Alain Siritzky, the French producer of the “Emmanuelle” series of films, died Saturday in Paris at 72. A family member confirmed that he died after a short illness.
As general manager of French distributor ParaFrance, Siritzky acquired rights to the 1974 first in the series, “Emmanuelle,” starring Dutch actress Sylvia Kristel, and distributed the film based on a 1959 novel about a French ambassador’s wife who is introduced to the art of love in Bangkok.
“Emmanuelle” became one of the most successful soft-core films of all time, and was released in the U.S. with an X rating by Columbia Pictures, where it grossed $4 million, a respectable sum for the time.
Siritzky produced “Emmanuelle II” and went on to create dozens of sequels for film, TV and video such as “Emmanuelle in Bangkok.”
Among his other productions were “Dead Man’s Curve” with Matthew Lillard, the “Justine” series and the “Sex Files” series.
He was a fixture at Cannes and other markets for many years, where he pitched countless versions of the franchise, including several tries at 3D versions, an Argentine spinoff and early tries at mobile content.
“I want to see this character evolve with new technology. There is no question that eroticism and sex are the forefront of new technology. It is the first thing that people want to see,” he told Variety at the time he was pitching the content designed for cell phones.