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The Doors (1991)

 -  Biography | Drama | Music  -  1 March 1991 (USA)
7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 58,832 users   Metascore: 62/100
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The story of the famous and influential 1960s rock band 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.

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Cast

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Dog
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Engineer - Last Session
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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 Ultimate Story of Sex, Drugs & Rock 'N' Roll 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:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ha-Dlatot  »

Box Office

Budget:

$38,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$35,183,792 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(analog 70 mm prints)| (digital 35 mm and 70 mm prints)| (analog 35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jim Morrison's real grave is shown at the end of the movie, filmed at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France. The headstone has since been changed, and the graffiti was removed from the surrounding graves at the request of Jim's parents. The bust of Jim was stolen sometime in 1988. The grave is also surrounded with a steel fence to prevent further vandalism to the tomb, as pieces of the stone had been chipped off and stolen over the years. See more »

Goofs

At the bar, Jim drinks Miller Genuine Draft, which was not available until the late 1980s. See more »

Quotes

Jim Morrison: Adolf Hitler is alive and well and living in Miami! I fucked her last night!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Oliver Stone: Inside Out (1992) See more »

Soundtracks

She's About a Mover
Written by Doug Sahm
Performed by Sir Douglas Quintet
Produced by Huey P. Meaux
Published by Crazy Cajun Music (BMI)
Courtesy of Tribe Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An ordinary film with one extraordinary performance
30 May 2006 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

Watching Oliver Stone's The Doors can be at times a frustrating experience. Considering the central figure in the film is pretty much always drunk or stoned or both the entire plot seems to unfold in a bit of a haze. Those watching the film may come away feeling a little stoned themselves. Yet through the drug and alcohol-fueled haze this film does have a lot to recommend it. Most notably it has one of the most stunningly brilliant acting performances you could ever hope to see. Val Kilmer, playing Jim Morrison, is simply perfect in the role. It sounds clichéd but Kilmer really seems to become Morrison. The physical resemblance is eerie and their voices are so similar it is fairly impossible when listening to the film's soundtrack to figure out when exactly you're hearing Morrison and when you're hearing Kilmer. Tracing Morrison's journey from shy, reserved youth to manic, drugged-out rock god the performance by Kilmer is mesmerizing throughout.

As good as Kilmer is you can't help but feel that his performance deserved to be surrounded by a better film. The film might as well have been titled "Morrison" because it is much more the story of one man than it is the story of his band. And therein lies much of the problem because while Kilmer is undeniably terrific, Morrison, at least as he is portrayed in this film, is not a very sympathetic character. That shy, quiet guy we see on the beach at the film's beginning becomes a bit of a monster, at times almost completely unlikable. And since the film revolves entirely around Morrison it makes the film often hard to embrace. Many would argue that Morrison was unfairly portrayed here, not nearly as mean-spirited and hot-tempered as we are led to believe. The truth probably lies somewhere in between but the fact remains that in this film it is very hard to embrace Jim Morrison and as such it is very hard to completely embrace the film.

With the focus almost completely on Kilmer's Morrison the rest of the cast comes off as little more than bit players. Kyle MacLachlan as keyboardist Ray Manzarek has the most to do amongst the remaining band members and his performance is fine but it really gets swallowed up by the ever-present and always center stage Morrison. Meg Ryan, playing Morrison's longtime companion Pamela Courson, is allowed only to react to Morrison's antics and never establishes a character and identity of her own. Even when stoned out of her mind, as everybody in this film always seems to be, Pamela comes across as the wholesome girl next door who is, well, rather dull. Kathleen Quinlan has a more memorable turn as another woman in Morrison's life, Patricia Kennealy, who is anything but dull. But again her character is there only to serve Jim. It's always about Jim. Nobody could deny that Jim Morrison was the most captivating figure in The Doors. But as the film unfolds and you watch Morrison stumble from one stupor to the next you'll probably wish we could have spent a little more time with some of the other characters. This film version of Jim Morrison is a hard guy to love.

So in the end what are we left with? You get one awe-inspiring, magnificent performance but that performance overshadows everything else going on in the film. You get a fascinating life story but one that unfortunately proceeds mostly in a frustrating drug-induced haze. You certainly get a tremendous soundtrack with all of The Doors' most notable songs. Well, most of them anyway. There seems to be a real yin and yang with this movie. There is plenty that is very good about it, but all that is good seems to be balanced out by something which frustrates. Jim Morrison led an extraordinary life but this film which tells his tale ends up being rather ordinary.


56 of 76 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Jason Patric should have played Jim kadafi69
Jim of my generation? FromConnecticutWithLove
I was there... Magovani
Daniel Day Lewis would have made a better Jim Morrison. Who agrees? ozzjim
Favorite Doors song and why jonathanrich88
Val Kilmer looks like Heath Ledger dblearon04
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