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Controversial soft-core, cult French film starring Sylvia Kristel. Beautiful newlywed Emmanuelle (Kristel) tires of life in Thailand with her ambassador husband and embarks on a series of sexual adventures. Keen to learn the intricacies of sexual desire, she places herself under the tutelage of the elderly Mario (Alain Cuny) and starts off down a path which leads her to new heights of physical ecstasy.
When Emmanuelle was released in 1974 it caused uproar in France. President Pompidou tried to ban it, effectively catapulting it into the year's "must see" category of films and into history as the point at which soft-core pornography dallied with the mainstream and conceived a new kind of arty erotic cinema with equal appeal to both sexes. As a result it acquired the patina of a classic of its kind and spawned a whole series of sequels. Based on Emmanuelle Arsan's erotic novel and dubbed "the longest caress in French cinema", it tells the slight tale of a young expatriate woman in Thailand, encouraged by her husband--and practically everyone she meets--to explore her sexuality through free love and the pursuit of fantasy. It also launched the career of Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel in the iconic title role. Never mind that the original character was Eurasian. Kristel's European good looks and lissom figure earned her a unique kind of big screen immortality.
It's dreamily filmed by director Just Jaeckin and director of photography Richard Suzuki, with lots of simulated, soft-focus sex, much of it between Emmanuelle and her female conquests. Only an unpleasant rape scene in which she is the prize in a Thai boxing match, acknowledges that sexual fantasy has its dark side. The picture survives as a period piece from a more innocent time: the men, with their dated moustaches and tight pants, lack only medallions, and there's some deathless dialogue: "You like it [masturbation], don't you?" "Well yes, but I haven't had breakfast..." Even so, parts of Emmanuelle, made in the pre-AIDS era, have an almost quaint charm. True, the languorous escapades of the jetsetters are juxtaposed with rough images of the Thai sex trade, revealing among other things exciting new ways to smoke a cigarette. But Kristel's insouciance is often hypnotic.
On the DVD: Presented in 16:9 widescreen format, this release effectively replicates the original cinema viewing experience, down to the dreadful dubbed dialogue. Whichever language you watch it in, the actors' lips move in a world of their own and the Dolby Digital soundtrack only emphasises the muffled quality. Only Pierre Bachelet's "plinky-plonky" theme comes across with any clarity. Extras are limited to the original theatrical trailer.--Piers Ford --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The films flimsy plot-when does any porn film soft-core or otherwise have anything but mind-see's Emmanuelle (Sylvia Kristel) leave Paris to visit her diplomat husband in Bangkok , where she mixes with her husbands more sexually adventurous and liberated friends .Her husband encourages her to have extra-marital affairs and she starts by starting a lesbian relationship with archaeologist Bee(Marika Green)When this fizzles out she is placed under the tutelage of sex guru Mario( Alain Cuny) who explains to her how to explore her erotic desires.
That's about it really .Directed by Just Jaeckin , who also directed "The Story Of O" the movie features some truly eye catching cinematography using the exotic Thai locations and the performance of the striking natural beauty Kristel is surpringly good. This is the un-cut version so some of the films more contentious scenes, which have been victim to the censor before have been restored.Read more ›
but for all fans of an erotique nature this film does not disappoint. The film centres around the sexual exploits
of Emmanuelle and the story behind it about self discovery of the main character is simply fascinating and endearing.
It is well worth the watch.
This film caused quite a stir when it was released back in 1974. It's pretty tame by today's standards. It's sort of a cult classic for breaking many taboos, such as lesbianism, threesomes, and fairly rough sex. It usually gets favorable reviews due to being so-called groundbreaking, but if you examine it with a critical eye, it is fairly obvious this is a poor film. The story is anemic, with every scene just a set-up to show another sexual act.
Sylvia Kristel became an international star as a result of this French screen adaptation of Emmanuelle Argan's controversial book. DVD version makes another reason the lovers of Emmanuelle to see it again. It is probably the best soft porno movie I ever saw. For beginners, it is like a manual for erotism.
So unfortunately I'm not referring to the film as a whole but only the single scene and its short coda which occurs near the beginning of the film when Emmanuelle couples with two strangers, one after the other, while on a plane on her way to her husband in Bankok. It is really the first of these couplings which is interesting but the other one supplies a fitting supplement rounding it off like a piece of music.
Both scenes are perfectly done. The lighting and sound of the plane engines create a perfect realistic atmosphere and the acting is very convincing. Despite its context in a commercial soft-porn film this scene has all the qualities of an arthouse film and stays in the mind when almost everything else about the film is forgotten.
The action takes place in the passenger seats while the other people on the plane are sleeping, except for the second man who is watching from a seat further back. The secretiveness and furtiveness of what they are doing is an essential part of it's eroticism
There is partial nudity only but the concealment only makes the erotic charge greater while the participants realistically grapple with the tricky logistics of this sort of encounter. It's also rare for the 'vocal' soundtrack to be this convincing in scenes of this sort but it's of equal importance in creating the effect of realism.Read more ›
Her husband, meanwhile, is extolling her virtues as a lover to his best friend, explaining she was a virgin when he met her ... but look what she's learned since. His work takes him to Thailand, Emmanuelle follows. There, life is cheap, sex is free, and Emmanuelle soon meets up with a coterie of equally bored, equally desirable women who introduce her to a broad menu of sex, from masturbating in a hanging chair to being corrupted by an ancient lothario.
"Emmanuelle" has all the classic elements of erotica - voyeurism, sex with a stranger, sex on a plane, women on women, use of force, the notion of sexual innocence being liberated, the predatory older woman, the predatory older man.
There is a lot of nudity ... but tastefully done. The sex is soft-porn - it is very erotic, very amusing, very soft-focus, at times quite beautifully done ... despite the dated feel of the soundtrack. "Emmanuelle" presents sex as poetry, as adventure. It embodies a libertarian philosophy - only love can heal the world ... so let's have sex. It offers a valuable health lesson - a truly healthy human being is one enjoying frequent orgasms!
A film to be enjoyed on your own ... or with a partner ... or two. And nobody, but nobody, ever looked better in a baseball cap than Sylvia Kristel.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Maybe I didn't see the details but the DVD is in French and that would be fine if there were subtitles but there aren't any.Published 9 hours ago by Rod MacPhail
A twenty three year old virgin, when Emmanuel came to the screen, it was curiosity that led me to the cinema. I was overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the thing.Published 1 month ago by Colinski
It's been quiet a few years that I have seen this movie but I say that could watchPublished 1 month ago by James Doull
Not as i remembered it from 1975. Boring really. Not worth paying for.Published 7 months ago by Carpcoarse