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The Doors (1991)

R  |   |  Biography, Drama, Music  |  1 March 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 65,482 users   Metascore: 62/100
Reviews: 203 user | 81 critic | 19 from Metacritic.com

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.



(as J. Randal Johnson) ,
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Josh Evans ...
Engineer - Last Session


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


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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ha-Dlatot  »

Box Office


$38,000,000 (estimated)


$35,183,792 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


The graves in Père Lachaise that are shown before Jim's are, in order, Frédéric Chopin, Georges Bizet, Oscar Wilde, Sarah Bernhardt, Honoré de Balzac, Marcel Proust, Gioacchino Rossini and Molière. All had careers that were representative Jim's career and interests: Chopin, Bizet and Rossini were musicians. Balzac, Wilde and Proust were writers and philosophers. Berhardt and Molière were live stage performers. See more »


The home movie camera used by the Doors is a super-8 sound model manufactured in the late 1970s. See more »


Tom Baker: [to Jim] Whatcha gonna do for act three, man? Puke on Heaven's door?
See more »


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


Five to One
Written by The Doors
Performed by The Doors / Val Kilmer
Elektra Records
See more »

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User Reviews

"Nothing to touch the earth, not to see the sun, nothing left to do but run, run, run, let's run."
26 April 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is just a sampling of the lyrics that singer/writer Jim Morrison contributed to his group The Doors, and just this, as part of his epic piece "The Celebration of the Lizard" shows his skill as a master of the written word. He is shown in Oliver Stone's The Doors as a shy, though often obnoxious and crude, persona who self describes himself in one scene: "I think of myself as a sensitive, intelligent human being, but with the soul of a clown that forces me to blow it at the most crucial of moments." He may have blown it in the end, but it makes for a fascinating story.

As being a Doors fan, the music and words are the best character of the movie- the songs represent feelings and emotions, desires and hatreds, and other facets of life in the late 60's, are indispensable gems of rock and blues. While the Doors recorded only six albums together (not counting American Prayer, Morrison's awesome feat of an album) each one is still transfixed into the minds of people all over the world. It's thirty-two years since the king died, but in another thirty-two he will still be remembered. And that is a fact that Stone plays with like Travis Bickle in front of the mirror with his guns in Taxi Driver. He reveals only Morrison's known persona, and not the quiet moments. The concert recreations are grand, but there isn't more of the sweet Jim (one glimpse of such a Jim is seen at a birthday party when he gives out gifts as "Chief Mojo Risin)

What is shown is splendid enough for his abilities- he paints a vivid picture of Los Angeles 1965 onward, with Val Kilmer in the second best acting job of 1991 (deserved of an Oscar nomination), and puts Jim in the middle. He is a man who is fascinated with death, with man's wills to power, and how life gets painful without the chemicals top open the mind. Kilmer gets so much into your head in this film that by the end you'll love him, hate him, or feel wonder about him. I felt wonder about him, wonder why he looked to heroes who gave him such ideas about the love of death, wonder why he felt the need to take it to the limits.

But his desires are Stone's as well, and while this isn't a perfect film, it's one that isn't easily forgotten. A+

51 of 71 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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