Bolero (1984) Poster

(1984)

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The MPAA was right - "X"
billy-444 January 2002
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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3/10
What a body!....er that's it
augustian7 June 2003
If you're looking for a well-scripted plot,believable characters, firm direction and seamless editing then Bolero is a strange film to see. I cannot believe that Bo Derek's character finds it impossible to lose her virginity anywhere but in Spain. The film itself lacks interesting plot and characters and most of the time is just plain boring. However, I suspect that just about everyone, myself included, who sees this film only sees it for one thing - The Body, and it does not disappoint. The lighting and camera work shows off Ms Derek's shape to best advantage although the end fantasy scene is spoilt by flashes of light.

I've given a rating of 3 for Bolero simply because The Body lifts it above 1. If you want to see Bo derek's body, watch this or Tarzan the Ape Man. If you want to watch anything else, watch something else.
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Horribly Funny
Mylene-211 May 2004
I remember watching this movie at the theater when it came out. I laughed my butt off and embarrassed my husband. I think he threatened to move on several occasions. But the lady that sat in front of me was laughing just as hard. Some other idiotic scene would happen, the lady would look back at me, and we would both start laughing. Don't watch the movie expecting something erotic and you may actually enjoy it. I mean, come on guys, would you really want to make love to a woman after she rode a horse bare-back while naked? But the real kicker was when she finally found "the one" and the neon sign started flashing the word exstacy and no I didn't misspell that! I've heard of bells going off, but neon signs? If you watch it for the "camp" factor, you may actually enjoy it.
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2/10
Bo Derek is easy on the eyes!
bbhlthph14 August 2003
"Bo - Leer Oh!"

"What?"

"Bo Derek is easy on the eyes"

"So?"

"Bo Derek is easy on the eyes"

"Yes, but what about the story?"

"There is no story but Bo Derek is easy on the eyes ...... and parts of the sound track are very easy on the ears."

Unfortunately apart from this the film was a disaster which had a very adverse effect on the careers, and probably also the personal lives, of those principally involved.
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4/10
Not THAT bad
Tito-82 March 1999
While this isn't the disaster that most everyone seems to think that it is, "Bolero" is still pretty weak. The storyline is okay, at least it was enough to keep me mildly entertained, but I have to admit that the film was certainly dragged down by Bo's inability to act. The abduction scene towards the end also stands out as rather pathetic, and I was unable to take this movie seriously for the remaining few scenes. In other words, there are serious flaws that hamper this film, and I certainly don't recommend it, but there is no way that this is one of the worst films of the 1980's.
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1/10
How I missed the 1980's
lambiepie-230 June 2003
I actually went to a midnight showing of "Bolero" the first Saturday it came out. I was with a bunch of friends from college. We thought, "the reviewers must be mad. How bad can a film with Bo Derek in it, be?"

This was bad. I'll sum this up by reporting the thing that has been in my mind about this film for the past 19 years.

There was scattered laughter coming from the theater throughout the showing. I couldn't help it, I burst out laughing too at the slow dialogue, bad acting, etc. But around the 25 minute mark, a few people got up and walked out. This was happening all throughout the theater. Other folks were clapping when folks left. That WAS the most entertaining parts of this film.

I did sit through almost to the end the movie with my friends (which made the entire experience worth while) and we decided to go to the box-office to get our money back.

Too late. There was a new big RED sign hanging from the window that read:

"No Refunds"
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1/10
Not even Bo Dereks naked body can save this
spfi27 December 2001
Ok, I admit it. BO has a beautiful body. And I will admit this too. Bolero is so bad that it easily ranks as one of the worst movies ever made. The most shocking part is Academy Award winner George Kennedy is in it(I guess he likes Derek in the nude as well). Written and directed by her late husband John Derek. >
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6/10
S10 Reviews: Bolero (1982)
suspiria1013 August 2005
Lida (the sexy Bo Derek) is fresh out of the all-girls English boarding school. Lida's last act of rebellion was to streak across the school courtyard butt-naked. I think this is gonna be good. Finally earning her inheritance upon graduation, Lida decides than she needs to do a little globe-trotting to find the right man to make her a woman. With her chauffeur and best friend in tow she sets out to lose her virginity and the ways of love. She's out and about and looking for love. MEEE-OWWWW! The lovely Derek parades her assets for all to see (her husband, John Derek was the director) and very little will be left to you imagination. This erotic drama is wonderfully filmed, whether the English countryside, Spain or Bo's cleavage it all looks good. For what it was the performances were as good as one could expect out of the material which includes the lovely Olivia d' Abo in her first role. If you like "The Blue Lagoon (1980)" or "Paradise (1982)" you probably like "Bolero".
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A VERY stupid movie...
CupidGrl3 April 2001
I really don't think you will like this unless you are a fan of Bo Derek, or someone else in the movie. Yes, I rented it because of Andrea Occhipinti. I was really let down though. That is one of the stupidest movie I've seen! I mean, other than the fact that Bo Derek is a total airhead that can't even act, and ain't very pretty either, the plot is so weak!

I mean, she is supposed to play a 18 year old I guess, but she looks about 30! But anyway...she goes on a hunt to find someone to lose her virginity too. (Yea, yea, I'm SURE she would be a virgin with the we she acted in the beginning!) And she finds Angel (Occhipinti), and they hook up...And she's obsessed with finding extacy w/him. There are a couple of really *detailed* sex scenes! I was really suprised with that! If watching flaky Bo Derek in a bad soft-core porno is your thing, then hey, go for it!

But this is just my opinion! ~*~3/10~*~
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4/10
"That THING will work, I guarantee you!"
gridoon5 November 2003
Bo Derek plays a college graduate who is also a virgin - and she's unconvincing on both counts. Yes, her belly-dancing scene is a highlight, but did she have to wear so much make-up all the time? The rest of the film is a plotless, worthless affair, but at least it doesn't take itself all that seriously; and it's this intentionally campy approach that keeps it at least semi-bearable. (**)
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7/10
A misunderstood film...
Falconeer23 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
I believe the problem this movie had upon release, was that it was seen by the wrong audience. Bolero is in fact, quite an enjoyable film, featuring some gorgeous scenery, lush score, and some over-the-top romantic fantasy. Of course the controversy over the explicit sex scenes and the movie being released with an unofficial X rating, attracted a somewhat inappropriate audience. The people that saw this in the cinema were most likely looking for sleaze, non-stop graphic sex featuring the gorgeous sex symbol Bo Derek. Of course they were displeased by what they saw. It had one of the highest records of people walking out of a theater and demanding their money back. Why? Because the film is nothing like what it was hyped up to be. There are very few sex scenes in this one, (or more appropriately: love scenes). Granted, the sex, when it finally is shown is indeed quite graphic and erotic, especially for the 80's. The story itself is pure escapism: Two girls, upon graduating from university in the 1920's, decide to travel across the world to lose their virginity! Bo's possible suitors are, first, a beautiful Arab sheik, reminiscent of Valentino, who was the ultimate sex fantasy of girls everywhere at the time this film takes place. Later a Spanish Matador becomes the object of Derek's affection. The story plays like a trashy erotic romance novel, and some people love this kind of fantasy. Unfortunately those people, who might have enjoyed the film, would not have been caught dead going to see a "dirty movie", which was how Bolero was advertised. What is "Bolero"? It is a actually a romantic comedy. The laughs elicited from the audience are intentional. The film constantly pokes fun at itself. For example, the scene in the Casbah, when "Ayre", the character portrayed by Derek, is standing by the piano and listening to the famous tune from "Casablanca", a movie considered by many to be one of the greatest movie masterpieces of all time. Being reminded of "Casablanca" while watching a film like "Bolero" is truly hilarious. And so many of the lines uttered by Bo Derek are just too over-the-top to be unintentional. The cool thing about "Bolero" is that it seems to know exactly what it is. The mere presence of veteran George Kennedy is a riot, as is the sarcastic style in which he delivers his lines. Everybody is having fun with this film, and I imagine that they all knew this was going to be the great American "tease" of the 80's. Not that "Bolero" doesn't deliver in the end. As mentioned, the erotic scenes are beautifully filmed, and set to sweeping romantic classical scores. In particular the scene where Ayre finally loses her virginity to her handsome matador. And the scene where the sheik licks the honey from Ayre's breasts and stomach; stunning. Bo Derek certainly is no actress, but she plays her character with a certain amount of comedy and wide-eyed innocence that makes her somehow likable. And there is romantic/sexual chemistry between her and Andrea Occhipinti. I recently purchased the DVD and the anamorphic picture looks great. It now has an 'R' rating, but nothing seems to be cut. Don't believe all the bad reviews. If you like trashy romantic novels and films that take place in beautiful locales, with beautiful people, check this out. When compared with the made for TV and video "erotic" movies of today, Bolero is a masterpiece!
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1/10
Bad, bad, bad--even from a teen's perspective
antigraviton12 July 2003
I saw this movie on cable late one night while staying at a friend's house, around that age when you're young enough to think "squiggle porn" is cool. (For those of you who don't know, that means trying to catch a glimpse of nudity on a scrambled cable channel.) Even at that easily-impressed-by-nudity age, this movie dragged. The story was terrible. The acting was agonizing, making even the nudity-laden scenes unwatchable. And I was a teenage boy. Now *that's* a bad movie.
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10/10
Below average movie, above average love scenes
filmboy-11 February 2001
I first saw this film on late night cable tv back in the late 80's. And what I saw was a movie in which its images will stay with me for a long time. Although the actual film is nothing special, the tasteful nude sex scenes are some of the most beautiful ever filmed. Sure, John Derek didn't make a great picture and Bo's acting leaves much to be desired. But her astounding beauty and her love scenes with Andrea Occhipinti are great.
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10/10
John Derek directs his beautiful wife Bo
Tracy_Terry_Moore17 November 2008
Warning: Spoilers
Bo Derek and her friend, 'Catalina' (Ana Obregon) have just graduated and now they want to lose their virginity - preferably to a sheik - but they'll settle for a bullfighter and a Scotsman, respectively.

The two pretty girls go to Spain to satisfy their goal accompanied by Bo's chauffeur 'Cotton' (George Kennedy). Bo tries to corral her bullfighter (Andrea Occhipinti) while fending off a jealous woman and a wild bull as Catalina is romanced by her handsome Scotsman (Ian Cochrane).

Bo produced this passionately sexy film and her husband John Derek's direction is erotically beautiful.
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Yes, It WAS that bad....
Cammy-325 April 2002
Nothing I have seen in 30+ years of movie going compares with "Bolero." Basically, John Derek put his wife into an adolescent, pornographic fantasy and not coincidentally ruined her career in the process. There was no story to follow and no acting to see. More than half the people in the theatre walked out. A truly classic waste of celluloid.
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1/10
Nobody is horny enough to watch this
suawiyp23 March 2005
I saw this movie because I figured, hey, Bo Derek running around nude for 90 minutes or so... what could be wrong with that? Even if the plot sucked, still, Bo Derek nude.

I was wrong.

The problem is that the movie is so bad that you can't even lust after her. You just end up feeling sorry for her, wishing she would stop embarrassing herself. Oh please, Bo, put some clothes on and leave this movie so that I can at least fantasize about you again. But no, it goes on and on, and she just seems more and more pathetic and sad and unattractive as the movie goes on.
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As bad as it gets
chez-326 August 1999
Yes "Bolero" is that bad. Sure seeing Bo Derek nude is a pleasure. But you could save time and money and look at a vintage issue of Playboy.

And the plot? What plot? Bo has a lover who is impotent. She tries to....ahem....cure him. And the last scene is a howler. Yes I am going to ruin it. He is finally able to perform sexually with Bo and as they do we actually see NEON signs that say : ECSTASY.

Yes it is true. I am not making this up. Who would have ever thought that Derek's version of Tarzan could ever look like a classic in comparison to any other film?
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1/10
Mrs. John Derek at her finest...and dumbest.
MartinHafer9 February 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Mrs. John Derek plays a dumb and completely anachronistic character. Although she is supposed to live in the 1920s, her hair, clothes, behaviors are strictly from the 1980s. And as far as the plot goes, it's strictly porn film territory--though the film does not show enough to satisfy some of the pervs out there looking for more explicit nudity. And, for people wanting a real film with a real plot, it's a disaster as well since it is dumb and vacuous.

Mrs. Derek's character is an idiot. In the beginning of the film she strips naked and runs around for no real apparent reason. She also loves Rudolph Valentino in "The Sheik", so this spoiled rich idiot goes all the way to Morocco to lose her virginity. I loved how the film screamed "hackneyed mess" when she arrives and you hear "As Time Goes By" (the theme from "Casablanca")--it made me laugh.

When her romantic tryst with a sheik turns out to be a complete bust (with her virginity still intact), she heads to Spain to find a willing piece of beefcake. You'd think Morocco would have at least one stud willing to do this horny lady. However, Spain is also a bust at first, as the bullfighter she wants just so happens to be quite happy with his own busty wench. So, in an effort to get this man, she tries so hard to get him that she seems desperate and stupid. During these shenanigans, we get to see a naked and soapy Olivia d'Abo--who is only 15 and this is rather disturbing. I'm sure some pedos out there enjoyed this scene as well as d'Abo's horny advances. You also get to see Bo and a friend do opium because they are bored...and, once again, quite stupid!!! A bit later when it looks as if Mrs. Derek MIGHT get this Spanish stud to do her, his woman becomes angry (go figure) and threatens him by screaming repeatedly "I keeeel you!!!"--sounding a lot like Jeff Dunham's character, Ahmed the Dead Terrorist! Eventually, surprise, surprise, she and the matador have sex. While the scene is pretty hot and Mrs. Derek undulates amazingly, I did notice that there was perhaps three seconds of foreplay! Not exactly what the audience was expecting after all this build up. Following this scene, Mrs. Derek is attacked by the matador's woman, as she comes at her with a knife yelling "beeeeech!". A semi-naked Mrs. Derek and d'Abo (again, who is underage) lock her in a closet.

In a bizarre twist, the matador isn't that great a bullfighter after all, as he's gored in the crotch. Speaking for every man out there "OOOOOUUUUUCCCCHHHH!!!". That's what you get when you are the only bullfighter in Spain who refuses to hurt the bull (I kid you not--a p.c. bullfighter). Oddly, now that he's received a groinectomy, Mrs. Derek proposes to him. Considering that her only ambition throughout the film was to get laid, this seems like a very, very odd twist to say the least!! It would be like W.C. Fields marrying Cary Nation (the leader of the temperance movement). And, of course, while he's been told he'll never be able to have sex again, by the very end of the film the magical power of Mrs. Derek is able to somehow restore his manhood--though, in the interim there were a few silly surprises (such as the return of the impotent sheik and the hot but unintentionally funny final nude scene).

So what is to like about the film? Well, aside from the nudity, nothing. The dialog is among the most childish I've ever heard (yet it's a very adult movie supposedly), the characters one-dimensional and cartoon-like and the acting is terrible. While Mrs. John Derek's acting ability when it comes to sex scenes is admirable, her ability to convincingly recite her lines is pathetic and totally unbelievable. And as for d'Abo's, you really have to see it to believe it--it's THAT bad! But, considering her age, this could be forgiven. However, considering that Mrs. Derek is an adult with several screen credits already to her name, she does not have that excuse!

What I find amazing about this film are two things. First, that George Kennedy's fortunes had sunk that low that he agreed to be in this bilge. Second, that any man out there would sink as low as Mr. John Derek. Having his gorgeous wife star in this and several other sex films (like "Tarzan the Ape man") just seems disturbing--hence my referring to her as "Mrs. Derek". Was this some sort of expensive and sick form of sexual gratification--seeing his wife with other men brandished across the big screen? Pretty kinky and pretty sad and without this strange compulsion I can't imagine his wife having any career in films. I think this compulsion would have been easier and cheaper to fulfill by just filming his wife naked and prancing about for 90 minutes with no plot at all.

Truly a stupid, sad and wretched film.
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10/10
Beautiful!
warwickbennett_59124 July 2013
A lot of people seem to miss the point about this fantastic movie. Not every film has to have a believable plot, well-written dialogue and perfect acting, etc. Those which do are fine in their own way, but it would be a dull world if they were all the same. "Bolero" needs to be judged on its own terms and according to its own objectives. Surely if you watch a movie produced by Golan and Globus (and Bo Derek!), directed and photographed by John Derek and starring Bo Derek, you know what to expect. To complain or mark it down because it delivers exactly that is just plain stupid.

"Bolero" achieves all that it sets out to do (and more!). It has an interesting enough storyline to keep the audience entertained between nude scenes and plenty of great nude scenes to keep us entertained between the other bits. Bo Derek's acting isn't anywhere near as bad as some people here would have us believe -- certainly way better than that of Ana Obregon and Greg Bensen. Let's face it, though: John Derek didn't cast his wife in this movie for her acting ability, or for her resemblance to a teenage virgin -- neither Mrs Derek nor Ms Obregon were even remotely believable in that respect, but that is irrelevant.

Bo Derek succeeded admirably in doing what was required of her in "Bolero" -- providing us with something good to look at. She is a very attractive woman, and never looked better than she does in this movie. Even without all of the great humour (some of which may have been, as some critics suggest, unintentional), the beautiful scenes of Mrs Derek are enough to merit at least 5 stars out of ten.

What makes it worth all 10 stars, for me, is not Bo Derek, lovely as she may be, but the wonderful Olivia d'Abo. Her portrayal of the young Spanish gypsy, Paloma, is incredibly funny, intriguing and gorgeous at the same time. Her nude scenes alone make this movie worth watching, especially where she stands up in the bathtub and announces proudly, "I am woman. Ready. Juicy, too!" For Ms d'Abo's performance, I would give "Bolero" 11 stars out of 10, if I could.
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1/10
Bo, or B.O. Either way, it stinks.
Mister-613 July 1999
Bo Derek naked in a movie. Hmm... you might as well say: Bo Diddley playing a guitar. Everyday occurrences in an everyday existence. Like you people never read Playboy. Uh-huh. Right.

Bo was good in "10". She didn't have to speak that much. That 1981 "Tarzan, the Ape Man" thing kinda went down the tubes. Ladies, the first person you DON'T want directing your movies is your husband; they're too biased.

Just Ask Cleo Moore about Hugo Haas sometime.

"Bolero" is NOT the kind of movie you watch for plot, character development and cohesion. Not that you get any here, anyway, but just expect that going in. You watch this for the "good stuff". And I don't mean the nudity. In fact, the only one who doesn't drop trou here is George Kennedy (thank you, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU GEORGE!). I mean, the "GOOD STUFF".

Wink, wink...nudge, nudge...sophomoric comments...locker room humor....

So, are there any here?

Nope.

None.

Not a one.

There nearly are, but the lighting comes and goes here at the most inopportune times and it just ruins the mood. Except for the scene where Bo practices belly dancing. What can I say; I'm a sucker for a belly dancer when they look like her.

Everything else is strictly amateur hour as far as acting, photography, production goes.

One star (yes, for the belly-dancing thing). And if you've seen a Playboy pictorial on Bo, you've seen "Bolero".
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1/10
I'd imagine that pouring vinegar on your eyes would be less painful that watching this.
Duzniak381 August 2005
What a load of trash this movie is. This movie (How this can be called a movie is beyond me) is random and rather weird, and the plot is incredibly paper-thin. Basically, Lida (Bo Derek) is in search of losing her virginity, so she travels to Spain in search of a man. Cue loads of arousing yet pointless sexual scenes, such as Bo riding on a horse naked and her covered in honey being licked clean. Yes, it is full of nudity, but it's just pointless. This is more likely to be considered pornography, than a film. It's films like these which ruin Hollywood, full of trashy porn with terrible scripts, awful acting and a silly film title as well. Why on Earth John Derek wanted his wife writhing around naked in this movie is beyond me. It just gets to the point of plain sickening and unintentionally funny.
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6/10
Bo Derek naked!
pisces-615 August 2000
It's been a while since I saw this movie. Maybe it's because I was quite young back then, but Bo Derek naked in all kinds of positions made me drool. Unlike movies like "Wild Things" or "Showgirls" you get a lot of naked skin screentime. That's the only conceivable reason for watching this movie, to see the lovely Bo Derek naked. And you get to see a lot of her. I'm still searching for the video, so I can watch it again... so sue me.
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8/10
Bo Derek fans...
ketanpate3 March 2006
The only reason I rented this movie is because of Bo Dereks stomach. She looks amazing and at one point a seductive Egyptian looking idiot pours honey and milk all over her body. Instant boner when he starts to eat out her naval. hahaha disgusting but sexy. The plot is obviously missing but i can understand the movie making some money simply of the sex scenes. Everyone had to have jacked off while she was getting nailed so for that i respect it. Horny guys that are a fan of Bo Derek must rent, if you made the mistake of renting it to watch with your friends and family, make sure you feel comfortable having erections in front of them :)
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2/10
Bo is me
paul_johnr21 September 2005
Hollywood hasn't been an exceptionally kind place for Bo Derek. As American film's girl of the moment in the late 1970s and early 80s, Derek won adoration from millions of men, but also was the target of jokes about cute blonds who can't act. When first stealing attention as Dudley Moore's love interest in '10,' Bo was a model with connections to Hollywood power brokers through her husband John; she had virtually no acting skills. Movie companies were ready to profit from her looks but in no hurry to suggest drama classes, so things were headed for eventual disaster.

'Bolero' was Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus's attempt to cash in on the Bo Derek legend, a film written and directed by John Derek with Bo serving as producer. The film made quite a stir upon its release, as MPAA judges threatened an 'X' rating, that kiss of death for mass-market distribution. Cannon Films used the second option, releasing 'Bolero' as an unrated picture. It's been said that many visited cinemas with the hope of endless nudity and sex, but instead walked out early and demanded refunds. This film is definitely bad, although I can't understand what people were expecting from a mainstream theatre.

'Bolero' is a weird film to see. Bo Derek is completely miscast in the lead role, there is no almost no plot, and there is no meaningful dialogue. But the technical aspects of the film are so proficient that it looks much better than it really is. The photographic knowledge of John Derek really shows through, as we are given an array of colorful settings (and Bo, of course) that are very pleasing to the eye.

Mr. Derek was no D.H. Lawrence, however, and his scribblings for 'Bolero' remind me of those ornate poems I wrote in high school: the ones that sounded nice but didn't really have a point. 'Bolero' is major league fluff that wanders through knuckle-headed 'action' scenes and never-ending conversation. You'd think any guy making a film for his wife would be kind enough to write a storyline.

Bo plays Ayre McGillvary, a virginal (!) heiress who graduates from her elite ladies' school in 1920s Britain; whether she is graduating from high school or college, it is never made clear. Infatuated with Rudolph Valentino, Ayre feels it's time to discover her sexuality and get swept off her feet by a handsome sheik. She drags her best friend Catalina (Ana Obregón) and chauffeur Cotton (George Kennedy) to Morocco, hooks up with an enrobed young man who turns out to be an Oxford student, and watches him fall asleep on the verge of making love.

The trio truck to Spain and Ayre meets a bullfighter, Angel (Andrea Occhipinti); they share a love of wine and horses. Ayre makes love for the first time at sunrise, then watches Angel get the family jewels mauled in a bullring, leaving him unable to perform sexually. Ayre vows to 'repair' him, taking bullfight lessons and rejuvenating his spirit.

Derek was 27 upon the film's release and is much too old for this part. You can almost feel a compassion for her as she is delivering the stupid lines, trying to make something of her role ('I believe today is the day I become an excessively rich little bitch!' 'I'm not a virgin anymore!' **slaps my forehead**). I actually think Derek is a somewhat better actress than widely felt, but the plot and character she is given are so ridiculous that not even Elizabeth Taylor or Gwyneth Paltrow would be able to put life into them. The supporting roles are equally as bad; George Kennedy won an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor in 1967 ('Cool Hand Luke') and it looks as if he's just trying to stay in the movie business.

Probably the biggest FAQ about this film is why John Derek put his wife in so many erotic situations with two other men. I wouldn't be too thrilled if it were my spouse…The DVD was recently released by MGM and comes in widescreen format only with three-language subtitles. Cannon Films' theatrical trailer is included as an extra.

* out of 4
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1/10
BOLERO (John Derek, 1984) BOMB
Bunuel19769 February 2008
The Dereks' nadir is this gloriously misconceived, stultifyingly boring (and meaninglessly-titled) erotic adventure – a multiple Razzie award winner and justly considered one of the worst films of all time! Bo's naivete in sexual matters at least demonstrates a consistency within her husband's work as a director: in all three films I've watched by him (and featuring her) – the others being FANTASIES (1981; see above) and TARZAN, THE APE MAN (1981) – she's supposedly a virgin!

Bo's a spoilt rich girl (her first impulse after graduating is to strip naked on the university campus!) who wants to give herself to a man in a big way – infatuated with Rudolph Valentino, she travels to the desert in search of a sheik; when this doesn't work (under the influence of opium, he goes to sleep on her!), she sets her sights on toreador Andrea Occhipinti. Accompanying her in her sexual odyssey is beefy chauffeur George Kennedy (who looks properly embarrassed throughout) and her best friend, Ana Obregon – the latter yearns for a similar whirlwind romance but keeps any serious attachment at bay…that is, until Derek's kilt-wearing solicitor comes into her life!

Needless to say, Occhipinti is a veritable stud who has a penchant for making lifelong bedfellows of gypsy-girls; his current lover is, naturally, jealous of Bo but another hopeful – teenager Olivia d'Abo – befriends her and establishes herself in Bo's sumptuous hacienda. At one point, the jilted sheik turns up in his aeroplane and kidnaps Bo – who promptly leaps out in mid-air to rejoin her true love! Eventually, Occhipinti is gored in the arena – and Bo determines to render him back his manhood, first by practicing bullfighting herself(?!) and then through more obvious means (leading to a stylized finale at the accomplishment of the miracle).

The sex scenes are fairly explicit – including one in which the sheik licks a mixture of milk and honey off of Derek's throbbing bare chest!; even so, the most unintentionally comical bits involve the characters' predilection for showing their approval of something by giving it the thumbs up and, especially, Obregon stumbling in one scene – an accident the director perhaps thought of leaving in for the sake of spontaneity…which, therefore, likens him not merely to Ed Wood (see my comments on FANTASIES) but Jess Franco as well!
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