Were you aware that the films which make up the “Emmanuelle”-series are among the biggest successes of French movie history?
Nope, I didn’t know either. But it still seems the perfect excuse for sharing a few pictures of Sylvia Kristel who played the lead role.
She was a young Dutch model and won the beauty contest Miss TV Europe in 1973. These charming black and white pictures of her with a Mercedes-Benz SL R107 are from that same year, where the open Mercedes had only been launched a couple of years earlier. The pair are a stunning combination leaving plenty to like and not a whole lot to desire. It’s clearly been enough to attract a crowd of admiring men, though they seem to be leaving a slightly apprehensive distance to the gorgeous 21 year old model.
Yet, Sylvia Kristel was soon to become even more famous. The following year she starred in the lead role of the first Emmanuelle movie, which has apparently since been proclaimed as one of the very first so-called softcore movies. Yes, it has something to do with sex, only there’s still much left to your own imagination. Needless to say, it was deemed quite controversial at the time and critics were sceptical to say the least. Nonetheless, it became a huge success for French movies and not least for Sylvia Kristel who continued her career within this niche up through the seventies.
I still vaguely recall myself and a few friends (ehrm… it was obviously mostly their idea…) somehow managing to hustle our way into a cinema to watch one of the Emmanuelle movies in the late seventies. I’ll confess that it was well before I possessed a driver’s license – for cars or for girls for that matter. Despite this, I left the cinema rather disappointed. I’m actually not entirely sure what I had been expecting. But now – all these years later and perhaps with the help of these pictures – I’ve finally managed to analyse how I felt:
It was as if I had been granted a ride in a Mercedes-Benz SL with the expectation that it were a true sportscar.