Bolero (1984 film)


A close-up picture of a womans face Also a white horse with an apparently naked woman rider, covered by her long blonde hair

Theatrical release poster
Directed by John Derek
Produced by Bo Derek
Written by John Derek
Music by
Cinematography John Derek
Edited by
  • Sophie Bhaud
  • Hughes Damois
City Films
Distributed by Cannon Film Distributors
Release dates
  • August 31, 1984 (1984-08-31)
Running time
104 minutes[1]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $7 million[2]
Box office $8.9 million[3]

Bolero is a 1984 American romantic drama film starring Bo Derek, and written and directed by her husband John Derek.[4] The film centers on the protagonist's sexual awakening and her journey around the world to pursue an ideal first lover who will take her virginity.

Despite minor commercial success, the film was critically panned, earning nominations for nine Golden Raspberry Awards at the 5th Golden Raspberry Awards and "winning" six, including the Worst Picture.


Ayre "Mac" MacGillvary (Bo Derek), a virginal young woman, on graduating from an exclusive British boarding school, is determined to find the right man for her first sexual encounter wherever he might be in the world. Rich enough not to venture forth alone, she brings along her friend Catalina (Ana Obregon) and the family chauffeur Cotton (George Kennedy).

Ayre first travels to an Arab country where she meets an ideal lover, a sheik who offers to deflower her but falls asleep almost immediately. Giving up on the sheik, Ayre goes on to Spain, where she meets the toreador Angel (Andrea Occhipinti) who manages to stay awake. Unfortunately, after she has succeeded in her quest, Angel is gored while bullfighting.

The injury leaves Angel unable to perform in the bedroom, and so Ayre makes it her mission in life to see to his recovery. Along the way, she learns to fight a bull herself as a way of getting her despondent lover motivated to stop moping. Eventually, she is successful in aiding Angel to full recovery, and they celebrate their wedding.


Production and release

Executive producer and Cannon Films co-head Menahem Golan urged the Dereks to make the sex scenes more explicit, despite the latter party's objections on the basis that the scenes were strong enough. The film was initially to be distributed by MGM as part of an ongoing deal with Cannon, and Bo Derek screened the film to the studio's then-CEO Frank Yablans hoping that he would intervene with Golan on the matter of the erotic content. Yablans disliked the film as much as all the other films Cannon was delivering to MGM.[5]

When the producers refused to cut the film to avoid an X rating by the MPAA, MGM dropped the film due to standards policies and Cannon released Bolero themselves.[6] The quality of Bolero and the other Cannon/MGM films led to Yablans using a breach of contract clause to terminate the distribution deal with the two studios in November 1984.[5] Bolero was ultimately released with no MPAA rating, with a disclaimer on ads that no children under 17 would be admitted to the film. Despite this, many theater chains that normally refused to screen X-rated films did the same for Bolero.[6]

The film is officially on DVD with an "R" rating with no cuts.


Review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a rating of 6% based on reviews from 16 critics.[7]

It was nominated for nine Golden Raspberry Awards and won six, including "Worst Picture," "Worst Actress," "Worst Director," and "Worst Screenplay."[8] In 1990, the film was nominated for, but lost the Razzie Award for "Worst Picture of the Decade."[9] The movie was nominated for a Stinkers Bad Movie Awards for Worst Picture.[10]

The film earned about $8.9 million in American ticket sales[3] against a $7 million production budget.[2]

Video releases

In 1985, U.S.A. Home Video released Bolero in both Unrated and R-Rated versions to the video rental marketplace. In 2005, MGM Home Entertainment released Bolero on DVD, after the rights to the majority of Cannon Film productions reverted to MGM, an ironic move, considering the events that transpired between MGM and Cannon over the original theatrical release of the film. The MGM release, although rated R, is the full, uncut version of the film.


  1. "Bolero (18)". British Board of Film Classification. August 3, 1984. Retrieved December 4, 2011.
  2. 1 2 "Bolero (1984) - Box office / business". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved 2011-12-04.
  3. 1 2 Bolero at Box Office Mojo
  4. "Bolero". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 2, 2016.
  5. 1 2 Hartley, Mark (2014). [[Electric Boogaloo: The Wild, Untold Story of Cannon Films]] (Motion Picture). Ratpac Entertainment.
  6. 1 2 Haller, Scot (September 3, 1984). "With the Help of Her Husband, Bo Derek Beds Down in a New Role: Madame X." People (Vol. 22, No. 10).
  8. "1984 Razzie Awards Winners and Nominees". Retrieved 2009-09-16.
  9. "10th Annual Razzie Awards: Special Worst of the Decade Awards for the 1980s". Retrieved 2009-09-16.
  10. "1984 7th Hastings Bad Cinema Society Stinkers Awards". Stinkers Bad Movie Awards. Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on October 17, 2006. Retrieved April 2, 2013.

External links

Preceded by
The Lonely Lady
Razzie Award for Worst Picture
5th Golden Raspberry Awards
Succeeded by
Rambo: First Blood Part II
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