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160 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

The most successful erotic classic of the 20th century worldwide

Detailed Synopsis
In Bangkok, Emmanuelle (Sylvia Kristel), the young wife of a French diplomat, enters the world of sensuality and sexual passion. Guided by the mature Mario (Alain Cuny), and with the complicity of her husband (Daniel Sarky), she discovers the delights of eroticism and lets herself slide into pleasure. Based on the controversial book by Emmanuelle Arsan, EMMANUELLE remains a ground-breaking picture: the first openly erotic film meant for the general public. The movie's evocative cinematography which captures the beauty of Thailand and uses it very effectively to support other erotic images, helped this film cause something of a cinematic revolution.

Spawning a string of sequels and spinoffs, this frisky item brought erotica into the art house--and out of the porno palace. Jean (Daniel Sarky), who enjoys a healthy sex life with Emmanuelle (Dutch-born Sylvia Kristel speaking phonetically), tells a fellow diplomat, "I'm not jealous. Jealousy is outdated," but his wife feels otherwise when she finds out he's been seeing other women. On joining him in Bangkok, where Thai servants attend to their every need, she falls in with a group of French exiles, including the predatory Ariane and lollipop-sucking Marie-Ange, who share her exhibitionist tendencies and encourage her to make up for lost time, so she pursues the statuesque Bee (Marika Green), giving fashion photographer-turned-filmmaker Just Jaeckin (Story of O) an excuse to film any number of naked lovelies. Afterward, Ariane refers her to an old windbag named Mario (8 1/2's Alain Cuny) to "break down her barriers," a highfalutin way of saying that he likes to peep, pontificate, and put his pupils in jeopardy--this so-called poet is a real piece of work. Though Jaeckin's soft-focus artifact aims to portray a woman taking charge of her sexuality, his heroine's actions suggest otherwise: she has no skills beyond lovemaking and her intellectual capacity is that of a child. Nonetheless, Emmanuelle has earned a place in history as Columbia's first X-rated feature and continues to exert a certain queasy allure. This classy-looking package includes dishy featurettes on the production and the US marketing campaign. --Kathleen C. Fennessy

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: Sylvia Kristel, Alain Cuny, Marika Green, Daniel Sarky, Jeanne Colletin
  • Directors: Just Jaeckin
  • Writers: Jean-Louis Richard
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: October 9, 2007
  • Run Time: 94 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (160 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #14,359 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

254 of 265 people found the following review helpful By John Lawson on January 12, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
It is amazing that over a quarter of a century since its original release that Emmanuelle remains in the top three best selling French films on video. But is it so remarkable? Here we have a piece of pure eroticism which has scarcely been matched in all those years. Emmanuelle is not about explicit sexual action - those that buy it will be disappointed if that is what they expect, with the exception of the notorious nightclub smoking scene which I feel sure director Just Jaeckin must now regret including. If it is possible to feel outraged by anything when watching a movie about sex, then this scene provokes that reaction. No, this is a mainstream movie which has the power to move both men and women viewers - not least because of a towering central performance by the gloriously sexy Ms Kristel. She is never self-conscious about her body nor at the same time ever flaunts it. Her nudity is completely natural and her joy in her exploration of her sexuality totally convincing.
This is because Kristel - and a high-profile supporting cast - are all extremely capable actors, and are very well directed by Jaeckin. I guess one should not take the overall premise of totally liberated sexual experimentation too seriously, but you completely believe in the characters and want them to come out of the other side unscathed. I first saw this movie as an 18-year-old on its original release, saw it again with its original French dialogue in Paris several years later and have watched it countless times on video and TV since. Yet it still retains the same erotic charge as it did all those years ago. How Kristel managed to completely fail to live up to it in her subsequent films is completely beyond me. The rest of her Emmanuelle series are unsexy and even seedy by comparison and her ventures into American films offered her nothing of any substance. I believe Hollywood missed a glorious opportunity to create an top international star.
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66 of 73 people found the following review helpful By Steve Vander on April 29, 2005
Format: DVD
An Adult, not rated, film

This is the first film in a trilogy (there are actually some other films that followed, just like Asimov's Foundation "Trilogy" ended up being more than three books) that stars Sylvia Kristel as Emmanuelle and spawned a large number of copy-cats (most of which go by the name Emanuelle). This particular film is based on Emmanuelle Arsan's 1957 book "Emmanuelle." This film also stars Alain Cuny, and Marika Green and co-starred Daniel Sarky, Jeannie Colletin, and Christine Boisson. The film's director, Just Jacekin, also directed "The Story of O."

This is a film about a couple in an open marriage living in Bangkok, the husband is a diplomat. The film opens with Emmanuelle in Paris getting ready to head off to join her husband in Bangkok for the first time. Once she arrives, she is introduced to the Bangkok culture and the Europeans living there (and their loose ways).
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55 of 60 people found the following review helpful By on March 18, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
What stands out first and foremost in this '70s sexsploitation flick is the natural beauty of all the female leads, particularly Sylvia Krystal. Although hardcore porn fans may not find the scenes revealing enough, I feel there is a lot to be said about leaving something to the imagination. I would recommend skipping through the rape scenes which seem oddly out of place. This movie can by no means be taken seriously, but if you enjoy unaugmented women who are relatively competent actresses, you'll love the sexual aristeia of Emmanuelle.
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42 of 46 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 12, 2003
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is older softcore, and doesn't show as much as some of what is out today. Also, it attempts to have a storyline, so the sex scenes are spread out more than some of the modern softcore. However, this movie is very hot. Three or four of the action scenes really worked for me, while the remaining scenes ranged from pretty good to weak.

The storyline itself is weak, in my opinion, as it revolves around people who are trying to out-do each other when it comes to having sex. The philosophical mumbo-jumbo the film spouts is rubbish, and is used to justify the betrayal/rape that occurs about 3/4ths of the way through the movie.

My favorite scene is a scene near the start, where Sylvia and a young lady visitor are sitting on a porch, and the visitor unzips her shorts, sticks her hand down, and brings herself off. She never takes her shorts off, so your view of the action is not as good as it would be in one of today's films, but the scene was still very hot, with Sylvia looking a bit shocked as she watched the young almost-stranger going at it.

This is the sort of "emotional overtone" that gives it more erotic energy, and is what makes this movie better than most softcore films that have wall-to-wall action scenes, full nudity, etc., but no energy, excitement, or emotion.

I give the film only 4 stars because of the two "forced/rape" scenes. To be honest, I do like scenes where the girl starts off saying "no" but winds up saying, or means, "yes." My problem with the scenes from Emmanuelle (especially the "main" one) is that the girl was still saying "no" at the end, and appeared to really mean "no"--although the storyline indicates otherwise. I found that to be a real turn-off.
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