History of Sex in Cinema:
The Greatest and Most Influential
Sexual Films and Scenes


Feature: The Emmanuelle Films

The History of Sex in Cinema

The Emmanuelle Films:

Fashion photographer Just Jaeckin was responsible for inaugurating an endless series of soft-core, artistically-filmed, discreetly-photographed erotic cinema with an emphasis on "free love" and sex as a means of pretentious self-discovery. The films were designed to appeal to audiences of both sexes. The non-hardcore but sex-filled series of films were designed to play in mainstream theatres where hardcore films had now been banned, and soon became a franchise with its initial trilogy of films.

The series, based on Emmanuelle Arsan's (actually real-name Maryat Rollet-Andriane) notorious novel of the same name, began with the sexually-adventurous and globe-trotting Emmanuelle (dark-haired Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel, until she was replaced a decade later), finding erotic pleasure in a variety of locales with different partners (male and female, either fantasized or real).

  • Emmanuelle (1974, Fr.)
  • Emmanuelle 2 - The Joys of a Woman (1975, Fr.) (aka Emmanuelle: L'Antivierge, Emmanuelle: The Joys of a Woman)
  • Emmanuelle 3 (1977, Fr.) (aka Goodbye Emmanuelle)

In the aftermath of the first three films, other sequels were generated (official and otherwise unauthorized):

  • Emmanuelle IV (1984, Fr.)
  • Emmanuelle 5 (1987, US/Fr.) (aka Emmanuelle V)
  • Emmanuelle 6 (1988, Fr.)
  • Emmanuelle 7 (1993, Fr.) (aka Emmanuelle au 7ème ciel)

There were also many other direct-to-video and soft-core cable TV offerings into the 80s and early 90s. One such series included seven episodes of Emmanuelle in Space (1994), starring Krista Allen - see below.

See also Title Screens for Emmanuelle Films

Title Screens
Movie Title/Year and Film/Scene Description

Emmanuelle (1974, Fr.)

The original 1974 film in the series (from director Just Jaeckin) was similar to the more graphic Deep Throat (1972), in that it played in mainstream and neighborhood theatres. Emmanuelle (1974) was the first X-rated film released by Paramount. The film finished its record 10 year plus showing (since June 1974) in early February 1985 at the Paris Triomphe Cinema on the Champs-Elysées.

In this first film, one of the highest-grossing French films of all time, the sexually-emancipated (but still innocent) title character Emmanuelle (Sylvia Kristel) was encouraged by Jean (Daniel Sarky), her 32 year-old French diplomat husband in Thailand - who was in an open-marriage relationship - to be promiscuous.

The Original Emmanuelle (Sylvia Kristel)

She was almost instantly seduced in Bangkok on numerous occasions, by various female individuals:

  • Ariane (Jeanne Colletin), an embassy widow, also a nude-sunbather beside a swimming pool; later she experienced seduction scenes in the locker room and squash court with Emmanuelle
  • Marie-Ange (17 year-old Christine Boisson), an uninhibited, topless, precocious, lollipop-sucking teenaged girl, pleasured herself openly (in her jeans shorts) while seated in a hanging wicker chair on the mansion's porch and perusing a magazine picturing Paul Newman
  • Bea (Marika Green), a pretty blonde female archaeologist

By film's end, Emmanuelle was exposed to an older lecherous gentleman named Mario (Alain Cuny) for her first sexual affair. She also encountered opium addicts, lecherous drunks, a victorious boxer (who claimed her as the prize), threesomes, and a concluding local gang-rape.

The film also included an unknown stripper-actress blowing cigarette smoke out of her vagina.

Ariane (Jeanne Colletin)

Marie-Ange (Christine Boisson)

Bea (Marika Green)

Emmanuelle 2 - The Joys of a Woman (1975, Fr.) (aka Emmanuelle: L'Antivierge, Emmanuelle: The Joys of a Woman)

The second film (from director Francis Giacobetti) in the original series began with Emmanuelle (Sylvia Kristel again), now more sexually experienced and quite nymphomaniacal. She was journeying home by ship from Thailand to Hong Kong, where she had lesbian sex in the sweaty all-female dormitory quarters.

She met up with her diplomat husband Jean (Umberto Orsini), and schemed throughout the film to have extra-marital sex with the Ambassador's young and virginal daughter Anna-Maria (Catherine Rivet), and with their houseguest, an American pilot named Christopher (Frederick Lagache).

There were numerous sex sequences scattered throughout the film - with Anna-Maria's dance instructor, with a strangely-tattooed member of the polo club, during an arousing and erotic acupuncture session, and with a group of sailors.

This film was highlighted by an extremely sensual bath-house scene with three seductive female masseuses, featuring full-bodied massages (one performed by Laura Gemser, the future Black Emanuelle) and pleasurable shampoos.

The Sensual Bath-House Sequence in Emmanuelle 2 - The Joys of a Woman (1975)

Everything predictably climaxed in a Bali bathhouse during a threesome between Jean, Emmanuelle and Anna-Maria, where the virginal girl gave up her maidenhood.

Emmanuelle (Sylvia Kristel)

Emmanuelle 3 (1977, Fr.) (aka Goodbye Emmanuelle)

The third film (from director Francois Leterrier) in the original series again starred Sylvia Kristel (now sporting short hair), with Umberto Orsini returning as her architect husband Jean.

The couple were living on Africa's Seychelles Islands, with beautiful tropical beaches, where she wooed her seamstress.

There were numerous threesomes, including black Angelique (Radiah Frye) and Chloe (Charlotte Alexandra) as the third participant.

Conflicts and jealousy arose when Emmanuelle had an affair with French film director Gregory (Jean-Pierre Bouvier), and Jean pursued beautiful young blonde Cecile (Caroline Laurence).

Goodbye Emmanuelle (1977)

Chloe (Charlotte Alexandra)

Cecile (Caroline Laurence)

Angelique (Radiah Frye)

Emmanuelle (Sylvia Kristel)

Emmanuelle IV (1984, Fr.)

Beyond the original trilogy of Emmanuelle films, this one briefly featured Sylvia Kristel (in her last film of the series) and then she was quickly replaced by a sexually-awakened new younger identity (Mia Nygren) (as a 20 year-old blonde virgin!) in Brazil, after undergoing extensive plastic surgery to escape an ex-lover named Marc (Patrick Bauchau).

Her wish was "to make love to all of Brazil."

Emmanuelle 4 (1984)
Suzanna (Sonja Martin)

Dream Girl (Brinke Stevens)

Maria (Sophie Berger)

This was the first of the Emmanuelle films with explicit sex scenes (in the European release version and some VHS versions).

One clever line of dialogue occurred in the dream sequence when nude Dream Girl (Brinke Stevens) was being instructed by Emmanuelle (Sylvia Kristel):

"Boys are like dough when making bread. There is a certain way of touching them that makes them rise. No, do it delicately. There's no point in being rough. The delicacy of your movements will set up a rhythm."

Emmanuelle (Mia Nygren)

Emmanuelle 5 (1987, US/Fr.) (aka Emmanuelle V)

This one starred blonde Monique Gabrielle, the first American actress to play the lead Emmanuelle role.

Emmanuelle 5 (1987) - Emmanuelle (Monique Gabrielle)

It was offered in three versions, the theatrical European version (directed by Walerian Borowczyk), the US version (directed by Steve Barnett and produced by Roger Corman) released to home video in 1992, and a French hard-core videotape-only version.

In this plot, Emmanuelle was kidnapped from a millionaire's yacht during the Cannes Film Festival, and afterwards forced into a sheik's harem in the fictional Arab country of Benglagistan.

Emmanuelle 6 (1988, Fr.)

This third unofficial Emmanuelle entry starred Natalie Uher as Emmanuelle.

Emmanuelle 6 (1988) - Emmanuelle (Natalie Uher)

In France the film was released in a VHS hard-core version approximately ten minutes longer than the softcore version.

The locale was Venezuela (a South American jungle) where she was taken when kidnapped on a Mediterranean cruise ship, and held as a captive of drug-lords.

Emmanuelle 7 (1993, Fr.) (aka Emmanuelle au 7ème ciel)

Sylvia Kristel returned as Emmanuelle.


Emmanuelle: First Contact

Emmanuelle in Space: Film Series (1994)

Keeping true to her exhibitionist nature, model and 2000-2001 Baywatch star (a former Miss Texas, and ex Days of Our Lives soap actress) Krista Allen appeared nude as the title character in seven nearly indistinguishable, soft-core 1994 Emmanuelle in Space made-for-TV films at the beginning of her film career.

The erotic sci-fi films provided Krista Allen the opportunity to teach inter-galactic, traveling aliens about human sexuality. In all seven episodes, Paul Michael Robinson starred as Captain Haffron Williams of the extra-terrestrial spacecraft, her frequent sex partner.

Emmanuelle 2: A World of Desire (1994)

Emmanuelle 3: A Lesson in Love (1994)

Emmanuelle 4: Concealed Fantasy (1994)


Emmanuelle 5: A Time to Dream (1994)

Emmanuelle 6: One Last Fling (1994)

Emmanuelle 7: The Meaning of Love (1994)

Emmanuelle: First Contact

Sex in Cinematic History
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