From The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia
Emmanuelle is a 1974 French softcore erotic movie directed by Just Jaeckin, and starring by Sylvia Kristel. The screenplay was written by Jean-Louis Richard, based on novel Emmanuelle: The Joys of a Woman by Emmanuelle Arsan. The music score is by Pierre Bachelet. It remains one of the most successful French cinema ever produced.
- Alain Cuny as Mario
- Sylvia Kristel as Emmanuelle
- Marika Green as Bee
- Daniel Sarky as Jean
- Jeanne Colletin as Ariane
- Christine Boisson as Marie-Ange
Emmanuelle, the wife of the French Ambassador to Thailand, flies to Bangkok to meet her husband Jean, who asks her if she had any other lovers while she was in Paris, to which Emmanuelle replies she has not.
In Bangkok, Emmanuelle finds herself bored and somewhat disgusted with the worldliness of her fellow French expatriots, until one day at a pool when she spies Bee, a Frenchwoman whom she is informed, is outside of most of the expatriot circles. After taking a nude swim, she is approached by a pretty young girl named Marie-Ange, who asks to meet Emmanuelle at her house. Intrigued, Emmanuelle agrees.
Marie-Ange arrives at the house and finds Emmanuelle sleeping, and takes advantage of the situtation to feel the older woman's body. Emmanuelle wakes up and they go outside to the porch. Marie-Ange asks Emmanuelle if she has any photos of herself and Jean having sex, to which an incredulous Emmanuelle replies no. Marie-Ange takes a French magazine and begins to masturbate in front of Emmanuelle, who watches her in fascination. Emmanuelle confesses to Marie-Ange that while she did not cheat on her husband in Paris, she did have sex with two strangers on the flight over to Bangkok. Emmanuelle begins to pleasure herself for Marie-Ange as she recounts this.
That night, Emmanuelle tells Jean about Marie-Ange, expressing her amazement at the younger girl's seemingly complete lack of shame, and Jean encourages her to pursue the friendship further. During a squash match the next day, Emmanuelle's friend Ariane comments on her being damp from sweat, and begins to feel her up.
At a party soon afterwards, Marie-Ange introduces Emmanuelle to one of her older lovers, a gentleman named Mario, who tells her that he will send a car for her the next night, but Emmanuelle is unimpressed. She spies Bee and strikes up a conversation, wishing to meet with Bee in more private quarters. Bee, an archaeologist, tells Emmanuelle that she is leaving the next day for a dig, but tells her to meet her at the klongs.
When they meet up at the klongs, Emmanuelle follows Bee around, but Bee is disinterested in playing with Emmanuelle. However, when she prepares to leave for the dig site, Emmanuelle hitches a ride.
Back at the house, Jean is angered that Emmanuelle has left without telling him anything. Suspecting that Ariane is behind it, he goes and demands answers from her, but Ariane tells him that all she has to offer is consolation sex. An enraged Jean takes her on a table.
At the dig site, Emmanuelle and Bee make love, but Bee thinks Emmanuelle is too immature and submissive, and so Emmanuelle returns home in tears, feeling humiliated. Jean tries to comfort her, advising her that the best way to get back at Bee is to take another lover.
At the squash courts the following day, Emmanuelle and Ariane argue. Ariane is jealous that Emmanuelle ran off with Bee, as she herself had hoped to be Emmanuelle's first female lover, while Emmanuelle is displeased at Ariane for having sex with Jean. Ariane protests that it was more like rape than consensual sex, then advises Emmanuelle to meet with Mario, telling her that at his age, making love becomes so difficult that any man capable of it must be an artist.
Later, Emmanuelle consults with Jean, who has decided to encourage the relationship between her and Mario by leaving her with him for two days. She expresses a desire to take Marie-Ange as her new lover instead, but Jean informs her that Marie-Ange has gone off on a trip with her parents, a fact that he knows because he slept with her, and so Emmanuelle resigns herself to a meeting with Mario.
At their first dinner together, Mario explains his philosophy on sex to Emmanuelle, telling her that he believes that monogamy will soon die out. He tells her that she must learn to let lust, rather than guilt or reason, guide her when it comes to sex. This, he says, will lead her to greater levels of pleasure than she ever imagined possible. To begin instilling this lesson in her, he takes her to an opium den, where she is raped by one of the denizens while he watches.
Later, Mario takes Emmanuelle to a makeshift boxing ring, where he talks two young men into fighting each other for the right to have sex with her. At Mario's insistence, Emmanuelle chooses one of the men as her favorite, then watches as they fight. Her chosen champion prevails, and she is so aroused by his willingness to fight for her that she licks the blood from a wound on his forehead and then allows him to take her from behind. She soon climaxes and drops to the floor with exhaustion.
Sometime later, Emmanuelle is awakened by Mario, who takes her into another room. She is told to undress, so that she can change into a dress with a zipper down the back, allowing Mario to strip her naked in an instant. This, she understands, is in preparation for her next sexual encounter. Emmanuelle protests that she is tired, and asks Mario if he will ever have sex with her, to which Mario replies that he is waiting for the "next Emmanuelle" (presumably meaning that he will not have sex with her until he's decided that her training is complete.) As the movie ends, Emmanuelle sits at a mirror and begins applying makeup, hoping that by following Mario's instructions, she will reach the higher levels of pleasure that he has promised.
- Emmanuelle 2 (1975)
- Goodbye Emmanuelle (1977)
- Emmanuelle 4 (1984)
- Emmanuelle 5 (1986)
- Emmanuelle 6 (1988)
- Emmanuelle 7 (1992)
- Emmanuelle's Secret (1992)
- Emmanuelle's Revenge (1992)
- Emmanuelle's Perfume (1992)
- Emmanuelle's Magic (1992)
- Emmanuelle's Love (1993)
- Emmanuelle in Venice (1993)
- Emmanuelle Forever (1993)
- Emmanuelle in Space (1994)