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A KISS IS JUST A KISS; We pay lip service to passion on the national day to celebrate puckering up.

Byline: LISA ADAMS

THEY say a kiss is just a kiss, but there's so much more to it than that. To celebrate National Kissing Day, we've put together our own collection of pucker perfection.

Some are sizzling, some slushy, some comforting and others simply say "I love you". They can be divine, daring or even make you blush.

But they all tell their own very special story.

Classic movies of days gone by contained more than their fair share of memorable kisses.

Who could forget that steamy clinch between Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr as they rolled around in the waves in From Here To Eternity? These days their romp would be considered quite tame, but at the time of the film's 1953 release, it pushed boundaries and outraged some cinema goers.

Much safer was the smooch between Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman in Casablanca. Reunited after years apart, they renewed their passion with a long and lingering smooch.

And let's not overlook the passionate embrace between Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh in Gone With The Wind. When Rhett finally seizes Scarlett after hours of simmering tension the audience breathed a collective sigh of relief.

It's no wonder their kiss was immortalised on one of the most famous movie posters in the world.

New movies, too, are far from short of steamy clinches.

Leonardo DiCaprio's smooch with Kate Winslet on the prow of the Titanic has to be one of the most famous scenes in modern film.

And this summer's blockbuster, Spider-Man, includes one of the most bizarre screen kisses ever. Gorgeous Kirsten Dunst snogs Tobey McGuire as he hangs upside down from a building dressed in full spider regalia. It may help seal their love, but you are left wondering how Kirsten ever managed to work out where Tobey's nose was.

Sparks can fly when kisses are a sign of forbidden love, too.

The UK's first lesbian screen kiss between Anna Friel and Nicola Stapleton in Brookside in 1994 got everyone talking.

And blonde stunner Sarah Michelle Gellar's clinch with Selma Blair in the movie Cruel Intentions went down so well it was even voted sexiest kiss of the year at the glitzy MTV movie awards.

The current source of TV intrigue, of course, is Big Brother - and this year's housemates have played plenty of tonsil hockey.

During a boisterous game of spin the bottle, model Alex received smackers from Kate and Adele. By the end of that evening even Adele and Jade had shared a kiss.

In real life, a kiss has the power to say a thousand words.

WHEN the Scots-based marines returned home from Afghanistan this week, their wives and girlfriends struggled not to cry as their men arrived at Prestwick Airport.

The passionate kiss shared between Simon and Leanne Shanks said so much more than "I missed you".

Kisses can comfort, too. When David Beckham returned from Japan after crashing out of the World Cup, he said the only thing which cheered him up was a kiss from son Brooklyn.

Kisses can also make history. Who could forget that kiss between Prince Charles and Princess Diana as they stood on the balcony of Buckingham Palace after their wedding ceremony in 1981? It was an entirely different scene years later when Charles and Camilla shared a public kiss for the first time. It served as an important sign that people were finally accepting the prince's new woman.

Some kisses, of course, have a secret meaning which only lovers understand. Marilyn Monroe blowing a 45th birthday kiss at President Kennedy would have had the potential to send shockwaves around Amercia if guests had twigged that the pair were having an affair.

Scientists reckon kissing is good for us, with each smacker burning off around 26 calories. It raises your blood pressure and nourishes the body with extra oxygen. But it's unlikely that boffins will ever get to the bottom of why two pairs of lips meeting means so much.

And maybe that's exactly why a kiss is so magical.
COPYRIGHT 2002 Scottish Daily Record & Sunday
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 6, 2002
Words:672
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