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François Leterrier
Sylvia Kristel, Umberto Orsini, Jean-Pierre Bouvier, Charlotte Alexandra, Jacques Doniol-Valcroze, Olga Georges-Picot
Writing Credits:
Emmanuelle Arsan (novel, "Emmanuelle: The Joys of a Woman"), Emmanuelle Astier, Monique Lange, François Leterrier

The ecstasy continues.

Her name evokes visions of lush sensual discovery and the extremes of forbidden ecstasy. She is Emmanuelle, and these are the films that changed the look and feel of erotic cinema forever. The incomparably beautiful Sylvia Kristel stars in this landmark adult trilogy that begins with the sumptuous Emmanuelle, continues with the explosive Emmanuelle 2, and climaxes in the daring final chapter Goodbye Emmanuelle, which is available only in this collection.

Rated NR

Widescreen 2.35:1/16x9
English Monaural
French Monaural

Runtime: 99 min.
Price: $49.98
Release Date: 5/13/2003

• “The Joys of Emmanuelle, Part 3” Featurette
• Radio Spots
• Trailers
• Poster and Still Gallery
• Sylvia Kristel Bio

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Sony 36" WEGA KV-36FS12 Monitor; Sony DA333ES Processor/Receiver; Panasonic CV-50 DVD Player using component outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Sony SA-WM40 Subwoofer.


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Goodbye Emmanuelle: The Emmanuelle Collection (1977)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 4, 2004)

While I knew about the Emmanuelle series of flicks, I never saw one until the late Eighties. 1977’s Goodbye Emmanuelle ran on Cinemax a few times and I gave it a screening. The movie stayed with me for two reasons. First of all, it included some pretty good skin, which was all I wanted in the first place. Second, it featured quite possibly the worst movie theme song I’d ever heard.

These memories stayed with me so strongly that when I heard Anchor Bay would release Goodbye on DVD, I knew I had to have it. However, I recalled virtually nothing about the movie itself. Does the film offer anything other than some fine nudity and a hilariously bad theme song?

Not really. While the first two flicks launched with Emmanuelle (Sylvia Kristel) on a journey, Goodbye finds her already in the Seychelles. She’s there along with her husband Jean (Umberto Orsini), who’s there for work. She and their friends lead a leisurely life of casual sex and affairs.

Emmanuelle soon meets filmmaker Gregory Perrin (Jean-Pierre Bouvier) who comes to the Seychelles to scout for a flick. Emmanuelle clearly seems interested in him and goes along to show him some locations. Inevitable, they get it on, but after they discuss the open nature of her relationship with Jean, Gregory calls her a whore and makes her mad.

Emmanuelle claims to feel disinterested in Gregory, but she remains infatuated. She attempts unsuccessfully to make him jealous. They eventually reconcile, however, and become quite the couple. Unusually, this gets to Jean, who becomes bothered by his wife’s relationship with Gregory. The rest of the flick deals with the love triangle and Emmanuelle’s development away from her free-love lifestyle.

That factor makes Goodbye more interesting than either Emmanuelle or Emmanuelle 2. Both of those existed as little more than excuses for some artistically filmed sex, and they barely attempted any form of character development or plot.

Goodbye doesn’t seem much more intriguing than those two movies, but at least it gets into some unexplored issues. Actually, it feels somewhat prescient, as it comes across like a product of the AIDS era. In real life, 1977 remained a pretty party hearty year without much fear of sexual consequences, but Goodbye shows the darker side of free love. It doesn’t get into issues connected to diseases or physical maladies, but it starts to examine the possibility that a loose and easy lifestyle isn’t all that satisfying. Goodbye presents pervasive themes of the consequences of infidelity. Even minor characters get into the topic, and that adds some depth to the flick.

Sort of. Unfortunately, the characters remain thin and superficial, so this ends up as a flat examination of its themes. Emmanuelle seems less likable here than in the prior flicks as well. She appears like a petulant brat most of the time, and that makes the movie less engaging.

Goodbye also seems like the least stimulating entry in the series. It presents the hottest single shot, as we see extremely gorgeous Chloe (Charlotte Alexandra) strut around the villa naked for one scene. Otherwise, the sex seems bland and perfunctory. Some of that exists to serve the movie’s theme, but much of it’s just tired.

Still, I sure do love the theme song, at least in that “it’s so bad, it’s good” way. According to the translated subtitles, here are the lyrics of the theme in their entirety: “Emmanuelle loves caresses of the mouth and hand/Emmanuelle loves the intellectuals and the laborers/Emmanuelle did not learn loving from the books/Emmanuelle needs her annual dose of ‘I love you’”.

Boy, I hope that’s a bad translation – no one could actually write lyrics that terrible, could they? When I’ve mocked this song elsewhere, I’ve heard some indignity that I’d criticize composer Serge Gainsbourg. Nonetheless, I fully stand by my attack on the theme. This lounge reggae is absolutely – but hilariously – atrocious.

I like the fact that Goodbye Emmanuelle at least makes an attempt to develop character themes and issues. However, it does so in a shallow manner and never becomes deep or intriguing. Outside of one very hot shot, even the sex comes across as lackluster. Goodbye doesn’t seem better or worse than its predecessors, which makes it another dull movie.

The DVD Grades: Picture B+/ Audio B/ Bonus D+

Goodbye Emmanuelle appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this single-sided, single-layered DVD; the image has been enhanced for 16X9 televisions. Both of the first two flicks looked solid, and Goodbye followed suit with another attractive picture.

Sharpness looked very good overall. Mostly due to some mild edge enhancement, a bit of softness popped up in a few wide shots, but those instances remained reasonably modest. The movie mostly appeared detailed and well defined. No issues with jagged edges occurred, but a little shimmering showed up via blinds. Print flaws seemed almost totally absent. I noticed a small nick or two, but otherwise the movie appeared nicely clean and fresh.

The film’s tropical setting allowed for a varied palette that the DVD replicated smashingly well. Colors consistently looked bold and dynamic. The tones demonstrated no signs of flaws, as the hues were lively and accurate. Blacks also seemed dense and taut, while low-light shots came across as concisely depicted and smooth. Overall, Goodbye Emmanuelle demonstrated a very good image that only narrowly fell short of “A”-level.

While the monaural soundtrack of Goodbye Emmanuelle didn’t match up with the visuals, it remained more than acceptable for a film of this vintage. The DVD included both the original French mix and a dubbed English rendition; I only screened the former. Speech seemed natural and distinct, with no issues connected to edginess. Since I don’t speak French, I couldn’t judge intelligibility, but the lines seemed solid to me. As with the prior flicks, effects played a minor role, but what we got sounded clean and accurate, with no distortion and reasonable fidelity. The music lacked the breadth heard in the first film, but the score seemed well reproduced as a whole, with crisp highs and moderately deep lows. Nothing about the audio sizzled, but Goodbye Emmanuelle seemed satisfying for a flick of its vintage.

Goodbye Emmanuelle comes with a few extras. First up is the most significant, a new nine-minute and five-second featurette called The Joys of Emmanuelle Part 3. This program combines movie clips and interviews with producer Yves Rousset-Rouard, actor Sylvia Kristel, Emmanuelle director Just Jaeckin, and adult film historian David Flint. We learn why the producer decided to make this one softer than 2, the general excitement to travel to new places, working with a new director, the movie’s theme, all the Emmanuelle imposters and Kristel’s return for later flicks, and the lives of some of the participants of the original. It doesn’t shed much light on Goodbye itself, but it ends the three featurettes in a reasonably satisfying manner.

Some smaller bits complete the disc. The trailers domain includes two ads. Four 60-second radio spots appear next. We also find a poster and still gallery with 82 images. After a selection of shots from the set, we get many ads and ancillary materials like magazine and video covers. Lastly, the Sylvia Kristel biography provides a nicely full examination of the actress’s life and career.

Other than a hilariously bad theme song and one really sexy bit of nudity, Goodbye Emmanuelle seems like a bland bit of soft-core porn. It shoots for a more ambitious story, so it’s probably the most interesting of the three flicks, but it remains pretty lackluster. The DVD features very good picture along with better than average sound for its era plus some minor extras. Goodbye Emmanuelle might be the best of the series, but that doesn’t say much.

Note: one can currently only purchase Goodbye Emmanuelle as part of a three-DVD set called “The Emmanuelle Collection”. This package also includes Emmanuelle and Emmanuelle 2. Given the release patterns of Anchor Bay, I won’t feel surprised if these eventually come out separately, but as of January 2004, they’re available solely via this set.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.7142 Stars Number of Votes: 14
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