Monday, December 30, 2013


The Emmanuelle Collection (1975, 75, 77)
Movie rating: 6/10
DVD rating: 7/10
Release Date: May 13, 2003
Running Time: 4 hours 44 minutes
Rating: NR
Distributor: Anchor Bay
List Price: $49.98
Disc Details
Special Features: Widescreen anamorphic format
CHapter selection
3 disk boxed set
Contains all three "Emmanuelle" films: "Emmanuelle," "Emmanuelle 2: The Joys of a Woman" and "Good-bye Emmanuelle" in their original uncut versions
Featurette: "The Joys of Emmanuelle"
Poster and still galleries
Sylvia Kristal bio
Video Format: Anamorphic Widescreen (2.35:1)
Languages: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)

Subtitles: English.
Captions: Yes
Casing: 3-Disc Box Set
"Emmanuelle" was the first X-Rated erotic film to be given a wide release by a major American studio. The French film was based on the memoirs of Emmanuelle Arsen, a Eurasian wife of a French Diplomat. Ms. Arsen wrote about her sexual awakening during the 1950s. The real Emmanuelle Arsen had a brief acting career. She played Maily, the Chinese woman Richard Attenborough married in Robert Wise's "The Sand Pebbles."

Columbia advertised "Emmanuelle" with the catch phrase "X was never like this!" Boasting beautiful location photography in Thailand and Hong Kong, sexy bodies erotically filmed, "Emmanuelle" became a box-office hit that spawned two official sequels and about 50 or 60 unofficial sequels. The film was unique in that it was a hit with couples. It was erotica, not pornography. While almost entire gamut of human sexuality is explored in the trilogy, there are no "money shots." Puritanical America has never fully embraced erotica in an open manner. We'd rather watch people kill each other than see a good screwing. "Emmanuelle" helped remove some of the stigma of celebrating human sexuality in media.

Emmanuelle (Sylvia Kristel) is the wife of a French diplomat (an architect in the sequels) stationed in the orient. She is naive to the ways of the world before she is confronted with an openness about sexuality among the people of Thailand. Emmanuelle is encouraged to learn by her husband. The two have an open marriage. There is a price for such a lifestyle. The third film deals with the effects of their choices on their marriage.

The Disc
Two good films, one fair film. Great picture and extras. OK sound.

Picture Quality: 10/10
Flesh tones, ahh, the flesh tones. Great flesh tones. Lots of flesh tones! Anchor Bay restored the films. The transfer is excellent. No artifacts or pixilation. Sharp images, although the film does have that 'filmed through gauze, soft-focus photography' in places.

Sound Quality: 6/10
The sound was not remastered into 5.1. The track is the original mono track. Not that you really need to hear a lot of moaning in surround sound! The soundtrack is flat and tinny in many places. Unfortunately, the "Emmanuelle" films have a very lame score that kicks in whenever the clothes come off. I was amazed to see how different the subtitles were from the English version. Obviously the subtitles were designed to go with the original French soundtrack. I played the English version with the subtitles and discovered two entirely different conversations taking place. Check this out during the scene near the end of the first film when the classy blonde is getting banged on an end table. In the English dubbed version, the couple is angrily talking dirty to each other, while the English subtitles reveal a more endearing conversation.

Easter Eggs:
No Easter Eggs found during review.

Extra Features: 8/10
The 36-minute featurette, "The Joys of Emmanuelle" is divided into three sections. A part of it appears on each disk. The featurette includes interviews with Sylvia Kristel, the producers and directors of the films. They discuss the origins of the films, the real Emmanuelle and the social impact the movie had back in 1974.

The stills gallery includes posters, lobby cards, print ads and production stills. It is quite extensive. As is the case with most anchor bay bios, the Sylvia Kristel bio is extensive and informative.

The Final Word:
A great set for couples who don't mind sharing erotica together. Beautiful movies that are sure to raise the heat during those long summer nights.

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