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Black Emanuelle (1975)
"Emanuelle nera" (original title)

X  |   |  Drama  |  October 1976 (USA)
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In her first onscreen adventure, journalist/photographer Mae Jordan (known to her readers as "Emanuelle") travels to Africa on assignment. Questions of her own racial and sexual identity ... See full summary »


(as Albert Thomas)
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Complete credited cast:
Laura Gemser ...
Mae Jordan / Emanuelle
Karin Schubert ...
Ann Danieli
Angelo Infanti ...
Gianni Danieli
Isabelle Marchall ...
Gloria Clifton
Gabriele Tinti ...
Richard Clifton
Don Powell ...
Professor Kamau
Venantino Venantini ...
William Meredith


In her first onscreen adventure, journalist/photographer Mae Jordan (known to her readers as "Emanuelle") travels to Africa on assignment. Questions of her own racial and sexual identity come to a head as she observes the troubled marriage of her hosts, Ann and Gianni Danieli. Matters are complicated further when Emanuelle finds herself in affairs with both of them, after which she flees Africa, only to be persued by Gianni, who had earlier rejected her and ridiculed her advances. Written by Jonathan Ruskin <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


No one is ever the same after Black Emanuelle. See more »




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Release Date:

October 1976 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Emanuelle's Holiday  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


On original advertising art as well as on original prints of the film, Laura Gemser is credited simply as "Emanuelle," rather than by her own name. See more »


There are obvious body doubles during the hardcore scenes. See more »


Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Caligula: Part II (2010) See more »


Black Emanuelle
Written by Nico Fidenco
Performed by The Bulldogs
See more »

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User Reviews

Once You Go Black...
16 July 2004 | by (Brugge, Belgium) – See all my reviews

The first of the Italian rip-offs of the French soft porn blockbuster (though it might be interesting to note that the boot-shaped country actually got their first with Cesare Canevari's 1968 IO, EMMANUELLE starring Erika Blanc) is a very different kettle of fish than the sleazy sequels provided by the late, questionably great Joe D'Amato. It is much closer in spirit to the now very dated Just Jaeckin film from 1973, taking a pokerfaced look at male/female relationships, questioning such then hot topics as fidelity and jealousy, all in luxurious exotic surroundings. Unlike D'Amato, director Albert Thomas (aka Adalberto Albertini, who also made the hard to find YELLOW EMANUELLE, actually a sexed-up version of MADAME BUTTERFLY !) does not present us with predatory drug lords, snuff movie makers or rampaging cannibals, making for an admittedly less sensational yet far more erotic viewing experience.

Photo journalist Mae Jordan aka 'Emanuelle' (lovely Java-born Laura Gemser in her first lead role following bit parts as a Thai masseuse in EMMANUELLE 2 and an 'unspoilt native' in Just Jaeckin's portion of the rarely seen COLLECTIONS PRIVEES) flies down to Nairobi where she's to shoot the stills accompanying an article by noted British writer Anne, played by the very Teutonic Karin Schubert with a butch haircut that takes some getting used to. Anne shares an 'open relationship' (remember when this was made) with her Italian husband Gianni (Angelo Infanti), meaning that both pretty much jump anything with a pulse. Contrary to her subsequent reputation, Emanuelle appears positively reticent compared to her heavy breathing hosts, smoldering seductively at Gianni by way of foreplay until the exquisitely tantalizing pay-off. Okay, so she does make up for this lack of wantonness at the end when she does an entire male hockey team on the train. I kid you not.

Production on this sexploitation classic is quite impressive, especially the superb cinematography. And Nico Fidenco's musical theme is a solid favorite of anyone with more than a passing interest in the genre, a hilarious Eurotrash pop ditty (try to make out those totally nonsensical lyrics and have a full evening's worth of fun with the family !) that turns up throughout the entire film in every conceivable type of rendition from slow 'n' sexy to hip-gyrating disco.

This is entirely Laura Gemser's show though. Billed simply as 'Emanuelle' (as was another actress on the same director's elusive EMANUELLE NERA 2), she lights up the screen from start to finish. Not yet submitted to endless rape scenarios (as she would be once D'Amato took over), she seems much more relaxed than in later films, even smiling from time to time, a rare occasion as anyone who has seen some of the lady's work surely knows. A flawless Eurasian rather than as the title suggests black beauty (she hails from Dutch India now Indonesia and is actually quite close in physical appearance to the supposed author of the novel Emmanuelle Arsan), she projects a slightly passive, even submissive sensuality which somehow detaches her from the 'depravity' her morally corrupted cohorts indulge in. Unlike the French film, cheapskate moralizing is kept to a bare minimum, almost thrown in as an afterthought near film's end when Emanuelle tells Gianni that he hasn't lost her as he never possessed her to begin with. I swear you could hear audiences of the Just Jaeckin version groan whenever Alain Cuny's supremely irritating Mario showed up on screen as it meant we were in for too many minutes of halfbacks libertine philosophizing as an alibi for getting the divine Sylvia Kristel (now living in the Belgian capital of Brussels by the way...) to disrobe, the real reasons theaters were packed for years on end. Gemser's later husband, Gabriele Tinti (now deceased, she has remarried), appears on the sidelines as the constantly drunk 'Scottish' (huh ?) writer who forces himself briefly on Emanuelle amid the African ruins at some point, but no real sex scene though.

14 of 14 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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