Bolero (1984)

Bolero (1984)

“I never dreamed that there was anyone on this earth like you — anyone.”

An orphaned heiress (Bo Derek) hoping to lose her virginity enlists the help of her chauffeur (George Kennedy) and his young wife (Ana Obregon) in travelling first to Morocco — where she attempts to be bedded by an insufficient sheik (Greg Bensen) — then to Spain, where she falls in love with a soon-to-be-gored bullfighter (Andrea Occhipinti).


  • Bullfighting
  • Historical Drama
  • George Kennedy Films
  • Romance
  • Virginity

Response to Peary’s Review:
Peary writes that this “worst film of 1984” is “no more than a home movie by director John Derek”, who “shoots so many close-ups of smiling wife Bo Derek that perhaps this was intended as a tribute to her dentist” (!). The remainder of Peary’s brief review is equally (and justifiably) snarky; he asserts that while “Bo may not be the worst actress around”, if you “combine her blank-minded love-child persona with the nauseating heiress she plays here”, the “results are deadly”. Though “Derek said he wanted the world to see how sexy Bo is”, his “film is anti-erotic”: “Every time Derek sets up a feverish love encounter for his wife, he undermines it with disruptive humor or stupid dialogue.” There’s little more to say about this mess of a film except that one mourns the sheer waste of funds that went into creating something so visually sumptuous (the cinematography and sets are gorgeous) for such cringe-worthy and boring results. Be forewarned that this soft-core flick contains inappropriate fetishization of both gypsies and underaged teens (Olivia D’Abo).

Redeeming Qualities and Moments:

  • Luminous cinematography

  • Numbingly awful dialogue:

    “It has to be warm and sultry and dark eyed when you give your virginity away. Like Italy or Spain.”

    “I am the woman for his bed and there will be no other. No other.”

Must See?
Nope; you have my permission to stay far, far away from this one.


2 thoughts on “Bolero (1984)

  1. First (and last) viewing. Skip it.

    Whatever the fuck it intended to be (sexy? romantic? funny? all 3?), it fails in all ways – and more! Who was the audience for this mess? ~men who would salivate over Bo in the same way as her ‘writer / director’ husband?, no matter what stupid thing she either said or did?

    The film has the distinction of being boring from frame one onward. It tries desperately to tell some kind of story for most of its running time but, from about the last 30 minutes or so until the conclusion, it just starts throwing out any old kind of nonsensical crap – indicating that the movie and everyone involved in it just gave up.

    Apparently George Kennedy (who does come off like a pro) and composer Elmer Bernstein (!) needed paychecks.

    This infamous flop was nominated for 9 Golden Raspberry awards and won 6 – including Worst Actress, Worst Director and Worst Picture.

  2. I saw this on VHS back in the day when I was an adolescent … and still found it boring. Not seen it since. I recall it having great production values but was just as bad as Tarzan the Ape Man (1981).

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