Famous Belgian ‘Emmanuelle’ dies aged 60


Promoted under the slogan “X was never like this”, the Emmanuelle film generated numerous profitable sequels and countless imitations, thanks to Sylvia Kristel’s erotic portrayal of the half-innocent, half sex-crazed Emmanuelle as she gambols naked, joins the “mile-high club”, simulates oral sex, fumbles with other women and fakes orgasm.

Though clumsily directed, badly acted and with risible, badly-dubbed dialogue, to audiences of the early 1970s Emmanuelle looked like the last word in liberated sexuality.

Made when Sylvia Kristel was 22, the film became a sensation, with worldwide audiences estimated at some 650 million. In France, where it was originally banned for six months, Emmanuelle became the country’s highest-grossing film of all time and was screened at a cinema on the Champs-Elysées in Paris for an unbroken nine years.