US film poster
|Directed by||Albert Thomas|
|Produced by||Mario Mariani|
|Written by||Bitto Albertini
|Music by||Nico Fidenco|
|Edited by||Vincenzo Tomassi|
San Nicola Produzione Cinematografica
Flaminia Produzioni Cinematografiche
|Distributed by||Fida Cinematografica (Italy)
Stirling Gold (US)
Columbia-Warner Distributors (UK)
|27 November 1975|
Black Emanuelle (Italian: Emanuelle nera) is an Italian-Spanish softcore sexploitation film from 1975 directed by Bitto Albertini. Black Emanuelle follows an erotic adventure of Mae Jordan (Laura Gemser), a globe-trotting, hedonistic investigative journalist and photographer known to her readers as "Emanuelle". This Africa set film was shot mostly in Kenya.
Black Emanuelle was made to cash in on the success of the French film Emmanuelle with Sylvia Kristel, which was released the year before, the one "M" in the name of the lead character was deliberately omitted to avoid copyright claims.
By 1976 came two Black Emanuelle follow-ups, one in title (Black Emanuelle 2 by Albertini) and one in plot (Emanuelle in Bangkok, aka Black Emanuelle 2, by Joe D'Amato), also triggering four quasi-sequels from 1977 to 1978 by D'Amato (under the title Emanuelle) and two Emanuelle women in prison films by Bruno Mattei in 1982 and 1983.
Black Emanuelle 2 differs greatly in plot than the first film, featuring Israeli actress Shulamith Lasri as Emanuelle Richmond, a supermodel going through a state of amnesia and locked in a mental institution in New York. The lead actor, as in the first film, is Angelo Infanti.
Emanuelle in Bangkok that stars Laura Gemser as the journalist lead character 'Emanuelle' of the first Black Emanuelle film has the original Italian title of Emanuelle nera - Orient Reportage and is considered a genuine sequel directed by Joe D'Amato. The later D'Amato sequels that all have the same lead character but do not use the word nera (black) in their titles are noted to feature scenes of extreme violence and depravity (one controversial scene in Emanuelle in America shows a naked woman masturbating a horse).
Four years after the release of the last Emanuelle film by D'Amato, the journalist character 'Emanuelle' played by Laura Gemser was revived by Bruno Mattei in two women in prison films: Violence in a Women's Prison where the real name of the character is given as Laura Kendall and Emanuelle Escapes from Hell (Emanuelle fuga dall'inferno aka Blade Violent - I violenti). Emanuelle Escapes from Hell was directed by Mattei and Claudio Fragasso under the collective pseudonym Gilbert Roussel.
Uncut versions of several Emanuelle films contain scenes depicting actual penetration. Also Black Emanuelle and Emanuelle Around the World contain scenes where the Emanuelle character is seen having explicit sex. These scenes were created with hardcore inserts, using a body double. Laura Gemser never performed explicit sexual acts on film, nor was she informed that a body double would be used.
There are films that star Laura Gemser as a character other than Mae Jordan / Laura Kendall / 'Emanuelle' but that have, at one point or another, been promoted as Emanuelle films, especially in foreign releases. These films included even an earlier film that featured Gemser, Amore libero (1974), which saw a release with the English title "The Real Emanuelle". The name of Gemser's character had often been changed to Emanuelle in the English dubbing of such films.
Mario Pinzauti's 1976 film Emmanuelle bianca e nera ("White and Black Emmanuelle") was an attempt to capitalise on the success of both Black Emanuelle and Mandingo. The film, starring Malisa Longo (Emmanuelle) and Rita Manna (Judith) also saw theatrical release as Passion Plantation.