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Film / Bolero

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Bolero is a 1984 American romantic drama film starring Bo Derek, and written and directed by her husband John Derek.

In The Roaring '20s, Ayre "Mac" MacGillvary (Bo Derek) is a young college graduate who, being the orphan heiress to a vast fortune, is determined to find the right man for her wherever he might be in the world. Rich enough not to venture forth alone, she brings along her best friend Catalina (Ana Obregón).

Mac first travels to Morocco where she meets who seems at first to be an ideal lover, an Arab sheik, but when the sheik turns out to be a lousy lover, Mac goes on to Spain, where she meets the toreador Angel, and sets out to seduce him. Unfortunately, after she has succeeded in her quest after several days of courtship and flirting to lose her virginity, Angel is gored while bullfighting the next day.


The injury leaves Angel despondent and moping away, so Mac makes it her mission in life to see to his recovery. Along the way, she takes up bullfighting herself.

Badly received by audiences and critics alike, it went on to dominate the Golden Raspberry Awards upon release.

This film contains examples of:

  • Arab Oil Sheikh: The Arab sheik who Mac first picks as a lover. After Angel is injured, the sheik flies to Spain to abduct Mac, but she manages to convince him that she has already lost her virginity to Angel and he lets her go.
  • Brainless Beauty: Mac is as much of a Dumb Blonde as possible (her reply to "Do you know anything about opium?" is "Next to nothing — except that it sounds romantic!").
  • Innocent Fanservice Girl: Paloma (played by 14-year old Olivia d'Abo) has no shame in bathing naked and going to a sauna with only a towel.
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  • Latin Lover: Angel, to a T. He is even a toreador. Interestingly, it still takes several days of courtship and flirting for Mac to gain his interest.
  • The Loins Sleep Tonight: The Arab sheik falls asleep almost immediately after starting foreplay with Mac.
  • Man in a Kilt: Mac's lawyer, Robert Stewart, is a kilt-wearing Scotsman.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Mac, as befitting a character played by Bo Derek. To the point even the poster up there features a naked Bo (the Godiva Hair is doubly adequate given she's riding a horse Lady Godiva style).
  • Non-Indicative Title: No bolero ever plays, the title is both a reference to Bo's Stage Name and how her star making turn in Ten featured Ravel's famed composition.
  • Retraux Flashback: Befitting her love for The Sheik, when Mac recounts Catalina her encounter with the Arab sheik, it is presented in the style of a silent movie.
  • The Roaring '20s: The film is set in the era, which explains Mac's initial fascination for sheiks.
  • Shout-Out: The film begins showing footage from the 1921 silent movie The Sheik. In fact, the reason Mac decides to go seek for an Arab sheikh first is because she has a crush on the titular character from said film, and their foreplay is shown in the style of a silent movie.
  • Sex as Rite-of-Passage: A rare female example; Mac is determined to find the right man for her first sexual encounter.
  • Stock Visual Metaphors: Mac's first sex scene has a smoke machine and a neon light blinking "Extasy" (sic).
  • Toros y Flamenco: The look of the Spain to which Mac goes. Of course she falls for a toreador.


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