2.9/10
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49 user 28 critic

Bolero (1984)

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Set in the 1920s, a young woman sets out to lose her virginity. Her mission leads her to a Moroccan sheikh and a Spanish bullfighter.

Director:

John Derek

Writer:

John Derek
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6 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Bo Derek ... Lida MacGillivery
George Kennedy ... Cotton
Andrea Occhipinti ... Angel
Ana Obregón ... Catalina
Olivia d'Abo ... Paloma
Greg Bensen Greg Bensen ... Sheik
Ian Cochrane Ian Cochrane ... Robert Stewart
Mirta Miller ... Evita
Mickey Knox ... Sleazy Moroccan Guide
Paul Stacey Paul Stacey ... Young Valentino #1
James Stacey James Stacey ... Young Valentino #2
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Storyline

Follows the tale of a young woman's sexual awakening and subsequent journey around the world in pursuit of her ideal lover. Encounters include an Arabian sheik and a Spanish bullfighter. Her friend and butler accompany her and help to arrange her couplings. Moderate nudity and soft-porn. Written by Tony Bridges <tbridges@spicer.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An Adventure in Ecstasy See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

31 August 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Bolero: An Adventure in Ecstasy See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$4,579,240, 3 September 1984

Gross USA:

$8,914,881
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Fabio Testi was originally cast as Angel, but after several weeks was replaced, reportedly over a medical condition affecting his face. Several weeks' filming were refilmed. See more »

Goofs

The number and placement of the lances during the final bull fight sequence continuously change. See more »

Quotes

Lida MacGillivery: I think I'm just going to go to bed and lick my wounds.
See more »

Connections

Features The Son of the Sheik (1926) See more »

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User Reviews

The MPAA was right - "X"
4 January 2002 | by billy-44See all my reviews

One thing to remember about "Bolero" is that the reason lots of people went to see it on its initial release was that the MPAA wanted to rate it "X". Jon and Bo decided to release it without a rating in order to avoid having to make cuts to their masterwork. As a result, there was a lot of fanfare around the release of "Bolero." A whole lot of people (okay, let's be completely honest--"a whole lot of men") flocked to the theaters because of this controversy, figuring, "Hey, if the MPAA wanted it to be 'X,' it must be pretty steamy stuff. So here's our golden opportunity to see what those darn censors tried to protect us from."

Having worked in a theater that exhibited "Bolero" on its first run in 1984, I can attest to the fact that, during most showings, at least a third of the audience walked out before the half-way mark. A lot of people demanded their money back on this one. To be frank, a fair number of them were disappointed because they expected explicit pornography and instead only got soft-core.

Bo is in search of ecstasy--"E-X-T-A-S-Y," as her character says early in the story. Later in the movie, during a fantasy sequence, Bo sees a neon sign that reads, "Extasy." She says, "See? I was right - 'X'," then makes an "X" in front of her face with her two index fingers. (The scene is actually much funnier in context (unintentionally funny, that is), but I don't want to spoil the movie's only entertaining moment.)

Well, the MPAA was right - it should have been rated X. While the camera never gets as up-close and personal as one usually expects in pornography, it still carefully focuses your attention where it wants you to look--and I don't mean "at Bo's eyes". The camera even resorts to objectification a few times, showing people only from the neck to the hips--reducing people to body parts because the filmmakers want you to focus only on the sex and to forget about the characters and the plot, which is a basic staple of most mainstream pornography.

"Bolero" seemed to want to be a fable with the moral, "Sex with someone you love is infinitely better than casual sex." However, it tried to deliver this moral through soft-core porn that is mostly centered around casual sex, which strikes me as a conflict of interests.

"Bolero" wants to be pornography, but it also wants to be a morality play. It ultimately fails to be a good example of either one. "Deep Throat" and "The Opening of Misty Beethoven" had better plots, better scripts and better acting, and, to all appearances, their creators communicated their intentions more successfully.

Like Tanya Roberts' "Sheena," if "Bolero" had been a little worse than it is, it could have become a camp classic. Sadly, the majority of "Bolero" is just plain not interesting. When people really love or really hate a movie, you at least know that the movie has enough substance to evoke such strong responses. The main response that "Bolero" evoked from people was yawns, which is one of the worst things a filmmaker can achieve.


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