Softcore Nostalgia

Remember those daring days of yore when softcore erotic films were shown in “respectable” cinemas? In 1976 it was considered “chic” to attend a screening of the French film Emmanuelle. It was, in fact, so popular that the film spawned four sequels.

The original film was based on a semi-autobiographical erotic novel by Emmanuelle Arsan. The name turned out to be the nom de plume of Marayat Bibidh. It was later discovered that Marayat’s  husband—Louis-Jacques Rollet-Andriane—was the actual author.

“The Real Emmanuelle,”  courtesy of



I don’t know. 

And I’m also at a loss to explain how I missed the 1983 film Joy (and its sequel Joy and Joan.) Like Emmanuelle, this French film is also based on a novel. The pseudonymous author here is Joy Laurey, and if I had to bet I’d say the author is probably male, too.  Does it matter? Not really. The mystery behind such books simply adds to their allure. If, like me, you missed Joy and its sequel, you can get them both ( “uncut & uncensored”) on DVD from Severin Films.  


The videos are a good deal more stylish than the packaging shown here.  Campy and retro, the movies are certainly superior to what passed for erotica made in the USA during the same period. Besides, the French have great  “flair” for this sort of thing. Add a dash of lit to the softcore mix and you have yourself a spicy treat. And actress Claudia Udy is certainly a joy to watch.


You can pre-order the DVD here from Amazon