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The Doors (1991)

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The story of the famous and influential 1960s rock band The Doors and its lead singer and composer, Jim Morrison, from his days as a UCLA film student in Los Angeles, to his untimely death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971.

Director:

Oliver Stone

Writers:

Randall Jahnson (as J. Randal Johnson), Oliver Stone
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2,366 ( 546)
3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Val Kilmer ... Jim Morrison
Meg Ryan ... Pamela Courson
Kyle MacLachlan ... Ray Manzarek
Frank Whaley ... Robby Krieger
Kevin Dillon ... John Densmore
Michael Wincott ... Paul Rothchild
Michael Madsen ... Tom Baker
Josh Evans ... Bill Siddons
Dennis Burkley ... Dog
Billy Idol ... Cat
Kathleen Quinlan ... Patricia Kennealy
John Densmore ... Engineer - Last Session
Gretchen Becker ... Mom
Jerry Sturm ... Dad
Sean Stone ... Young Jim
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Storyline

Oliver Stone's homage to 1960s rock group The Doors also doubles as a biography of the group's late singer, the "Electric Poet" Jim Morrison. The movie follows Morrison from his days as a film student in Los Angeles to his death in Paris, France at age 27 in 1971. The movie features a tour-de-force performance by Val Kilmer, who not only looks like Jim Morrison's long-lost twin brother, but also sounds so much like him that he did much of his own singing. It has been written that even the surviving Doors had trouble distinguishing Kilmer's vocals from Morrison's originals. Written by Denise P. Meyer <dpm1@cornell.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The ceremony is about to begin See more »

Genres:

Biography | Drama | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for heavy drug content, and for strong sexuality and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 March 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Les Doors See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$38,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$9,151,800, 3 March 1991

Gross USA:

$34,416,893

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$34,416,893
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (analog 70 mm prints)| CDS (digital 35 mm and 70 mm prints)| Dolby SR (analog 35 mm prints)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Billy Idol, who played the injured fan, "Cat", released a cover of The Doors song "L.A. Woman" on his 1990 album, "Charmed Life". See more »

Goofs

Shortly after the band rehearses "Break On Through", the guitarist starts to play the beginning of "Wish You Were Here" by Pink Floyd. The song was released in 1975. See more »

Quotes

Jim Morrison: [first lines; Jim has just climbed a tree to Pam's room] Hi.
Pamela: Hi.
[pause]
Pamela: Don't you believe in doors?
Jim Morrison: A waste of time.
See more »

Alternate Versions

A special edition of the movie was released in 1997 on laserdisc with additional scenes that were cut from the movie:
  • A scene taking place circa 1965 with Jim Morrison (Kilmer) jamming onstage with Ray's band, adding obscene lyrics to the Van Morrison song "Gloria."
  • 2 additional scenes of a bearded Jim reciting poetry in the recording studio.
  • Additional footage of Jim singing "The Unknown Soldier" at the New Haven concert.
  • A scene of Jim getting roughed up and harrassed in jail by police officers after being arrested at the New Haven concert.
  • Jim in his hotel room with 2 young women and Pam (Meg Ryan) yelling at him from outside.
  • Additional footage in the scene where Jim is on an airplane en route to Miami.
  • Additional scene at the end with Jim and Ray (Kyle Machlachlan) walking around Venice and talking before he departs for Paris.
  • Jim and Pam talking in the airplane en route to Paris.
See more »

Connections

Features In the Land of the Head Hunters (1914) See more »

Soundtracks

Venus In Furs
Written by Lou Reed
Performed by The Velvet Underground
See more »

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User Reviews

Mr. Mojo Risin And The Turbulent 60s
23 April 2006 | by LechuguillaSee all my reviews

Although less popular now, Jim Morrison was an American pop culture icon during the late 1960s. He liked to refer to himself as "Mr. Mojo Risin", an anagram of his name. Oliver Stone's film "The Doors" is mostly about Morrison ... his rise to stardom in the 1960s, his personality, and his mysterious death in 1971.

Influenced in childhood by American Indians, Morrison grew up fascinated with Indian Shamanism, elements of which he would later infuse into his poetry and music while hanging out in the mid 60s in the hip areas of Los Angeles. Here he would meet musician Ray Manzarek (Kyle MacLachlan). Along with two other band members, the group would form "The Doors", a name Morrison borrowed from the title of Aldous Huxley's book on drug use and enlightenment, called "The Doors Of Perception". During this time Morrison comes across as sensitive, shy, poetic, and an idealistic dreamer. The film's first hour is quite good. We get some insights into Jim's early years, and we get to hear some of that great music, like "Riders On The Storm", and "Light My Fire".

The film's second half is less interesting. Morrison himself has changed, as a result of his celebrity status. His narcissism, his boozing and drug use, have turned his world into chaos, which is evident in a couple of staged concert events, one in New Haven, the other in Miami. The amount of time that Oliver Stone spends on these noisy, chaotic events is excessive. Some of that could have been edited out.

As with most Stone films, the cinematography in "The Doors" is excellent, and includes some early CGI. Val Kilmer is a great choice to play the part of Morrison. And Kathleen Quinlan is good as Patricia, the seductive witch. The film's images at the cemetery in Paris, together with Gothic background music, make for a haunting finale.

Stone's movie is not to be taken in a literal sense. Rather, it is suggestive of the complex mix of personal and cultural forces that interacted to create a pop culture legend. As a byproduct of this cinematic tribute, the viewer gets to see how the late 1960s really were, with the art deco, the hippie lingo, and all that hostility that existed in society. The film thus counters the political revisionism that later decades have assigned to that period. As such, "The Doors" complements and reinforces other films of that era which also "tell it like it really was": "Medium Cool", "Easy Rider", "Alice's Restaurant", and "Zabriskie Point", to name a few.

Despite a noisy, irksome second half, "The Doors" is an intriguing film about an intriguing historical figure. Mr. Mojo Risin's "style" may have died with the times. But Jim Morrison, himself, lives on ... as legend.


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