Russell Birdwell the great movie PR man was reportedly responsible for some of the most influential cultural engineering of his time. Texas-born Birdwell was a newspaper reporter working the Hollywood beat before breaking into show business around 1925. He was a mighty myth maker and it was he who developed the story about the longest kiss in screen history, way back in 1941 between Regis Toomey and Jane Wyman in “You’re in the Army”.
However, I have received an email today from a gentleman called Zeke Nathaniel who is an expert on early Hollywood movies who claims that a good 15 years earlier, Harry Reichenbach was engineering similar movie publicity. Nathaniel wrote to me that the record noted in 1926, for kisses in a film, set at 191 by John Barrymore in “Don Juan” was solely instigated by Harry Reichenbach.
Likewise, Reichenbach was responsible for the publicity surrounding Clara Bow and Robert Savage, (a Yale football star) where Savage was reported to have said that Clara Bow kissed him so hard his lips bled for days.