Pac-Man is the grand old man of video games, Hulk Hogan is the grand old man of pro wrestling; Sylvia Kristel is the great dame of the softcore porn industry, and even today is still revered for her role as Emmanuelle.
Emmanuelle came out in the swinging seventies and still stands as one of the finest films of the genre. The Emmanuelle series features great scenery from exotic parts of the world, superb sensuality, and the fact that man-made babes are disallowed here.
22 year-old Kristel plays Emmanuelle (based on author Emmanuelle Arsan’s erotica), a recently married young woman who is quite new to the world of sensuality. Married to a much older man, and free to explore her sexuality without any consequence, we see her going from place to place, yearning to learn more.
There’s a lot to like here. Steamy settings in Thailand, lust on a squash court, a great fight scene in which the victor would get to have a “philosophical discussion” with Emmanuelle, skinny dipping, and a neat trick that a showgirl can do with a cigarette are some of the attractions. Miss Kristel is absolutely gorgeous and plays the innocent beautifully. The acting is a lot better than the usual American softcore film is. A film worth a look; you’ll look at these films at a different light after this one.
BTW, I’ve seen both the original and English-dubbed versions; in the latter, the voices for Emmanuelle and Marie-Ange (played by 17 year-old Christine Boisson) are whack and cute at the same time. Especially in their conversations.