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The Doors (1991)

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.

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(as J. Randal Johnson),
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3 nominations. See more awards »

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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>

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

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

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Release Date:

1 March 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Ha-Dlatot  »

Box Office

Budget:

$38,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$35,183,792 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

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

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film kicked around for nearly twenty years before production started. Actors considered for the role included Tom Cruise, Jason Patric, John Travolta, Ian Astbury, Keanu Reeves, Michael Hutchence, Bill Paxton, Richard Gere, Johnny Depp and Bono. See more »

Goofs

"The End" is performed using two small organs, but the recording in the film uses a Hammond B-3 organ. See more »

Quotes

Jim Morrison: You're all a bunch of fuckin' slaves! How much longer are you gonna let them push you around?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Hollywood Mouth 2 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Heroin
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 (Dallas, Texas) – See 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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