Emmanuelle is the title of a movie often seen as a cultural watershed that opened the cinema to increased amounts of nudity and brought erotic films into the mainstream. Based on the novel by French actress Marayat Rollet-Andriane of the same name the film tells the story of a newly married French diplomat's wife who is encouraged to take part in an open marriage by her older husband. A series of sequels were produced through the 1970's into the 80' and 90's.
The cultural phenomenon that was Emmanuelle was released in France and around the world in 1974; going on to become one of the most successful films of the period. Based in Thailand the majority of the film explores the experiences of the 22 year old diplomat's wife, Emmanuelle and reflects attitudes towards marriage that are based distinctly in the 1970's. During the film Emmanuelle embarks on short and longer term relationships with both men and women as she attempts to break the monotony of her daily life with a busy political figure.
Directed by Just Jaeckin the film follows the plot of the novel Emmanuelle quite faithfully and offers high production values for a film in the erotic genre. Produced by Trinalra Films and Orphee Productions Emmanuelle remains one of the most successful French movies of all time and its title is now a byword for movies of a similar style and content. Jaeckin cast an unknown 19 year old model Sylvia Kristel as Emmanuelle, rumors have circulated that the legendary French film director Francois Trauffaut was consulte don the casting and agreed Kristel was the perfect choice. With little acting experience or training the acting of the Danish model was criticized at the time of release, but is now praised as showing the right amount of boredom and vulnerability required for the role.
Emmanuelle became so famous in the 1970's and 80's a series of sequels were produced with the first four and seventh movie starring Kristel. Spoofs and unauthorized versions of the Emmanualle series were produced playing on the content and deemed poor acting found within the Emmanuelle series.