Follows the tale of a young woman's sexual awakening and subsequent journey around the world in pursuit of her ideal lover…

Release Year: 1984

Rating: 2.5/10 (3,248 voted)

John Derek

Stars: Bo Derek, George Kennedy, Andrea Occhipinti

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.


Bo Derek

Lida MacGillivery

George Kennedy


Andrea Occhipinti


Ana Obregón


Olivia d'Abo


Greg Bensen


Ian Cochrane

Robert Stewart

Mirta Miller


Mickey Knox

Sleazy Moroccan Guide

Paul Stacey

Young Valentino #1

James Stacey

Young Valentino #2

The Hottest Erotic Film Of The Century

Release Date: 31 August 1984

Filming Locations: Beaulieu Motor Museum, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst, Hampshire, England, UK

Box Office Details

Budget: $7,000,000


Opening Weekend: $4,579,240
(3 September 1984)

Gross: $8,914,881
(23 September 1984)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?


Rather than allow the film to be released with an X-rating, John Derek chose to release the film unrated instead.


Lida MacGillivery:
I've come all this way to give you something you may not even want – my virginity.

User Review

The MPAA was right – "X"


One thing to remember about "Bolero" is that the reason lots of people
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
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
darn censors tried to protect us from."

Having worked in a theater that exhibited "Bolero" on its first run in
I can attest to the fact that, during most showings, at least a third of
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

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
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
don't mean "at Bo's eyes". The camera even resorts to objectification a
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
love is infinitely better than casual sex." However, it tried to deliver
this moral through soft-core porn that is mostly centered around casual
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
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"
just plain not interesting. When people really love or really hate a
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.