The wife of a French diplomat in Bangkok, Emmanuelle embarks on a voyage of sexual discovery.

Director:

Just Jaeckin
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4,397 ( 258)

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Alain Cuny ... Mario
Sylvia Kristel ... Emmanuelle
Marika Green Marika Green ... Bee
Daniel Sarky Daniel Sarky ... Jean
Jeanne Colletin Jeanne Colletin ... Ariane
Christine Boisson ... Marie-Ange
Samantha Samantha
Gabriel Briand Gabriel Briand ... Le deuxième homme dans l'avion (as Gaby Brian)
Gregory Gregory
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Storyline

Emmanuelle is a beautiful young model and lives in Bangkok together with her husband Jean, who's several years older. She likes him because he's taught her much, and he likes her because she's learning so well - and wants to often. Both are very tolerant in matters of extramarital affairs, so he doesn't mind the young Marie-Ange coming over every so often, although she obviously wants more than talk from his wife. But Emmanuelle is more fascinated by the older Bee, and joins her on a trip into the jungle. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The novel was banned by the President of France in 1963. It was published illegally and sold over a million copies in 17 languages. The novel was the basis of our movie. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Unrated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Members of the crew appear as extras in this film. See more »

Goofs

(at around 1 min) When Emmanuelle is on the plane, she closes the blind fully and curls up. A fellow passenger sits down and embraces her. In addition to the high spotlight on her cleavage, there's a bright light coming from the direction of said covered window. See more »

Quotes

Emmanuelle: I wonder if I've been dreaming for quite some now.
Mario: It's because we're abroad. As exiles, we're reduced to futile pastimes. Napoleon passed the time on St Helena counting his spoons. One mustn't become resigned at any price. Here in Bangkok if you say that, everyone will agree. But if you talk of sex, then you will have sinned against our ancestral taboos. l'm a collector. It's a very respected occupation, collecting. I collect situations.
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Alternate Versions

The only "altering" of the sex scenes is the consequence of the fact that the framings, even in the letterboxed versions, do not match that of the original theatrical presentation. Version 2 disappeared quite quickly (other than copies remaining on the shelves of rental outlets), with the film's audience apparently assuming that the "R" rating meant that "the best parts" had been cut out. Actually, the dropping of the subtitles and the addition of the new dialogue track meant that it was a "different" movie and could be resubmitted to the MPAA for rating. Standards had changed in the more than fifteen years that had passed since the film had originally been given the "X", resulting in the "R." The "unrated" follow-up, hurried into release, faded away by the mid-90s, and versions 4 and 5 are the only ones currently in print. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Red Oaks: The Wedding (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Emmanuelle
Music by Pierre Bachelet and Hervé Roy, Lyrics by Ken Howard and Alan Blaikley
Sung by Pierre Bachelet
English Version
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User Reviews

 
Soft Focus Existentialism-Lite
25 June 2004 | by JamesHitchcockSee all my reviews

This was the first in a series of erotic films which were made possible by the increasingly liberal moral climate of the seventies and eighties and which enjoyed a success de scandale. The main character, Emmanuelle herself, is the attractive young wife of Jean, an older French diplomat in Bangkok, and the film chronicles her various sexual escapades. There is not, in fact, any real plot. Emmanuelle is seen having sex with her husband, with other men and, even more, with other women; lesbianism is, along with swimming, squash and cocktail parties, one of the main diversions of the bored ladies of Bangkok's French expatriate community.

Although this was one of the first productions of the mainstream cinema to deal with erotic subject-matter frankly, it is not particularly explicit. Much of the sexual action is implied, and what is shown directly is often shot from a distance. The eroticism of the film is softened by the way it is photographed. Outdoor scenes are shot in a blurry soft focus against a background of brilliant sunshine; indoor ones, by contrast, are generally dark or dimly lit. The leading actress, Sylvia Kristel, with her slim, boyish figure and the gentle beauty of her features, seems perfectly at home in this soft, unreal-seeming atmosphere. Nevertheless, there are still scenes that seem shocking even thirty years on. One of Emmanuelle's lovers, Marie-Ange, is a teenage girl only dubiously of the age of consent, something that seems to have caused less consternation in the seventies than it would do today. (The actress who played her was in fact eighteen, but the intention seems to have been to make the pigtailed, lollipop-sucking Marie-Ange a bisexual Lolita figure). Emmanuelle's Thai houseboy, aroused by the sight of her and her husband making love, pursues and has sex with one of the housemaids. It is never made clear whether or not this is an act of rape; the boundary between consensual and non-consensual sex is blurred in a manner which I found distasteful.

Like certain other Continental erotic films of this period, the 'Emmanuelle' series is marked by a certain pseudo-intellectual pretentiousness. This is particularly apparent in the second half of this film when the heroine, after being jilted by one of her lesbian lovers (the oddly named Bee), takes up with the elderly Mario, a man who, despite his grey hair and advancing years, fancies himself both as a lover and as a thinker. The rest of the film is frequently punctuated by Mario's thoughts on the meaning of life, carefully enunciated in a deep, gravelly voice, somewhere between an Old Testament prophet and an Orson Welles sherry commercial, which gives them the air of oracular pronouncements. Sex, in Mario's philosophy, ceases to be a taboo and becomes a duty. One owes it to oneself, and indeed to the world in general, to experience physical pleasure in as many ways as possible, with as many partners as possible, and to liberate oneself from all ways of thinking that might hinder one from this aim. The consequence of not doing so is that one will fail in one's solemn and sacred duty to Live Life To The Full.

It is this sort of Existentialism-Lite, Sartre meets Hugh Hefner, that makes the film seem so dated today, far more than do trivial period details such as Jean's sideburns or the garish lime-green paintwork of his sports car. This sort of cod-philosophy became one of the first casualties of the AIDS epidemic. If we watch 'Emmanuelle' today, it is not as an erotic experience, despite the undoubted charm of its heroine, and certainly not as an intellectual one, but as a slight, inadvertently amusing period piece. 4/10


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Details

Country:

France

Language:

French

Release Date:

3 December 1974 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Emmanuelle See more »

Filming Locations:

Bangkok, Thailand See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (R-rated) | (cut) | (DVD)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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