In the early seventies, producer Yves Rousset Rouard bought the rights of a best seller by Emmanuelle Arsan: Emmanuelle and recruited a young 'boudoir' photographer, Just Jaeckin to direct (He also directed Story of O).

Cast as Emmanuelle was an unknown dutch model, Sylvia Krystel. Emmanuelle is the story of a young wife who joins her husband in Bangkok, Thailand and discovers a frivolous and perverted society, made of jobless, trekking europeans and middle-aged men in search of new and exciting experiences.

It was reviewed in April 1974 by the French cinema commission which initially refused it a license, unless cuts were made. However the death of Georges Pompidou and the succession by a more liberal Valery Giscard D'Estaing government helped the movie make it to the screens.

Released June 1st 1974 in 18 theaters for a total of 8,000 seats it sold 15,100 tickets just in metropolitan Paris. By the end of the first week it had scored second at the box office with 126,530 tickets.

The original movie unleashed a whole genre of Emmanuelle-themed movies and knock-offs which still appear occasionally on late night cable TV...

Official series:

  • Emmanuelle (1974)
  • Emmanuelle 2, L'anti-vierge (1975)
  • Goodbye, Emmanuelle (1977)
  • Emmanuelle 4 (1984) filmed in 3D!

Laura Gemser, who had a small role in Emmanuelle 2 as a masseuse, spawned off her own series, Black Emmanuelle produced in Italy.

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