The Bobo (1967) Poster

(1967)

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Charming
nobita7 December 1998
Although many film critics are very quick to pan this film citing that is not 'classic Sellers', this film is indeed very charming. The story is to do with a young woman called Olympia, played by Peter Seller's wife at the time, Britt Ekland. Set in Barcelona, Olympia is the object of every man's desire and she has been responsible for the ruining of many a man. Enter Peter Sellers as Juan Bautista, the singing matador. His dream is to be the most famous stage performer in Barcelona. But to achieve this, his prospective employer sets him a challenge. If he spends one night in bed with Olympia, the first man to do so, he will make him a stage star. Juan takes the challenge but has only 3 days to do it. The film is reasonably funny in the methods that Juan uses to seduce Olympia. Sellers gives a very confident performance which makes it fun to watch. There is also an excellent scene with non-cliched flamenco dancing, which is actually so exceptional it seems so out of place in the film. This is not a classic film, however it will keep you entertained on a boring day.
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6/10
Catalonian Caper Has Its Pleasures
slokes11 February 2005
"The Bobo" is not a very good movie. It's arguably not even fair, though it has a history behind it. Popular opinion has it that Peter Sellers, the greatest screen comedian of his day, began a lengthy descent from the clouds of his late '50s/early '60s apogee with this silly sex farce co-starring his then-wife, Britt Ekland.

Sure, "The Bobo" isn't brilliant, and clearly suffers from Sellers' Charlie Chaplin complex in that he portrays himself as something of a dupe (a "bobo," as is said in the movie) in upholding the honor of a supremely designing woman. But watching the film today is not unpleasant. It's no great laugh fest, but it is amusing in parts, and Sellers and Ekland have real chemistry. Sellers, just weeks away from death in 1980 and reacting to Ekland's harsh depiction of him in her tell-all auto, "True Brit," called the mother of his youngest child "a professional girlfriend and an amateur actress" and though uncharitable, that dig isn't without merit. It's just that there's more on offer in this one time we got to see the husband and wife paired up romantically on screen.

Sellers plays a singing matador named Juan Bautista, looking for his big break on the streets of picaresque Barcelona. Impresario Carbonell (Adolfo Celi), nursing a deep grudge against the tantalizing, unavailable Olimpia Segura (Ekland) who lives across the street from his favorite watering hole, offers Bautista a brief engagement - if the singer can bed her.

"The Bobo" starts with real promise, taking advantage of its Catalonian setting with an aerial shot of a Christ statue above the city of Barcelona with soaring musical accompaniment that promises much. The film itself starts slowly, with the setting of the bet between Carbonell and Bautista and a demonstration of Olimpia's gold-digging cruelty. Not many actual laughs, which is alright since it's not worth setting expectations you are in for a particularly funny movie when you aren't, but it's a start.

The middle section of "The Bobo" is good, though, at times brilliant. I'm thinking mainly of the flamenco dance in which Bautista, early on in his attempt to scam the lovely Olimpia, surrenders center-stage to one of the most amazing dances ever seen on screen. The dancer looks like Angus Young of AC/DC, but she is all woman, an arresting image of the throes of passion which totally grabs you and holds you by the throat as the camera lingers on her waist, her wrists, and the strands of caramel hair glued to her Angelina Jolie lips while her heels beat like the Four Horses of the Apocalypse. There's also a real funny exit line from Bautista, easily the best laugh in the film.

I'd just be tempted to say hack director Robert Parrish just got lucky there, but he shows more greatness in a sequence at a ritzy retreat where Bautista, improvising like a madman, makes up excuses for a non-existent count who is standing up an annoyed Olimpia. Great '60s ambiance abounds, especially when a fey majordomo played enjoyably by John Wells prances in to explain how everything works.

The film peters out after that, especially near the end when it comes time for Bautista and Carbonell to settle up. Celi was such a great presence in "Thunderball" you sort of know he was capable of more than the script allowed him here.

Other parts of the film are similarly weak. There's a pathetic journalist character played by Kenneth Griffith who is too unctuous and gross to be enjoyed, and Sellers presses the pathos button too much. Ekland's character is so nasty as to make her unlikable most of the time we are watching her, which takes away from the pleasure of her sexy presence more than it should. (Ekland does a good job in her thankless role, though, better than we have any right to expect.) But Barcelona in the later Franco era makes for a very exotic and enjoyable atmosphere, especially when accompanied by a gorgeous score.

Would that Sellers had been a reasonable man, realizing he wasn't best suited as a romantic hero but as a bumbler stealing the audience's heart. "The Bobo" has moments where he plays for laughs, and moments when he just vogues in a matador costume, and it's no trick seeing the difference and which is better. But I enjoy watching "The Bobo," and I suspect that, divorced from any great expectations, you will, too.
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Beautifully filmed and charming movie with first-rate cast.
negevoli-442 August 2000
I think this is one of Peter Sellers' best movies, along with "Dr. Strangelove...", "Only Two Can Play," "Two-Way Stretch," "A Shot in the Dark," "After the Fox," and of course the original Pink Panther...

Sellers is charmingly funny and Britt Eklund is deliciously stunning, and perfect for her role as a femme fatale who toys with men only to succumb to Sellers' rather pathetic efforts at courtship.

There are a number of creative and funny scenes but the "Hermitage" restaurant scene during Sellers' and Eklund's first "date" is especially maginative and hilarious...not to be missed.

Not a shoot-'em-up, but a rather lovely film with a great cast and great production values.
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5/10
Mostly for Sellers-completists...a slow-moving sex comedy with some good visual gags
moonspinner5516 December 2010
In order to get a booking in Spain as a 'singing matador', Peter Sellers must first spend one hour alone with ravishing Britt Ekland, the local tease who has developed a bad reputation-in-reverse due to the fact she spurns all the men who desire her. Screenwriter David R. Schwartz adapted his own play, which began as the novel "Olimpia" by Burt Cole, but seems to have left out the heart of the story. Sellers and Ekland (real-life marrieds at the time) are both good, though neither has much of a character to play. The low-keyed film is so restrained, it may confound viewers hoping for a European farce. There are minor compensations: some of Peter's shtick, including a pantomime bit on the street, is funny, also the affected way Sellers pronounces 'Barcelona'. The sight-gag in the final act is successfully rendered, and Francis Lai contributes a beautiful bossa nova score. Still, the picture never really takes off, remains a rather glum and meandering vehicle for its star. ** from ****
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10/10
Great movie which deserves to be available in DVD asap -NOW!
1lawyer11 November 2004
Great movie which deserves to be available in DVD asap, if you know what I mean, and I think you do. Brit is probably the best looking blonde on the planet.This movie is unusual in that it has two levels of humor at least. Each viewing reveals more details and cultural humor regarding the "foreign" viewpoint. The Flamenco Dancer is great - she beats those on Collins Street hands down - in my opinion. This movie used to be shown on Television and was often listed locally as "The Blue Matador". The Scenery appears to be authentic, as opposed to being shot primarily in a studio. The color is excellent as is the focus of the VHS version. Very sharp and very clear photography. And it is a movie which can be viewed alone or in a group. The entire movie is UPBEAT.
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Something different from Sellers
grstmc24 May 2001
THE BOBO will undoubtedly disappoint those expecting Peter Sellers to be doing Clouseau-style slapstick, and those that expect the satirical humor he was also famous for.

Instead, this is a character comedy and Juan Bautista (not Batista)is one of Sellers' more interesting characters, albeit from among his lesser efforts. But even lesser Sellers is better than the overall product from today's so-called comedy geniuses.

BOBO was well-made, with a great opening sequence aerial shot of Barcelona, Spain (although I believe the picture was made in Italy). The plot involves Sellers as Bautista, an ex-matador who wants to break into show business in Barcelona, but can't seem to get a theater booking. He finally is promised one if - and only if - he can conquer a rather cold-hearted gold digger named Olimpia Segura (played by Britt Ekland, Mrs. Sellers at the time).

There are some good comedy bits and sequences throughout the film. Bautista's attempts to audition for the theater owner are amusing (and unless I'm mistaken, Sellers does his own singing). He does some matador maneuvers while pretending a sportscar is a bull. The scenes at the hideaway-retreat are very good. Later, he gets dunked in a tub of blue dye and becomes "The Blue Singing Matador".

Sellers (Bautista) and Ekland (Olimpia) work well together in the only time they were paired romantically on screen. Added to which, the picture does not end the way that most people think it will. On my own Sellers scale of five stars, THE BOBO ranks three stars.
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7/10
Beautiful, Romantic Comedy With Bittersweet Ending
Bob-4510 January 2005
Warning: Spoilers
"The Bobo" is NOT a laugh-out-loud Peter Sellers comedy. "The Bobo" IS likely Sellers most romantic film, a gentle love story well played by Sellers and then-wife Britt Ekland.

Sellers plays Juan Batista, the "boob," of the title, a no-talent matador who aspires to be a singer. The owner of a large theater, (Adolfo Celi) offers Sellars a wager. Sellars can perform several weeks in his theater if he seduce Olympia (Ekland), the most desirable courtesan in Barcelona, who has rejected all of Celli's advances.

"The Bobo" has great music and scenery. Sellers and Ekland, unlike many real life couples, have great chemistry. The weakest element of the film is the comedy. However, the romance soars.

WARNING: SPOILER While it seems most critics condemn the bittersweet ending, it seems entirely appropriate to me. Both Juan and Olympia are wiser for their experience, and have shared a bittersweet romance that will carry them into their years. Perhaps, someday they will meet again, and, who knows? After all, even courtesans retire.

END SPOILER I give "The Bobo" a "7".
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6/10
The all time worst ending to a film
rcraig6222 April 2003
As a lifelong Peter Sellers fan, I've seen this movie a few times even though I know the letdown is coming at the end. I'm always lured back by Sellers' performance here, proving once again he was one of the greatest actors in all the world. He plays Juan Bautista, a traveling singing matador who attempts to seduce the local flirt/bitch of Barcelona in exchange for a gig at the local theater. It is one of his most charming, touching, beautifully subtle performances ever, as the film takes you along their unusual courtship until he finally melts her heart and wins her over. At the point, the story takes an unexpected turn that is so shocking and so patently unfunny and so vile, I can't imagine what anyone connected with the film was possibly thinking when they made it. I am no sucker for happy Hollywood endings, but the end to this movie is so out-of-step with what we've just seen in the last ninety minutes that it just spoiled the whole thing for me. I still rate it as the worst movie ending of all time. As far the rest of it, Sellers and then-wife Britt Ekland (who never looked better) have some lovely scenes; their first date at a nightclub that features flamenco dancing really stands out. With a different finale, this could have been a rare gem in the Peter Sellers catalogue. As it is, it's just OK. 2 1/2 ** out of 4
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It was painfully obvious!
fatbob0308225 January 2011
There isn't much about the movie other than it was pretty much sub-par for Mr. Sellers. However what I did find interesting was the Spanish dance sequence in the middle of the movie. I don't know who the dancer was, but obviously one of great talent. As far as I'm concerned it was the only thing worth watching in the whole movie but it was bad for the movie itself. This exceptional dancer filmed in such artistic form was absolutely thick with raw sensual energy and when they cut away from her to the two Bobo's the movie's lack of substance was painfully obvious. From that point on Sellers and Ekland seem shallow and amateurish.
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8/10
Sellers seduces his own wife
The_Secretive_Bus19 March 2005
This is one of Peter Sellers' more forgotten efforts that only occasionally appears in documentaries and biographies so that it can be ritually slagged off before being left to gather dust once more. And yet I'm going to have to say that I quite like this little film.

I've seen it twice now, and I can't work out what's supposed to be so wrong with it. Granted, it's not perfect, but it's nowhere near as bad as it's made out to be. In fact, Juan Baustista, the singing matador, is probably one of Sellers' better acting roles (and that's saying something as he's bloody brilliant in almost everything), with every line either arousing sympathy or humour. Though Juan shouldn't be hugely likable - after all, the plot is about him trying to "conquer" a particular woman in three days so that he can get a singing contract at the local theatre - Sellers makes him so, with baleful glances and a genuine romantic quality. It's a subtle performance in many ways, and also, at times, a very funny one, Sellers displaying his usual comic flair. "I may look to you like a man who is waiting, but I can assure you that I am actually looking like a man who is *not* waiting. Mmm." Whether the Spanish accent is realistic I don't know, but it worked fine for me.

Britt Ekland co-stars as the focus of Juan's attentions, the vamp Olimpia. Sellers and Ekland were still married at the time and apparently filming was very tense as they were going through one of many rough patches in their relationship. However, this doesn't show on screen, and the two have a delightfully interesting chemistry. As for Britt as an actress in general, she does quite well here, and neither overacts nor underacts as she has a tendency to do in various other films I've seen her in (the otherwise marvellous Amicus anthology "Asylum", for instance).

There are actors of various nationalities on display, and as a result I knew few of them - there's a chap wearing a fez identical to the one he wore in "I'm All Right Jack", and the excitable Pepe is played by Boulting Brothers Welsh regular actor Kenneth Griffith, all but unrecognisable under thick specs and an even thicker Spanish accent. However, the always lovable Hattie Jacques has quite a substantial role as Britt's maid/housekeeper/minder, and it's interesting to see her in scenes opposite Peter Sellers, after her many years having been on radio with the other comedy legend Tony Hancock in "Hancock's Half Hour".

Though overall this is a very gentle and humorous film, there are some flaws. There seem to be several subplots going on at the beginning to do with men falling in and out of love with Olimpia, all of which get forgotten about once Sellers actually gets involved in the main plot line a whole half hour into the film, having spent his time prior to this wandering around a cafe ordering cheese sandwiches. There's a hideously OTT French camp bloke in the pervy hotel scene, who is, quite frankly, as irritating as a mosquito with asthma. And the film grinds to a halt about forty-five minutes in to make way for a bizarre five minute flamenco-dancing scene that drags interminably and has the scariest looking woman I've ever seen in a film, snarling and wracked with pain throughout, the dance itself making one's feet hurt just watching it. I bet her honeymoon was memorable. Her hubbie's back must have felt like murder in the morning. The things people do for love, eh? As for the whole singing blue matador bit, which was used to promote the film on posters, trailers, and merchandise (including the video and DVD), I have to ask - why? Sellers only actually goes blue about ten minutes from the end, so I'm not sure what the point of it was. There's also some dire sound syncing during his opera bit in the arena.

However, these niggles don't really detract from the film as a whole, which moves along quite nicely with some whimsical humour chucked in and a rather top notch Spanish musical score. It's even quite touching in places towards the end. Certainly worth a viewing, I'd say, even if nobody else thinks so.

8/10
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7/10
Retired Bull Fighter Juan Bautista's story to Olimpia Segura kept me guessing until the end
Ed-Shullivan12 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
This is not a typical Peter Sellers comedy, but rather a very well written story that has Peter Seller's role as a retired singing bull fighter named Juan Bautista trying to clinch one last big pay day at a large live theater in Barcelona Spain. To achieve his ultimate goal, which is to become the headliner at a prestigious theater Juan agrees with the theater's owner, Francisco Carbonell, (played by Adolfo Celi) to bed the beautiful Olimpia Segura (Britt Ekland) within the next three (3) nights.

For Juan to woo the beautiful Olimpia Juan comes up with an elaborate plan that requires Olimpia to meet up with a fictitious man of royal descent for a whack of money. Olimpia resists Juan's crazy but rich proposal for awhile but eventually she bends, and she agrees to meet this mysterious royal family member. Each time Juan sets up a meeting, the mysterious prince is a no-show, and Juan provides Olimpia with another far fetch excuse why the prince did not show up.

Olimpia is a manipulative vixen herself so for Juan to be able to convince Olimpia that this so-called prince who is rich beyond one's wildest dreams really does exist, Juan's stories have to be believable. But it is not so much that Juan's stories that are so truthful, rather it is Juan's unique charm that catches Olimpia's attention and her fancy.

The love tango that proceeds between Juan and Olimpia is what grabbed my attention as Juan's slow and unexpected romance of the beautiful Olimpia is not what anyone would have expected, but it does. At least Olimpia is smitten until she finds out she has been scammed. As the old saying goes "hell has no fury, than a woman scorned", so Olimpia determines a unique way of getting even with the lying Juan Bautista. To the bitter end, Juan remains a gentlemen, and a true singing bullfighter.

I give the film a 6 out of 10 for being well written and unique in story line. Peter Sellers and Britt Ekland's performances were both above par and quite entertaining in their scenes opposite each other.
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3/10
Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
MartinHafer16 January 2011
Peter Sellers was a real enigma. For every wonderful film he made, he made an insipid film. It's weird, but for every film like "Dr. Strangelove" or "The Lady Killers", he made a dud like "The Party" or "The Prisoner of Zenda". So, over the years I have learned to hold judgment--not to necessarily expect anything--just sit back and hope it will be a good film. Perhaps he was a bad judge of scripts or had a bad agent, but too many of his films simply made no sense for his career and "The Bobo" is yet another one of them. Audiences expecting a comedy were shocked, as there's practically nothing funny about this film--just a very, very, very long and dry chameleon-like portrayal of yet another character by Sellers. Yes, he managed to produce a nice Spanish accent and create an interesting character...but not much else. Overall, the film is pretty dull and there really never is any sort of payoff--and I felt like I wasted my time holding on until the end. A sad and disappointing film made doubly worse because audiences expected to see SOMETHING from the husband-wife pairing of Peter Sellers and Britt Ekland...and they were pretty good together in "After the Fox". Here....nothing.
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6/10
Shrewndess can be moralistic
jmickus-465758 January 2020
Dont have sex and focus on your career is the Good moral and can still be shrewd about the baser side of human nature.
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5/10
some fun sequences
blanche-214 July 2016
Peter Sellers stars with his then-wife, Britt Ekland, and Rosanno Brazzi in "The Bobo" from 1967.

The always funny Sellers plays a singing matador named Juan, who comes to Barcelona to make his fortune. He sings for an unimpressed local impresario (Adolfo Celi), who agrees to book him on one condition. Juan has to spend an evening with Olimpia (Ekland), a flirt who gets whatever she wants from men, including apartments and sports cars, and then she drops them.

Juan pretends he is the messenger of a wealthy count and works at seducing her.

Anything with Sellers is good, I think, but in this period of time he was going through some kind of identity crisis. He was married to beautiful Britt Ekland and trying to change his image somewhat. The movie isn't very good, but there is some fabulous dancing, music, and atmosphere, and chemistry between Sellers and Ekland. Sellers has funny moments as well.

The film has an unexpected ending which a lot of people did not like. I thought it fit. There's not much here, but if you want to see flamenco dancing like you'll never see it again, see this film for the nightclub scene.
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4/10
The best movie ever about a singing matador?
JasparLamarCrabb31 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Certainly not Peter Sellers' finest hour, but still a fairly entertaining diversion. Sellers is a singing matador who makes his way to Barcelona seeking fame & fortune. He finds entertainment impresario Adolfo Celi, who challenges him to seduce the local man eater (Britt Ekland) in three days. His reward being a featured appearance in Celi's revue. What follows is a series of goofiness as Sellers fakes his way into Ekland's life and naturally falls in love with her...it's not the most sophisticated romantic comedy and frankly it's not even particularly funny, but Sellers has his moments. He has great chemistry with Ekland (Mrs. Sellers at the time) and the supporting cast (including Rosanno Brazzi) is a treat. Directed by Robert Parrish, who was not known for pulling off comedy and the rather sluggish pacing shows. HIGH POINT: Sellers & Ekland attempting to con a pretentious furrier out of a mink coat.
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