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The Doors: When You're Strange (2009)

7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 5,801 users   Metascore: 55/100
Reviews: 33 user | 105 critic | 18 from Metacritic.com

A look at the late '60s and early '70s rock band The Doors, including rare exclusive footage.

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Title: The Doors: When You're Strange (2009)

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Cast

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Himself (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
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Himself (archive footage)
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Storyline

A chronological look at The Doors, focusing on lead singer, Jim Morrison (1943-1971), from the formation of the band in 1965, it's first gigs, and first album, to Morrison's death, after years of alcohol and drug use. Along the journey, we see archival footage of rehearsals, performances, and private moments including a Miami concert resulting in Morrison's arrest and trial for indecency. His love of the spotlight, his desire to be a poet, and his alcohol-fueled mood swings lead to a back and forth between public and private desires, successes, and failures. The band's music plays throughout. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Genres:

Documentary | Music

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some sexual content including references, nudity, drug material and language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

12 May 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

When You're Strange  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$66,833 (USA) (9 April 2010)

Gross:

$238,632 (USA) (11 June 2010)
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Technical Specs

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1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

A mock newspaper clipping announces both that Sharon Tate and her friends have been found murdered and that Charles Manson and his "Family" are suspected. Manson and the "Family" were not identified as the Tate killers until December 1969, more than four months after the murders happened. See more »

Connections

Edited into American Masters: The Doors: When You're Strange (2010) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Definitive history of The Doors from the inside
30 June 2009 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I attended a special screening of the music documentary "When You're Strange: A Film about The Doors" at the 2009 Los Angeles Film Festival. This was my 18th screening here and the first to be completely sold out.

Writer/director Tom DiCillo was able to gain access to original footage shot from 1966-71 by Paul Ferrara, a UCLA Film School buddy of flamboyant lead singer Jim Morrison. Those old, grainy films are all that were needed to make this stunning documentary -- no modern-day or additional footage was shot.

The dramatic voice-over was provided by Johnny Depp who, in a statement from DiCillo read prior to the screening, was the one person the filmmakers felt qualified to narrate the movie. It had to be someone with a passion for the music of The Doors, and Depp fit the bill.

With the assistance of the remaining living members, particularly band co-founder and keyboardist Ray Manzarek (who sat in front of me), the film is destined to be the definitive chronicle of the band's history. We finally discover the shocking truth behind the curious myths -- did Morrison really expose his genitals at that infamous Florida concert? Did he fake his own death? "When You're Strange" separates fact from fiction and puts to rest the many rumors surrounding the manic life and untimely death of Jim Morrison. The heretofore secret details behind the making of each amazing album (one took 11 months, another took less than a week) are mind-boggling. Naturally, there's plenty of music. Tons of it.

Like all music docs, the degree to which one connects with the film is directly proportional to one's familiarity with the music and/or artists featured in the production. This certainly applies here. Like some of the thrilling music documentaries I've seen at festivals in the past couple of years ("The U.S. vs. John Lennon," "Dixie Chicks: Shut Up and Sing," "The Wrecking Crew," "Kurt Cobain About a Son"), I put "When You're Strange" right at the top of my list. I was blown away. However, while I walked away feeling that this was an absolutely brilliant film, I have to give it a qualified thumbs up if only because there is no doubt many simply won't have the emotional response that I did. But, for fans of this music, "When You're Strange" is absolutely a must-see.


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the footage of jim driving in the desert... sfdersh-1
Would have been a better film if it had had interviews with the Doors clive-ihd
Doors chronology error in movie cryptical70
A question for people who have already seen the movie skittles_funky_monkey
Depp to narrate filmbuff2
My review of When You're Strange m_morphose
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