Rather than allow the film to be released with an X-rating, John Derek chose to release the film unrated instead. According to Wikipedia, "Bolero (1984) was released with no MPAA rating. Its nudity and sexual content disqualified it from an R rating. At the time of release, the NC-17 rating had not yet been established and the only higher rating being X, John Derek decided to release the film unrated. The film is officially on DVD with an R rating with no cuts."
The movie was nominated for Nine Golden Raspberry Awards including Worst New Star, Worst Supporting Actor, and Worst Supporting Actress. In the end, the film won a sizable Six Razzies which were for Worst Actress, Worst Director, Worst New Star, Worst Screenplay, Worst Musical Score and the most notorious one of all: Worst Picture. In 1990, this movie was also nominated for The Golden Raspberry "Razzie" Award for Worst Picture of the Decade.
After a meeting in The Cannon Group, Inc. offices, Bo Derek had her luggage ransacked as she was about to travel, and had her personal pictures from the set of the film stolen. She was appalled to see that they were used and promoted as advertising for the film soon after they appeared in Variety when the film was being released, and was very upset about it.
According to Bo Derek, Producers Menahem Golan and Yoram Globus were so disappointed with the film, that they threatened to take away the Derek's family ranch, in a ploy to distance themselves from the controversy of the film.
In an article by Scot Haller in the September 3, 1984 edition of People Magazine, it stated that the movie had in the U.S. (at the time) "probably the widest release of any no-one-under-17-admitted movie in Hollywood history."
After receiving a memo from Menahem Golan to spice up the film even further, Bo Derek consulted with MGM head Frank Yablans about making additions as they were screening the film for the studio to distribute. Yablans still called the film junk like many of Cannon's productions, which they were giving MGM to release as part of their deal, which the studio used a "breach of contract" clause to get out of, as of November 7, 1984.
The movie's title was inspired by two sources, the first was the name of the film's star, sex symbol Bo Derek, and the fact that the major sex scene in Blake Edwards' 10 (1979), which had co-starred Bo Derek, was choreographed to the score of Maurice Ravel's classic music piece "Bolero" (1928).
Prior to this movie's theatrical release, an industry executive once said of this film to People Magazine: "Says one studio Vice President, 'If it's a bomb, we can all applaud the fact that we don't have to talk to them. But Bo (Derek) is still a name, and she will still get financing. No one is too much trouble if they've just come off a hit."
According to Wikipedia, "Bolero (1984) was the film that dissolved the distribution deal between Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, then known as MGM/UA Communications, and Cannon Films, over the potentially X-rated material in the film. MGM then had a rule of not releasing X-rated material theatrically. Cannon parted ways with MGM shortly before the release of Bolero (1984), and Cannon again became an in-house film production and distribution company."
The love scene in 10 (1979) was set to Ravel's melody score "Boléro" (1928). According to Wikipedia, "Boléro is a one-movement orchestral piece by Maurice Ravel (1875-1937). Originally composed as a ballet commissioned by Russian actress and dancer Ida Rubinstein, the piece, which premiered in 1928, is Ravel's most famous musical composition."