15 user 7 critic

Bolero (1934)

Approved | | Drama, Music | 23 February 1934 (USA)
An egotistical nightclub dance performer named Raoul, has the determination to succeed at all costs, and the only woman in his life that truly matters to him is a dancing partner named Helen.


Wesley Ruggles, Mitchell Leisen (uncredited)


Horace Jackson (screenplay), Carey Wilson (story) | 2 more credits »




Cast overview:
George Raft ... Raoul De Baere
Carole Lombard ... Helen Hathaway
Sally Rand ... Annette
Frances Drake ... Leona
William Frawley ... Mike DeBaere
Gertrude Michael ... Lady D'Argon
Ray Milland ... Lord Robert Coray (as Raymond Milland)
Gloria Shea ... Lucy
Learn more

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This is the story of an egotistical nightclub dance performer named Raoul, his determination to succeed at all costs, and the only woman in his life that truly matters to him, a dancing partner named Helen. (The highlight of the film is a dance performed atop a circular stage to a truncated version of Ravel's "Bolero.") Written by Eugene Kim <genekim@concentric.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


...He rose to fame on a ladder of dancing ladies. (Print Ad-Calgary Daily Herald, ((Calgary, Alta.)) 26 March 1934) See more »


Drama | Music


Approved | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Marice Ravel's symphonic orchestra composition "Bolero" premiered in Paris in 1929, which became the rage of the Parisienne concert stage. Adolf Zukor, in charge of the Hollywood Paramount Film Studios, from 1916-1936, demanded to own the "Bolero" music's film rights following the international success of "Bolero", assuming "Bolero" was an opera. Adolf Zukor didn't know he was not buying an opera. Upon the acquisition, of "Bolero," the story department had to come up with a scenario to use the title "Bolero" for a Paramount feature film. See more »


Raoul De Baere: You wouldn't get rich on what I'd pay you.
Helen Hathaway: There are other ways to get rich.
See more »


Followed by Rumba (1935) See more »


Clair de Lune
Written by Claude Debussy
See more »

User Reviews

A must see; for the dancing, if not for the plot.
15 May 2000 | by fireworkSee all my reviews

This is a dance film very much in the classic mold. An arrogant but popular dancer is dumped by his/her partner/lover and takes a new partner in order to win a contest against the former, only to fall in love again, this time for real.

"Saturday Night Fever" any one?

What makes this movie so worth watching is not the plot, nor even the dancing: it is the manner in which it is presented.

George Raft, sleazy as ever, tells Carole Lombard, who has come to audition in his hotel room, to do so in her underwear. She complies without complaint. Later in the film Sally Rand performs her famous Fan Dance. Properly done, a woman hides her complete nudity behind two enormous ostrich feather fans, while keeping herself and the fans in constant motion.

It is safe to say that neither of these scenes would have been possible a year later, nor for another thirty after that.

If you enjoy precode films, and would like to see how far the studios would go in order to get those depression dollars, or could go to irritate the censors, this is a fine example.

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Release Date:

23 February 1934 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

ボレロ(1934) See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Paramount Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Noiseless Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »

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