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The Awakening of Emily (1976)

Emily (original title)
R | | Drama, Romance | November 1976 (UK)
In England in the 1920s, Emily, a maturing daughter of a once wealthy family arrives at their family estate to visit her mother for a couple of days. She wants to lose her virginity and ... See full summary »


Henry Herbert


Christopher Neame (as Anthony Morris)


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Complete credited cast:
Koo Stark ... Emily / Daughter
Sarah Brackett ... Margaret / Mother
Victor Spinetti ... Richard / Margaret's lover
Jane Hayden Jane Hayden ... Rachel
Constantine Gregory ... Rupert / Husband (as Constantin de Goguel)
Ina Skriver Ina Skriver ... Augustine / Wife
Richard Oldfield ... James
David Auker ... Billy
Jeremy Child ... Gerald
Jeannie Collings Jeannie Collings ... Rosalind
Jack Haig Jack Haig ... Taxi Driver
Pamela Cundell Pamela Cundell ... Mrs. Prince / cook


In England in the 1920s, Emily, a maturing daughter of a once wealthy family arrives at their family estate to visit her mother for a couple of days. She wants to lose her virginity and there's more than enough opportunity for that. Her attractive lonely older mother is having a secret sexual relationship with a smug lusty older rich man who pays for her debts in return. He has his eye on Emily too. Their next door neighbor is a beautiful married middle-aged artist who offers Emily to pose for her. Emily is intrigued by the woman and a mutual erotic seduction between the two begins. However, in Emily's mind this is just a friendly exploration between two girls and doesn't count as losing one's virginity. Another candidate for that task is a young adventurous American about the same age as her who's visiting the old country. The maid has a lover as well, a soldier, who also wouldn't mind helping Emily with her quest. She eventually realizes how much lust these people hide in them and ... Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

November 1976 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El ardiente despertar de Emily See more »

Filming Locations:

England, UK

Company Credits

Production Co:

An Emily Production See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Written by Rod McKuen
Sung by Ken Barrie
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User Reviews

Koo, what a let-down!
13 November 2016 | by GoingbeggingSee all my reviews

Koo Stark may have given the tabloid headline-writers a heck of a name to play with, but the reality was anything but sizzling, and it is hard to make out what Prince Andrew saw in her, at least outwardly. The face carries no distinction whatever - just ordinary hausfrau features that never display any depth of expression. The body, although well-photographed in the shower scene, is no more shapely than most. The voice is not unappealing, but it lacks any character or charm.

Whether she can be classified as an actress at all is unclear from this video. The story is set in 1928, apparently for no other reason than to provide a class-based narrative, with forbidden liaisons across the boundaries. Therefore many of the lines are meant to echo what we take for Twenties talk - stilted, trivial and going nowhere.

Emily (Stark) is a school-leaver, ripe and ready for deflowering. She starts to discover herself via the lesbian route, and holds back on the big deed, until she learns that her mother (played by Sarah Brackett, spectacular if nothing else) can support her upper-class lifestyle only through taking rich lovers. For some reason, Emily feels she must 'become a woman' before she can face her again. That is good news for one lucky motorist who has taken her on a drive into deep country, though the supposedly-climactic outdoor seduction scene must be the worst ever filmed; their two bodies look like a tangle of cold tripe.

Meanwhile the housemaid is also clinging to her virginity, until she unexpectedly glimpses Madam up to mischief, and then reacts the same way, to the delighted surprise of her long-suffering soldier boyfriend.

The opening titles come up against a long background-shot of a train belching smoke, as a hardly-original code for a vintage story, though it may also have been trying to reference a vastly better coming-of-age film 'Greengage Summer' with Susannah York and Kenneth More, who said it was the happiest film he ever made.

A Rod McKuen song 'Riding through the autumn' adds interest, but does not move the story forward. The dinner-party scene is interspersed with soft-porn shots representing the thoughts behind the small talk, one of the few good touches. Otherwise, this film utterly fails the test of any porn-feature - to create suspense and longing. And last heard-from, Koo Stark is playing Miss Havisham for real, still believing on one level that history never happened, and that she has gone on to become a world-acclaimed princess. Maybe she's an actress after all.

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