan (Charles Meriden), Robert Warwick (Congressman Muir).
C-100m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning.

by Margarita Landazuri
It Started With A Kiss

It Started With a Kiss

By the late 1950s, Hollywood's romantic comedies were getting a little more titillating. Sexual activity had always been slyly implied in films. It still could not be shown, of course, but now the innuendo could be more overt, and the "S" word could actually be spoken on-screen. It Started with a Kiss (1959) is a typical sex comedy of its era that has a "when will they end up in bed?" scenario as its main theme. Glenn Ford and Debbie Reynolds meet cute, kiss quickly, and marry in a hurry. He's in the Air Force, and they take off for his posting in Spain with an expensive new car he's won in a raffle. Practical Debbie worries that theirs is just a physical attraction, and decides to test their love by not having sex with him for a month. Sex, love, and marriage were very much on the minds of the stars during the making of It Started with a Kiss. Reynolds' supposed "fairytale marriage" to crooner Eddie Fisher had just ended when he dumped her for Elizabeth Taylor. It was one of the great tabloid scandals of the era. Reynolds reluctantly left her two young children to go on location in Spain for the film. But the distance, the work, and her co-stars turned out to be just what she needed to take her mind off her troubles. Glenn Ford's marriage to dancer Eleanor Powell had also ended, and Ford and Reynolds consoled each other. They began dating, and Reynolds says Ford proposed, but she wasn't ready to get involved. Nevertheless, they became and remained good friends. Reynolds recalls in her memoirs that her costar, sexual free spirit Eva Gabor, took Debbie under her wing and gave her riotous lessons on how to be sexy. Gabor would soon be embroiled in her own romantic scandal. Gabor had become engaged to a New York stockbroker, Richard Brown. Before he got involved with Gabor, Brown had broken off a relationship with a model. Shortly after the film company returned from Spain, the model committed suicide, leaving a note which said she could not go on without Brown. Although Gabor had nothing to do with Brown ending his previous affair, the tabloid headlines called Gabor a "love pirate." Gabor married Brown later that year. They divorced in 1972. All of this publicity only helped It Started with a Kiss at the box office. Also part of the publicity machine was the promotional tie-in with the car in the film, a $40,000 Lincoln Futura, dubbed "the car of tomorrow." Reynolds and the car made the cover of Life magazine. And it didn't hurt, either, that critics actually liked the film. Variety called It Started with a Kiss "highly amusing," and praised Reynolds' "bright, breezy approach to comedy that puts her just about in a class by herself." Reynolds' and Ford's private lives might have been a shambles, but their careers had never been better. Ford ended 1959 as one of the year's top five box-office stars. Producer: Aaron Rosenberg Director: George Marshall Screenplay: Charles Lederer, based on a story by Valentine Davies Editor: John McSweeney, Jr. Cinematography: Robert Bronner Costume Design: Helen Rose Art Direction: Hans Peters, Urie McCleary Music: Jeff Alexander Principal Cast: Glenn Ford (Sgt. Joe Fitzpatrick), Debbie Reynolds (Maggie), Eva Gabor (Marquesa de la Rey), Gustavo Rojo (Antonio Soriano), Fred Clark (Gen. O'Connell), Edgar Buchanan (Congressman Tappe), Harry Morgan (Charles Meriden), Robert Warwick (Congressman Muir). C-100m. Letterboxed. Closed captioning. by Margarita Landazuri

Quotes

Trivia

The car Glenn Ford wins is a 1955 Lincoln Futura, the one-off concept car that ultimately became the Batmobile on the "Batman" (1966) TV series.

Notes

A June 1957 New York Times news item noted that It Started with a Kiss was the first property producer Aaron Rosenberg purchased under his new M-G-M contract. The same item indicated that storywriter Valentine Davies would write the screenplay. A March 1958 Hollywood Reporter news item stated that at that time Davies was to direct the film in addition to writing it. A scene in the movie recreated a well-known sequence from the 1938 RKO Pictures production of Bringing Up Baby, when "Joe" must walk in-step tightly behind "Maggie" in order to hide her torn dress. The Variety review of the film noted that the car used in the film was the Lincoln Futura, and described it as a "Buck Rogers-ish automobile." The film was partially shot on location in Madrid and Cadiz, Spain.

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States 1959

CinemaScope

Released in United States 1959