32 user 11 critic

Bolero (1981)

Les uns et les autres (original title)
Trough fabulous music, this movie tracks three generations of musicians and dancers from Russia, Germany, France and the U.S., from before World War II through the war and the Holocaust, to... See full summary »




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1 win & 6 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
... Simon Meyer / Robert Prat
... Anne Meyer
... Suzan / Sara Glenn
... Karl Kremer
Jorge Donn ... Boris & Sergei Itovitch / Lead Dancer of Boléro
Rita Poelvoorde ... Tatiana & Tania Itovitch
... Magda Kremer
Evelyne Bouix ... Evelyne / Edith
Francis Huster ... Francis
... M. Raymond
... Le grand-père d'Edith
... Le directeur du Lido
... La grand-mère d'Edith
... Véronique
... Jacques


Trough fabulous music, this movie tracks three generations of musicians and dancers from Russia, Germany, France and the U.S., from before World War II through the war and the Holocaust, to the 1980s. Their lives become intertwined through the historical circumstances, and the culmination is the presence of several, including a former Nazi pianist and a French Jewish Holocaust survivor at an anti-famine concert. Written by Ed Cannon <ecannon@mail.utexas.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Claude Lelouch of "A Man and A Woman" fame, now presents a visual masterpiece of love, music and life . . .


Drama | Music


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Release Date:

27 May 1981 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Bolero  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Francis Lai: The composer appears as the blind accordion player. See more »


(at around 1h 21 mins) The soldiers are playing cards on the train and the game they are playing changes between shots. See more »

Crazy Credits

The grand majority of the opening credits are spoken by the narrator. The narrator stops after crediting the choreographer. Only the film's production company, title and the name Claude Lelouch appear in writing before the Bolero dance at the opening (when the writing is onscreen, the orchestra is warming up). Also, a quote by Willa Cather appears at the very beginning. See more »


Referenced in Hasta mañana (2013) See more »


Paris des autres
Music by Michel Legrand
Lyrics by Boris Bergman
Performed by Liliane Davis
See more »

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User Reviews

A cathedral made of matchsticks
28 February 2007 | by See all my reviews

First thing to bear in mind is that like Hossein's "les Miserables" or Enrico's "Au Nom de Tous les Miens",the movie which was theatrically released is a digest of a miniseries ,the running time of which exceeded six hours.In three hours,there are too many characters ,and Lelouch uses the same thespians to portray the parents and the children (Chaplin,Caan,Bouix...)which sometimes is a mess.But it's Hossein who gets the biscuit:even "made look younger" ,he was 54 at the time and it's impossible to believe he is a soldier coming back from the Algeria war.

It can be looked upon as a musical ,but the only musical sequence which is really awesome is Ravel's bolero where the four (French,Russian,German and American) families prove us (as if we did not understand) that it's better making music than making war.Thank you and God bless you all.

That said ,there's that optimistic bourgeois side in Lelouch's movies;it's so glaring here that it becomes sometimes unbearable.With a few exceptions (Garcia's husband,the girl who used to play around with the Germans,victims of war),it's a success story.We deal with educated brilliant people whose career will take them to megastardom after the war.There's a French film made up of sketches called "Retour à la vie" which depicted the fates of four men and a woman after WW2.Their future was not so bright: the concentration camps ,it's not a thing you forget overnight.You are going to say,Nicole Garcia ends up in an insane asylum.Probably but long after the war.In "Retour à la vie" Aunt Anna was so weak and so traumatized she could not utter one word.

The cast is admittedly impressive.But if the leads were not played by celebrities such as James Caan,Geraldine Chaplin or Fanny Ardant,we would be lost in a terrible mess.Ansd sometimes I must confess I do not know if it's the father (mother) or the son (daughter).And Lelouch spared us the third generation (they are still brats).To think that the last part of "Toute une Vie" (1974) another extravaganza which spanned a century,the last part was pure sci-fi and took us down to the future world! Les uns will like.Les autres won't.

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