Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 26, 2004 12:34:27 GMT
Val Kilmer, Lighting the Fire
In "The Doors" - Reinterpreting Mythic Rocker Jim Morrison
LOS ANGELES, Sitting on a couch, headphones on, his blonde hair a moussed-up thicket, Val Kilmer looks more like a fresh-scrubbed college kid than the Jim Morrison he so skillfully captures in the film "The Doors" at every point on the continuum from poetic musician to debauched rock star.
Only when the 30-year old Juilliard-trained actor opens his mouth can you hear the echoes of the husky baritone of Morrison, now being immortalized on film in Oliver Stone's epic. Stone didn't just cast Kilmer the actor, he cast his voice as well. Kilmer had the same kind of singing voice as Morrison and he'd sung before on film--as the unassuming pop star caught up in espionage in the spy sendup "Top Secret!" But just to make sure that Stone was convinced, Kilmer made his own eight-minute video, singing and looking like Jim Morrison at the various stages of his short life.
"I just find it the easiest way to lobby for a role," Kilmer says.
Ask Val Kilmer whether Morrison, one of the most charismatic and tragic figures in rock music, was his most challenging role and he's got a ready answer. "No, Hamlet was," says the actor, who after years of warming up for it, recently got the opportunity to play the sacred role at the Colorado Shakespeare Festival.
But for Kilmer, who's acquitted himself well in a number of respectable if not spectacular films--"Willow," "Real Genius"--and who is probably best known for his portrayal of Iceman, Tom Cruise's glowering adversary in "Top Gun," the chance to play Morrison was certainly a coveted shot at a high-profile, mythic role.
"There was nothing that wasn't attractive about it, really," Kilmer says. "I was fascinated even about the things that were repulsive....You shouldn't be afraid."
Contemporary history has given Jim Morrison, the writer, mixed reviews. There's been a lot of retrospective chortling over earnest lyrics, once praised as brilliant, that now seem hokey. But Kilmer, like Stone, holds Morrison in reverence. "He had an extraordinary intellect," says Kilmer. He speaks respectfully of how Paul Rothchild, who produced the Doors' albums and worked on the film, gave him one of his two copies--only 50 are existent--of Morrison's vanity-published book of poetry, "An American Prayer."
"Ultimately suicide's the most selfish thing a human being can do," Kilmer says. "So I find that aspect tragic in the same way that Hamlet's death is tragic."
Kilmer was 9 when Jim Morrison died of apparent heart failure in 1971 in a Paris bathtub after half a decade of self-destructive drinking. He was 27. Kilmer recalls that when he was growing up in the San Fernando Valley community of Chatsworth he had a male nanny who introduced him to the music of Jim Morrison. "He'd just gotten back from Vietnam and he was an art student....So I had an interpreter."
Of course, Kilmer then had the next two decades to listen to Morrison's music on the radio. The irony of the Doors' fame is that the group's music was never more popular and the royalties never more lucrative than during the '80s. One of Rolling Stone magazine's most memorable covers featured Jim Morrison with the headline, "He's Hot, He's Sexy...He's Dead." And as far as Kilmer can tell, interest in the '60s hasn't abated. Oliver Stone used literally thousands of extras to re-create the Doors' wild concerts, making the movie as populous as a biblical extravaganza.
"Some of the concert scenes--I don't know where they're getting their clothes, but there was no block-long costume wardrobe that they would get dressed in," Kilmer says. "A lot of people had that stuff in their closets. And a lot of them were 16 years old."
Ensconced in a hotel suite for a round of interviews, Kilmer is less than three hours away from a flight that will take him to London, where his wife, actress Joanne Whalley-Kilmer (who starred in the film "Scandal"), is rehearsing a play. The couple, who have homes here and in New Mexico, met while filming "Willow"--they later worked together in the thriller "Kill Me Again"--and celebrated their third wedding anniversary last month.
Kilmer is having a delirious fast few hours in L.A., munching chocolate chip cookies and ordering up club sandwiches for visiting musician friends. Sporting black leather jackets and long hair and looking all of about 15, his friends arrive bearing tapes for Kilmer and wait in the bedroom--which already occasionally spews forth a publicist and Kilmer's assistant.
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 26, 2004 12:34:43 GMT
Although the film accurately depicts Morrison as overweight at the end--there's a close-up of his bloated belly--the already slim Kilmer actually lost weight to play Morrison, who was sylphlike at the peak of his career. A once-pudgy kid, the singer was dramatically thinned by his 1965 summer of drug indulgence.
"I was dieting for months," says Kilmer. "I was down to about 158." He's six feet tall. "I was looking forward to pancake days--eatin' like Elvis," he says in a low drawl. Once Kilmer got the part he went into intensive training, spending six months rehearsing Doors songs every day at the home he was renovating north of Santa Fe. Morrison had his own fascination with New Mexico--he lived there when his military father was stationed there--and the desert.
"Somehow it was a nice combination--bashing down an adobe wall and listening to `Break on Through,'" recalls Kilmer. "The Doors helped the demolition and the demolition helped the Doors."
He learned 50 songs for the film--15 are actually performed on screen. And there was always the possibility that if Kilmer didn't sound exactly like Morrison, they would dub in Morrison's voice. "But as it turned out, everything live in the film is me," Kilmer says proudly.
"Except for five lines," Paul Rothchild notes. "One is a scream." He won't divulge the others. Stone did intertwine the voices of Morrison and Kilmer, but basically, when you see Kilmer singing in the film, he really is singing. Morrison's voice is used as background music in other scenes.
Rothchild was Kilmer's main guide on his journey to the center of Jim Morrison's mind and music.
"I spent hundreds of hours with him interrogating me about what Jim would think in this or that situation," says Rothchild, who's listed as music producer on the film and who now runs his own company providing music for films and video. "We might have been out to dinner, for instance, and a waiter would do something and he would say, what would Jim have done there? I kept on filling his cup with anecdotes, stories, tragic moments, humorous moments, how Jim thought, what were my interpretations of Jim's lyrics. That became more of the focus of the singing character than actually the mechanics of the singing."
Kilmer was already living in the right environment. Both he and Rothchild have houses not far from Morrison's onetime home in Laurel Canyon. A dark, steep-sided canyon above West Hollywood, it was once the favored enclave of a funky artistic crowd.
Rothchild also took him into the studio and coached him the way he did Morrison. And he rehearsed Kilmer in the quirks of Morrison's voice. "I would help him in some pronunciations, idiomatic things that Jim would do that made the song sound like Jim. One of the most famous ones is the `fire,'" Rothchild says referring, of course, to the Doors' phenomenally successful "Light My Fire." "It's really pronounced `fi-yah.' Jim never said `fire.'"
Rothchild, a veteran of more than 30 years in the music business, was certainly a close-up witness to Doors history. He produced all of the Doors' albums except the last one.
Kilmer, Rothchild says admiringly, "knows Jim Morrison better than Jim ever knew himself. He's nailed--to the extent that the Doors themselves had difficulty telling whether it was Val singing or Jim singing. Early on, I'd bring them into a recording studio and I randomly switched Val and Jim and they guessed wrong 80 percent of the time."
Kilmer met with two of the three surviving Doors members, Robby Krieger and John Densmore (who wrote a book about Morrison and the Doors). "They're not big on talk, really--musicians. But something happens just being with them." Kilmer spent a fair amount of time at Krieger's home here. "With Robby, I'd just go over and jam, whether it was a Doors song or a blues tune--just hang out, play with the cats."
Keyboardist Ray Manzarek did not participate in the film--or talk to Kilmer. "I called him four or five times. But somehow it just never worked out," Kilmer says.
He chose not to meet with Morrison's parents, who the rock star sometimes claimed were dead. "I think if there was something that I wasn't cracking, perhaps I would have," Kilmer says. Nor did he meet with the parents of Pamela Courson, Morrison's long-suffering girlfriend--played in the film by Meg Ryan--who died of an apparent drug overdose three years after Morrison.
"Meg went and saw them, but I didn't," he says.
Then there were the "many people that Oliver flew in" and the reams of transcripts of interviews with Morrison associates and friends. "If you met 150 people, you got 150 Jims," Kilmer says. "Pick a Jim, any Jim...."
There were rumors that Kilmer acted like a rock star on the set, sequestering himself from the crew and cast, supposedly insisting that people not approach him. Both Rothchild and Kilmer attempt to explain them.
"There was a memo that went out saying that when Val was in his tent nobody was to approach him," says Rothchild. "All that's true. He didn't do that because he was trying to emulate a rock star. He was doing that because as an actor he needed that space and he didn't need to be besieged by all the people on the set. If he got his character into a certain mental space, the last thing he wanted to hear was triviality from somebody else."
Kilmer says he didn't even know about the memo.
"That, unfortunately, was a screw-up by the production manager," Kilmer explains. "She wrote this letter to the crew and gave it to everyone saying they couldn't talk to me. I didn't even know that for two weeks. I was wondering why they were so quiet. They talked to Meg and Kyle [MacLachlan, who played Manzarek] and everyone and they'd walk right past me. And Oliver said, `Well, you shouldn't have written that letter.' I said, `What letter?' So I had to go around to the crew and explain to them."
Kilmer was 17 when he left for New York and the Juilliard School, where he earned a bachelor's degree. "I couldn't wait to get out of L.A.--Fantasyland. I wanted to be in a real town instead of these giant sets with million-dollar palm trees," he says. "It's just the community is pretty vacuous."
New York, he says, was a welcome shock. "I love Beirut," he cracks. After graduation he stayed to work in the theater, including a co-starring role with Kevin Bacon and Sean Penn in the Broadway production of "Slab Boys," but he soon returned to the land of celluloid. "Doing an incredible body of work in the theater doesn't mean you get to do Hamlet. But," he adds with a smile, "carry a gun real well and you can."
Kilmer says he hopes to start a theater festival in Santa Fe, but his next project is a film called "Thunder Heart" set on an American Indian reservation. Michael Apted will direct and Robert De Niro is producing the movie. Kilmer who is personally interested in American Indian culture and history, plays a federal investigator brought in to investigate a murder.
Rothchild is satisfied with the honesty of the film's depiction of the declining Jim Morrison who, for example, tempted fate by walking balustrades drunk and stoned. "That was a day in the life! It was not extraordinary," says Rothchild. In once scene, a drunken Morrison is making a pathetic attempt to record in the studio while his girlfriend performs oral sex on him. "That scene is so accurate," says Rothchild. "It happened during the second album. And the song was `You're Lost, Little Girl.'"
Rothchild says, "I hope it comes through how dangerous it was to be with Jim Morrison--dangerous to be in a car, dangerous to cross a street, dangerous to be in a recording studio, because he could destroy your mind. He pushed buttons on you daily.
"I think the moral is clear at the end of the film--`Don't do this,'" Rothchild says. "There might be 100 psychological reasons why this happened, some of which are displayed in the film. But the hard-core answer is access to excess. There are very few people who are strong enough to survive fame. You seek and seek and seek it and then all of a sudden there it is, with all of its adulation and access, and unless you are morally very, very strong, you will succumb.
"If I said to him, `You know if you do this long enough, it's gonna kill you,' he'd say `Yeah, so?' Either, `It'll never happen to me' or `Death doesn't scare me.'"
Kilmer doesn't know if you can apply a moral to the film, but he agrees it's at least partially a cautionary tale about the corrupting influence of fame.
"I think fame is definitely a main character in it. Hopefully if there's something kids can draw from, it's not that negative side, but to challenge yourself, to be more committed too a style you're creating."
By Carla Hall, Staff Writer
The Washington Post, March 3, 1991
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 26, 2004 12:37:58 GMT
Val Kilmer - The Doors LOVE ME TWO TIMES
On a typically hazy California morning last March, more than 100 people began forming a circle around a crackling campfire on Malibu's Trancas Beach. In a sense, they had gathered to pay homage to the mystique of Jim Morrison, the self-styled Lizard King of `60s rock and roll, whose reign ended abruptly in 1971 when he died of heart failure at age 27 while living in Paris. Ignoring the stares of passing joggers, and Indian drummer began beating out a hypnotic rhythm.
“We have come together to form a new tribe,” Bobby Klein, an old friend of Morrison's, intoned. “ We are all in this together.” Everyone assembled threw a handful of herbs onto the fire. “Each person's job is as important as everybody else's,” Klein proclaimed, and they started walking, carefully following in each other's footsteps, around the circle, each to wind up at the precise spot where he began.
To any jaded `90s observer wandering by, the little ritual must have seemed hopelessly quaint or even perverse. But this was no ragtag assemblage of latter-day hippies quixotically bent on resurrecting the `60s. It was the crew of a $20 million film about the begin three months of shooting. The director was Oliver Stone, whose dossier includes the critical and financial blockbusters Platoon, Wall Street, and Born on the Fourth of July. Stone fell into lien with the throng he had assembled to bring to life The Doors, his kaleidoscopic account of Morrison's rise and fall as lead singer of that breakthrough L.A. rock band. The star, Val Kilmer, a ringer for Morrison with his blond hair dyed and permed into an approximation of the late singer's shaggy brown mane, joined the circling actors and crew. Even the six producers, who had attached themselves to the project during its tortuous, eight-year journey to the start of filming, gamely participated.
The Purification Ceremony has begun.
“I suspect there were a few producers wishing we could all walk in each other's shoes a little bit faster, because it was about ten o'clock by the time we finished,” Val Kilmer laughs, recalling the scene nearly a year later in London, where he's staying while his wife, Joanne Whalley-Kilmer, appears in a play. Sitting at a corner table at Orso, a West End show-biz brasserie, and puffing on an English Cut Silk cigarette, Kilmer will never be mistaken for a Londoner. He looks like one of Ralph Lauren's Santa Fe cowboys in a red plaid shirt and neatly tailored wide-wale cords, with a blue bandanna knotted rakishly around his neck. He has washed all traces of Morrison right out of his hair, which is back to dark blond. And he has also left behind the black contact lenses he wore to simulate Morrison's frequently dilated pupils (“like wearing sunglasses with a hole in them—it kind of screws up your equilibrium, making it easy to act stoned”), as well as the skintight leathers he let get nice and gamy during the three grueling months of filming.
“It's quite a miracle that the thing got done, period,” Kilmer says. “The fact that it works is kind of like icing on the cake.”
Given all the vested interests—including the three surviving members of the Doors and the group's fans, old and new—The Doors will undoubtedly trigger passionate arguments. But few are likely to fault Kilmer's eerily realistic embodiment of Morrison. By the movie's foregone conclusion, he has effected a bone-deep transformation, playing the singer during his final days as a weary, burnt-out hulk. The performance is bound to evaluate the 31-year-old Kilmer out of the ranks of pretty-boy actors into the select company of major leading men.
The three surviving Doors were aghast when they first heard that Oliver Stone had selected Kilmer. The role of the doomed, Dionysian Morrison seemed miles from Kilmer's slick turns in movies like Real Genius (1985) and Top Gun (1986). But any actor trying to assume Morrison's seductive poses faced a credibility gap, since the singer seemed born to be a movie star himself. Fans were rabid in their embrace of the band and its incendiary anthems “Light My Fire,” “People Are Strange,” “L.A. Woman,” and especially “The End,” Morrison's Oedipal cri de coeur. And Hollywood was eager to capture Morrison's perverse charisma on film: Screenwriters Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne wanted him for The Panic in Needle Park, Steve McQueen summoned him to what proved to be disastrous meeting, and MGM signed him to write a starring vehicle for himself, which he worked on but never finished.
Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison "The Doors"
Morrison's death—officially listed as a heart attack, but surely linked to his heavy drinking and possible heroin use—brought all such curtains crashing down. Francis Ford Coppola's use of “The End” to underscore the opening conflagration of 1979's Apocalypse Now, coupled with the 1980 publication of a lurid Morrison biography (No One Here Gets Out Alive) by this gofer, Danny Sugerman, and journalist Jerry Hopkins, launched a Doors revival that continues to gain momentum. Like another doomed rebel, James Dean, Morrison has been adopted as a kindred spirit by successive waves of yearning kids.
“I think they're responding to a need for a cause, for a hero, for something that's a combination of rebellion and art in a very attractive package,” Paul Rothchild, producer of all but the last of the Doors' albums, says of the group's continuing cachet. Kilmer puts it more simply: “I think death had a lot to do with Morrison's popularity.”
Over the years, John Travolta, Timothy Hutton, Charlie Sheen, Jason Patric, U2's Bono, and INXS' Michael Hutchence have all been associated with real or rumored Doors movie projects. Finally, in 1989, Kilmer sat down with Stone to discuss the part. “It was the most interesting meeting I've ever been to,” Kilmer says. “Oliver was alike a reporter—very humble, very selfless. He just fired questions at me.”
Though he grew up as the son of real estate developer in the Doors' Southern California backyard, Kilmer admits he'd never been a real Doors fan. “I had my black light poster of the Beatles, and Jimi Hendrix with his hair on fire, but no Door,” he says. For his meeting with Stone, he speed-read No One Here Gets Out Alive but found Morrison's music and lyrics more revealing, he says, “a clear map of his particular dream states.” During the meeting, he offered one caveat: “I told Oliver, `If your intention is to glorify his life-style, I've got no interest.” Which was pretty pretentious for me to say. But Morrison was an alcoholic, and that's no way to live.”
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 26, 2004 12:38:14 GMT
Stone continued to meet with other actors, but something about Kilmer impressed him. He thought the actor had the right look (“His face is very American, the bones are ver wide and Slavic”). He sensed that Kilmer could capture the right attitude (“In Willow , he was not at all the classic Errol Flynn type, he's more in the antiheroic mold. I like his implied arrogance”). And, having seen Top Secret! (1984), in which Kilmer played a `50s rock star, Stone knew he could sing (“No question. He had a wonderful, rich baritone”). The big uncertainty was whether he could sing convincingly as Morrison.
While Stone wrestled with the casting decision, Kilmer, now hooked by Morrison's character and mystique, went on the offensive, spending several thousand dollars to produce his own video, shot in his rented Laurel Canyon home with professional assistance: In it, wearing rudimentary makeup, he slipped into Morrison's persona and performed a couple of songs. The results, Stone says dryly, “were not great. It was pretty awful in a way.” But producer Rothchild, who had told Stone it would be best to find an actor who could sing the Morrison songs live before the cameras, found the home video more than intriguing. “I was shaken by it, he says. Rothchild suggested trying Kilmer into a real studio to record his vocals against the backing of original Doors master tapes. With Rothchild coaching him, Kilmer laid down a new set of tracks.
This time, Stone was definitely impressed.
The clincher was the Doors themselves. Stone invited all three-keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger, and drummer John Densmore—down to the Digital Magnetics Studio in L.A. Rothchild cued up Kilmer's recording of “The WASP (Texas Radio & the Big Beat).” When one of the Doors asked, “Are we listening to Val or Jim?” it was clear Kilmer had the part.
Still, Stone reserved the right to substitute Morrison's original vocals for Kilmer's new ones on the final soundtrack if the actor's live singing didn't measure up. Recording the performance sequences would be no easy trick. First, there had to be absolute silence on the set. Kilmer and his three other Doors—Twin Peak's Kyle MacLachlan as Manzarek, Frank Whaley (Born on the Fourth of July) as Krieger, and Kevin Dillon (Platoon) as Densmore—were all fitted with molded, flesh-colored earpieces, through which they were fed the Doors' instrumentals. While the other three mimed their performance, Kilmer sang his—sometimes using just the piped-in instrumentals for guidance, sometimes singing along to his own prerecorded track, sometimes listening to an earful of Morrison himself. “It was like preparing for war—we had to be ready for any contingency,” says Budd Carr, who, along with Rothchild, supervised the music tracks.
Because Stone wanted to include swooping, 360-degree camera moves, a way also had to be devised to keep the extras in the “audience” dancing to the missing beat. The solution was a “thumper track,” a very low frequency tone that was synchronized with a prerecorded track and piped in so the audiences could sway in rhythm. Later, in postproduction, the thumper track was electronically removed.
During the concert scenes, each of which took several days, Kilmer's stamina was pushed to the limit. “Val's not Pavarotti,” Stone concedes. “His voice would start to deteriorate after two or three takes. We had to take that into consideration.”
Kilmer remembers one sequence filmed inside the Whisky A Go-Go on Sunset Strip as a brutal endurance test. The air was heavy with smoke and sweat, sweltering from body heat and camera lights. For nearly three days, Kilmer had been raging back and forth on the crowded stage, unleashing the primal furies of “The End,” Morrison's agonized call to generational incest and patricide. As Stone finally called it a wrap, on what the actor figures was like the 24th take, Kilmer slumped, enervated and exhausted. “I felt like it was the end,” he says.
Several weeks later, Rothchild invited Doors Krieger and Densmore to an L.A. post-production facility affectionately called “The Bunker.” After the screening of “The End,” the soft-spoken Krieger leaned over to Rothchild and confided, “I'm really glad that we finally got `The End.” We never got a recording of that live with Jim. Now we've got it.”
The movie's scenes of the band in performance use Kilmer's vocals almost exclusively. When Doors songs are featured on the soundtrack behind other action, Morrison's voice is heard. It takes a fine-tuned ear to tell the difference.
“I think Val was under enormous pressure,” Stone says. Once Kilmer cracked the songs, he still had to develop a dramatic characterization. Friends and confidants of Morrison's surrounded him on the film's set, their presence at once reassuring because of the insights they offered and intimidating because of the personal judgments they brought to bear. Others withheld their cooperation, most notably Ray Manzarek, who had pursued a Doors movie on his own for years. “We never met,” says Kilmer. “I tired to reach him, but it was just not something that was meant to be.”
“Let me just say this about the film,” Manzarek says. “There are two Doors that had absolutely nothing to do with the Doors film: Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek. I'm basically going to ignore the thing.”
Kilmer feels that, on some level at least, Morrison was involved. On the set, Kilmer surrounded himself with books by Morrison's favorite authors—Blake, Rimbaud, Kerouac—and invited the other actors into his trailer to rap during lunch breaks. “We'd drag the lava lamp out,” he jokes, “put up the black light posters, eat our pasta, and groove.”
Inhibiting the soul of the self-destructive singer also meant exploring his darker side. “Morrison hurt a lot of people,” Kilmer says. “I met a lot of broken spirits.” He and Meg Ryan, who plays Morrison's longtime girlfriend Pamela Courson (she died of an overdose in 1974), were locked into re-creating the couple's dance of death. While filming one of their marathon fight scenes, “We were both picking glass out of our knees between takes,” Kilmer recalls. “How we dealt with it was just with a lot of humor and sensitivity. We were very dependent on each other in the sensitive state which you have to live in where you're inside someone else's life.”
Walking in Morrison's footsteps also had its share of eerie moments. “I'd say to Paul [Rothchild] sometimes, `I know what I'm supposed to do, but I don't like it,'” Kilmer recalls. “And nine times out of ten, Paul would come onto the headset and say Jim hated that song too.”
Having climbed inside Morrison's life, Kilmer wants no part of the singer's fate. “Ultimately,” he says, “the movie isn't about the `60s. It isn't about the Doors. It isn't even about Jim Morrison. It's about fame. That's the line that Oliver chose to hang it on. In my feeble way, I've been trying not to suffer those pains.”
Stone and Kilmer may have started out to film a celebration of one of the most original voices of the `60s. But from a `90s vantage point, Morrison's fascination with testing all the limits—even to the point of death—begins to lose its romantic allure. So in the end, while their movie will certainly add to the cult of Morrison, The Doors can't help but emerge as a cautionary tale about the price of excess.
Entertainment March 1, 1991
By Gregg Kilday
Post by stuart on Dec 26, 2004 12:40:37 GMT
SHAME ON YOU STONE! that guy made so many errors it borders on the absurd.
His directors commentary is a joke for the most part, him saying that RHB is from the L.A. WOMAN album.
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 26, 2004 12:47:05 GMT
SHAME ON YOU STONE! that guy made so many errors it borders on the absurd.
His directors commentary is a joke for the most part, him saying that RHB is from the L.A. WOMAN album.
But Stuart Ray forgets lots of Doors facts and he was the keyboard player...
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 26, 2004 12:48:15 GMT
‘The Doors’ (R)
Maybe they should invent a new rating letter for Oliver Stone's crowded, sprawling new movie "The Doors." How about D -- "No one admitted without previous drug experience."
With its reeling, rocking and rolling camera, surging and throbbing score, "The Doors" recreates the dizzying highs and shaky, blurry downs. It's what they used to call a "head" movie -- you get a buzz, all right, but you're left woozy and hung over, and probably won't remember much of what you've seen.
Continuing his reputation, cemented with "Platoon" and "Fourth of July" (both of which prominently featured Doors music), as the celebrator of '60s sensations and cinematic sensory overload, Stone sets out to mythologize the seminal late-'60s rock band and its charismatic, self-destructive lead singer Jim Morrison, in whose arc the director sees the essence of that decade.
A little knowledge is a dangerous thing, and intellectual dilettante Morrison was the first dangerous teen idol, appealing to Stone's own adolescent sensibilities. Stone means to say Morrison was many things: Rock godling, artist by accident, anarchist, modern shaman and stand-in for Dionysus, love-starved son, victim. Though staying just this side of hagiography -- Stone shows us the not pretty side of Morrison's drugging and boozing comet trail -- there's no mistaking that the director views Morrison as a full-fledged Christ figure, and "The Doors" is graced by Last Suppers with bandmates-and-groupies disciples, crucifixions on the arms of crowds and cops, and sorrowful pietas.
The color-saturated collage of impressions begins with a sepia-toned memory of Morrison as a pudgy kid witnessing a highway accident from a station wagon window, presaging his (short) lifelong fascination with death. In alternatingly soaring, staggering and sluggish manner, it moves through the offhand formation of the Doors (and the even more offhand creation of "Light My Fire"); the heyday, the decay and the end at age 27 for Morrison in a hotel bathtub; and (unironically?) leaves us at the graffiti-encrusted Parisian grave where he rests among such neighbors as Wilde, Bernhardt, Moliere and Bizet.
The movie's saving grace is Val Kilmer's transformational performance, which takes Morrison from 19-year-old poet wannabe, to the bewildered star who believes his own haphazardly assembled myth, to bloated bearded burnout. Morrison in "The Doors" is tormented and torn between the light and the dark, but the movie is sabotaged by Stone's overly simplistic hack-Hollywood way of showing it: The singer is tugged back and forth by the Nice Blond (Morrison's common-law wife Pamela Courson, played by Meg Ryan, still stuck in ditsy "Sally" mode) and the Nasty Brunette (a witchy rock journalist, played by Kathleen Quinlan, whose performance unintentionally calls Joan Collins to mind).
As always, Stone leaves us with a headful of sights and sounds. The entire film has been lit as if by moon or flame, and Stone uses every trick in the cinematographer's book in the extended concert scenes. Particularly memorable is a performance of the 11-minute "The End," which dissolves from a peyote-fueled desert freakout to the band's breakthrough concert at the Whiskey A Go Go. Stone's fantasies of these unbridled concerts, with corps of bare-breasted fans, battalions of cops, toppling speakers, may have little connection to reality, but they succeed in getting closer than any previous film to suggesting the potential rock once had to incite ecstacy and mass catharsis. When the music's over, though, the movie founders -- it's a slick, smarter than average biopic.
Stone himself appears in an early scene, as a film school professor screening an overwrought Morrison opus that combines dancing bears, masturbation and Nazism. "Pretty pretentious, Jim," Stone smirks, undoubtedly anticipating the critics on his own labor of love.
By Joe Brown
Washington Post Staff Writer
March 01, 1991
In March, the Doors finally opened on Oliver Stone's latest masterpiece, "The Doors," based on the story of one of rock's most talented, creative, and self-destructive casualties, Jim Morrison. Val Kilmer plays Morrison, and halfway through the movie the audience seemed overwhelmed as Kilmer accurately imitated the sporadic stage movements, maniacal trances, and philosophical/ drunken babblings characteristic of Morrison.
The film takes the viewer on a two-hour "trip" through the short, yet intense life of Morrison and the band he made famous. Stone goes as far back in Morrison's life as the pre-Doors days, and takes the audience through the creation and establishment of "The Doors," ending with Morrison's death in 1971. The movie presented the audience with views of Morrison's self-inflicted pain, his relationship with Pamela, his infatuation with death, his poetic genius, and his habitual substance abuse (which led to his death). If the storyline and central character alone are not enough, the classic music and brilliant photography will pique anyone's interest.
It is said that the best thing to help the popularity of "The Doors" was Morrison's death. As a talented and sexy performer, he was idolized on stage, but as a legend whose life was shrouded in mystery, he has been worshipped in death. Yet, after seeing this film, I believe that this could be the longest standing testimony to the music of "The Doors," and one of history's greatest artists. The movie expands on the facts and reality surrounding Morrison's life without destroying its mysterious and magical quality. The film is passionate, hypnotic, and intense, just as Morrison was and just the way Morrison would have wanted it.
Kara B., Swampscott, MA 1991
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 26, 2004 13:09:15 GMT
This is TheDoors4Scorpywag Review of the movie which got me a death threat 'we know where YOU live' I was cryptically told. Of course you do idjut as I from day told everyone on my site I lived in Stockton!
I was also sent a nasty virus that buggered up my machine and a rather quaint internet hex from a wicca witch (don't think it was Pat K)which I was told affected me as soon as I opened the email. It did not feel affected at all.... though whenever i walked past a pond I had the urge to jump in and sit on a water lily leaf....
The Doors Movie
It’s really weird because Jim Morrison would have loved this movie. Universally despised by the majority of hard core Doors fans for it’s portrayal/betrayal of the Doors icon and the reduction of the other band members to star struck acolytes. Yet loved for it’s superbly crafted concert sequences that capture the spirit of what the Doors were all about perfectly. For all the criticism Oliver Stone received I doubt that any other director could have produced a better film. (even Ray) Opting to show Jim’s Darth Vader as opposed to his Luke Skywalker “Mad Ollie” was always going to incur the wrath of the Doors ‘PC police’, led of course by Ray, who baulk when any side other than Jim’s sensitive hard working poet is even hinted at. Ollie was onto a loser when he chose to concentrate on Jim’s insane streak but made a hell of a film because of it. How dull the movie would have been if we had seen Jim writing poems and being nice to everyone, never going off his head, getting pissed or stoned on acid. Jim Morrison
was too complex a human being to conform to either Ollie or Ray’s version of events which is why I said at
the beginning that Jim would have loved the controversy his
life had generated culminating in this insane but spellbinding film version. So now the question has to be asked –was the movie any bloody good?
I saw it in Croydon on it’s release in the summer of ’91 and can say that never in my life had I approached a movie theatre with such a degree of trepidation (I expected to hate it and more than that I wanted to hate it!).
I went with my best friend Aoife and her mate Trish and after we had left the cinema three hours later Aoife summed up my reaction better than I ever could have in a thousand years.
She said to me “that’s the first time since we met that I’ve seen you shut up for more than five minutes”.
I hadn’t uttered a word for two and a half hours.
From the opening sequence with Val Kilmer and John Densmore at Jim’s birthday poetry session to his bath time exit this movie grabbed me and to this day still hasn’t let go.
The painstaking way Ollie recreated Venice Beach, The Whisky and the Miami concert deserved an Oscar on it’s own but add to that the electric performance of the leading man and you end up with a movie like no other.
Val Kilmer’s portrayal of Jim Morrison was awesome beyond belief. For the time he spent making the film it seems he became Jim, if his off screen antics were to be believed. Up to this movie Val was possibly the worst actor in Hollywood (a feat in itself) but afterwards it seems it was just the kick up the arce he needed as “Heat”, “Ghost and the Darkness” and “Tombstone” (with his brilliant Doc Holliday) would confirm.
His performance deserved an Oscar but lost out to the ridiculous “Silence of theLambs”. Sadly his fellow performers were never given the chance to shine in one of the greatest failings of this movie. Pamela Courson became just another ‘Groupie’ whilst Ray just stood there in awe of Jim, bathing in the light of his genius and uttering the odd mystical cliché.
Who the other two guys and that ‘Chinese’ woman who followed them around were we never got to find out but they probably weren’t important.
Sorry Ollie but Pamela, Dorothy, John and Robby were an essential part of this story and you cocked up big style there.
However the criticism he received was a bit unfair as how can anyone tell a story like that of The Doors in two weeks let alone two hours. He picked HIS Jim and told HIS story superbly but his missed the chance to tell the story of ‘smart Jim’ or ‘funny Jim’ or ‘serious poet Jim’ but then how could he as there were too many Jim’s with a story to tell. Where Ollie wins hands down is in his attention to detail and the way his film descends into chaos half way through and self destructs in the glorious Miami sequence. Just like The Doors in real life. OK some of it is silly such as Jim’s ridiculous spitting out of his dummy when his classmates laugh at his film and quitting UCLA.
But that’s the whole point of the film though –where does the myth end and the reality begin? Maybe we just dreamt The Doors.
If so what a hell of a bloody nightmare.
I left the cinema in the purple twilight of that Croydon evening stunned to the bone by what I’d seen. Who cared if it was bollocks, like Jim’s poetry it was bloody brilliant bollocks.
I said goodnight to Aoife and Trish and managed to stagger home just in time to have a game of spaced out Scrabble with the lads, get pissed and destroy a pizza. A chaotic end to a chaotic evenings ‘entertainment’. As I said Jim would have loved it. A.P
Scorpywag Rating 10/10
chaos and insanity in spades but what a ride!
I came in for a bit of a slagging for this piece but stand by every word. Several people attacked Stone for perpetuating the darker side of Morrison but I say to them what about NOHGOA and the prominence given to the ‘Miami’ rant on the Box Set, are they not as guilty of wallowing in Jim’s insane streak as Stone. At least he has the excuse of being a Hollywood Director. What do Jim’s so called friends hold up as an excuse of constantly making money out of Jim Morrison crazed out of control rock madman. I thought Stone’s movie captured perfectly a chapter of Doors history it just didn’t happen to be the chapter certain individuals wanted to see. Many of those who ranted and raved were Americans and I say to them remember Hollywood is a child of your country so you reap what you sow. Now you know how WE feel about U571 and Patriot.
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 26, 2004 13:50:22 GMT
Oliver Stone, 1991
Oliver Stone continues his postmortem of '60s America with this extravagant, rather silly recreation of the creative and destructive life of Jim Morrison, the cult rock poet and performer who died in 1971 at age 27.
The film begins in 1966 with a young Morrison (Val Kilmer) in his California element: beach bumming, experimenting with drugs, writing poetry, womanizing. With kindred cosmic spirit Ray Manzarek (Kyle MacLachlan) and two others, he forms a garage band--The Doors--and begins singing his poems. Early appearances in the underground clubs of LA meet with wild enthusiasm, particularly from groupies attracted by Morrison's sexual magnetism. Success follows rapidly. The Doors make albums, do concert tours and appear on "The Ed Sullivan Show"--all while Morrison continues to push the limits of drug-enhanced musical performance and sexual experimentation. His partner in these escapades is his wife Pam (Meg Ryan), nee Courson, who both shares and endures his abuses.
The first hour of THE DOORS is a seamless visual and aural trip that perfectly captures the spirit of Jim Morrison's hypnotic music and decadent, nihilistic lifestyle. Also crucial to the film's ability to persuade fans is Val Kilmer's performance. With the aid of some faultless costuming and makeup he definitively captures the real Morrison's posing, swagger and facial expressions. Without this studied physical reincarnation of the young cult figure, Stone's movie would have fallen flat much more quickly than it does.
Perhaps THE DOORS' ultimate failure is caused by its overly exact reproduction of the latter part of Morrison's life. After an interesting rise to musical fame in the first hour, viewers are left with an additional ninety minutes of this anti-hero's solipsism, narcissism, and joyless descent into death. By recreating things too well, the film itself becomes as boring, indulgent and over-stuffed as its hero.
Doors, The Special Edition
The movie features a `tour de force` performance by Val Kilmer, who not only bears a striking resemblance to Morrison, but also sounds so much like him that he did much of his own singing in the film. It has actually been written that even some of the remaining Doors members had trouble distinguishing Kilmer`s vocals from Morrison`s originals.
The Doors, which provides a fantastic pastiche of the `flower power` era and the `summer of love`, also serves as a biography of Jim Morrison, who in spite of his untimely death in Paris in 1971, remains as much of a rock icon today as during his lifetime - his grave at the Pere Lachaise Cemetary in Paris has become a true shrine. Additionally, Stone`s direction employs the use of so many psychedelic special effects that The Doors truly transports the viewer back to the sixties creating an almost `virtual` experience.
Starring alongside Kilmer are Kyle MacLachan as Manzarek, Kathleen Quinlan as rock journalist Patricia Kennealy, Meg Ryan as Morrison`s hippie-chick girlfriend Pamela, Paul Rothchild as Michael Wincott, Frank Whaley as Robby Krieger, and Kevin Dillon as John Densmore. Seventies rock star Billy Idol also makes a cameo appearance in the movie as Cat - his role was originally much bigger but prior to filming Idol was injured in a motorcycle accident that left him seriously injured - when he does appear he is either on crutches or sitting down.
The Doors also includes all the classic music that is synonymous with the Doors, during the height of their career which, interestingly, only lasted for 6 years from 1965 - 1971 in spite of the group`s continuing legendary status. The movie soundtrack features Riders On The Storm, Break On Through, Light My Fire and many more compelling tracks.
Admittedly, prior to watching The Doors, I knew virtually nothing of Jim Morrison's band. I knew that he had died of a drug overdose and I was familiar with one or two of their songs, but that was about the extent of it.
Oliver Stone's The Doors is a dizzying journy through the life and death of Morrison; a journey which is, at times, incomprehensible. Starting with Morrison's early life, the film covers most of the major events in his career (including The Doors' infamous performance on Ed Sullivan), but oddly enough, never really lets us into the mind of Morrison. Stone's chosen to film much of the film in a style that's supposed to be reminiscent (I suppose) of a drug trip. In doing this, though, he keeps us at arms length from Morrison. Perhaps had I lived through the period I would have been able to appreciate this, but since I didn't, I merely found it distracting and unnecessary.
Val Kilmer, as Morrison, gives (to use an overused cliche) a tour-de-force performance. Quite simply, he is Jim Morrison. Besides the obvious physical resemblance, Kilmer inhabits the soul of Morrison in his performance. Singing some of The Doors' more famous songs (I particularly admired his balls-to-the-wall rendition of "Break on Through"), you almost forget that you're watching a fictional movie and not a documentary. It's only when the movie shifts to Morrison's personal life that I found the camera work to be more distracting than anything else. During the recreations of the musical performances, though, Stone remains surprisingly restrained (except in the rock spectacle I mentioned before). I'm not sure why that is, but had Stone used this documentary-style throughout the movie, I'm sure I would have found it more enjoyable.
The supporting actors are fine, particularly Kyle MacLachlan as The Doors' keyboardist. Meg Ryan is a little out of place as Morrison's drugged up girlfriend, though. Perhaps I'm too used to her playing cutsie, but she didn't seem to be at the same level as Kilmer. Kilmer thoroughly inhabited Morrison, but Ryan (hard as she tried) couldn't muster up the same amount of pure psychotic mania that Kilmer infused into his character. Ryan gets an A for effort, though, for trying something other than a Nora Ephron comedy.
It's true enough that I do know more about The Doors now than before I had watched the film, but had Oliver Stone reigned in his flashy tendancies, I'm sure The Doors would have wound up being a true representation of Jim Morrison's life. As it is, as Denis Leary said, I can sum up the Doors movie for you in two seconds: I'm drunk, I'm nobody, I'm drunk, I'm famous, I'm drunk, I'm dead.
** out of ****
Reel Film Reviews 2000
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 26, 2004 13:54:14 GMT
Oliver Stone's The Doors
"The movie will begin in five moments,"
The mindless voice announced.
"All those unseated will await the next show."
We filed slowly, languidly into the hall.
The auditorium was vast and silent.
As we seated and were darkened, the voice continued:
"The program for this evening is not new,
You've seen this entertainment through and through.
You've seen your birth, your life and death,
You might recall all of the rest.
Did you have a good world when you died?
Enough to base a movie on?" -- "The Movie" from An American Prayer
When I went to Paris recently, the one place I had to visit -- above the Champs-Elysees, the Eiffel Tower, and the Arc de Triomphe -- was Pére-Lachaise Cemetery, home in death of hundreds of people who either were born, lived, or died in Paris. My main goal, along with seeing the graves of Colette, Marcel Proust, Oscar Wilde (with the famous lip prints of his posthumous fans), and Honore de Balzac, was to see that of Jim Morrison, vocalist, lyricist, and resident Lizard King of the seminal late 1960s-early 1970s band, the Doors.
My reasons were suspect, to say the least. When I was twelve, my bohemian mentor uncle gave me an intensive introduction to rock music: Zeppelin, Doors, Beatles, Stones, etc. Anything an educated modern music listener should know, historically speaking. I immediately latched on to the Doors.
Their simple melodic structure and provocative lyrics were exactly what my burgeoning adolescent brain was seeking. To get more in depth information, I read the Jerry Hopkins / Danny Sugerman biography, No One Here Gets Out Alive (title taken from the song "Five to One") and was confronted with a couple of important facts: that Morrison had died two days before I was born and that his mother's maiden name was Clarke, the same as mine. I came to the instant conclusion that I was the reincarnation of James Douglas Morrison. (He, of course, would want to "keep it in the family.")
Of course, people who know me remark on the total lack of similarity between us, and to that I've always responded, "If your life ended up the way his did, wouldn't you want to change everything about it?" This explains away my all-but-teetotaling behavior, my risk aversion, and my absence of a portfolio of pretentious poetry.
It's all right, go ahead and laugh. I'm only half serious. I'm not about to try to cash in on this adolescent fantasy by hooking up with Patricia Kennealy (or "Kennealy-Morrison," as she insists on calling herself), or writing books like Shirley MacLaine, or suing to collect royalties, or anything like that. I'm quite content to write my little reviews and go on with my nice, quiet homebody life where I've yet to ingest anything harder than alcohol or set foot in a recording studio (oh, wait, does that Monkees cover we did in high school count?).
After all, I've already outlived him, so it must be working.
What this all has to do with Oliver Stone's film of The Doors is tangential at best. But it came out in 1991, so it's likely that the people who wanted to see it have done so, and the rest of you are just reading to gather ammunition for a nasty letter. (Feel free, by the way, I can appreciate a good verbal thrashing every now and then.) But it's a good flick. It's not the most accurate portrait of the band, or of Morrison in particular (Stone has admitted to dramatic license and composite characters), but it's damned entertaining and Val Kilmer captures the essence of Morrison, even down to the way he carried himself and his vocal mannerisms. According to an interview on the DVD, Kilmer sent Stone a tape of himself singing Doors songs mixed in with originals. When Stone realized he couldn't tell the difference, he gave Kilmer the part.
The Doors covers the period from the time Jim met Pamela Courson (played by Meg Ryan, chosen for her "All-American" qualities), who would become his common law wife, to his death, encompassing the band's short life (only about six years) as well as hitting the high (and low) points of his personal life, including his relationship with the abovementioned Kennealy (Kathleen Quinlan, in what Stone calls the film's bravest performance). Interviews with Kennealy included on the DVD show clearly that this was not done to her liking as other women's acts were included in the character that was her namesake. (Stone now admits that perhaps he should have fictionalized the character.)
It's discoveries like the preceding that make the Artisan DVD such a joy to explore. For a film that did not do very well at the box office, the extras are plentiful with interviews, deleted scenes, and a full-length commentary merely scratching the surface. Any questions the viewer may have about The Doors (like the often odd casting and the importance of Stone's own cameo) are answered somewhere among the two discs multiple features.
But watching The Doors itself is an experience similar to an altered state. Stone pioneered his use of different film stocks, special effects, and sound layering (including the use of the Doors' catalog to score scenes, making the soundtrack a must-have for fans) in ways that foresee their usage in his later films like JFK, and culminating in the surreal presentation of the cinematographically brilliant Natural Born Killers. I'm not what one would call a fan of the director, but a few of his films find their way to my screen time and time again, for different reasons. JFK for Stone's ability to make a gripping film out of volumes of dry facts and suppositions; Natural Born Killers for its pure visceral rollercoaster ride combined with unreal artistic expression for the sake of cinema; and The Doors mostly for the performance of Kilmer, but also for its portrait of a period. Stone said around this time of his career that all of his films were about Vietnam in some way or another, and that The Doors was about what was going on over here while he was over there. That deadly subtext adds another layer to what could be a simply fun -- though very dark -- movie and makes it all the more able to grab my attention through the slow parts.
And The Doors is not a perfect film. Often, it seems that a scene was shot to make a point -- or to represent a multitude of other similar scenes -- rather than simply to entertain; and the casting isn't always dead on in terms of matching an actor's personality to the role, but when it does work (e.g., Michael Madsen as Tom Baker, Crispin Glover as Andy Warhol, Kilmer as Morrison), I am riveted to that performance. Similarly, set pieces involving "spiritual journeys" tend to be hypnotic despite their pretense, merely due to the acrobatic camera work or the like.
So it is that the movie is less than the sum of its parts, but still a stunning achievement, especially when taken as a film, and not as a biopic. "Morrison" is, at his core, an interesting character, and whether all the events in The Doors really happened does not detract from that -- although the lack of a truly riveting supporting cast sometimes does take away from the whole. If you like the film, you'll really appreciate the DVD, and if you saw it before and didn't like it, give it another chance. Like many other films that aren't perfect but appeal to a passionate audience, The Doors is an ambitious film that manages to remain charming in spite of its flaws and passionate in the face of inaccuracy.
Craig's Movie Club
I figure most of us thought The Doors was plenty of movie at 138 minutes. Little did we realize that one of Oliver Stone's least favorably received movies would call for a two-disc DVD set with 43 minutes of deleted scenes, numerous documentary extras, and a feature length commentary track from Stone.
And yet here it is.
Ten years after its initial release, I found The Doors a lot like I remembered: a long, pretentious, and meandering -- yet dutiful -- retelling of Jim Morrison's life (and which ultimately had far more to do with him than the band he fronted). Stone traces all the high points -- from Morrison's struggle to achieve fame in Venice, California during the height of the surf music craze, to his run-ins with Ed Sullivan and Andy Warhol. But it's mainly Jim's self destruction via drugs, alcohol, and scandalous behavior (antics that ultimately forced him to flee to Paris to escape an obscenity conviction) that is the focus of the film (much like the Lenny Bruce biopic Lenny), and that relatively shallow effort is hard to sustain over nearly 2 1/2 hours.
Shot with Stone's characteristic, psychedelic style, the film is a memorable one thanks to Val Kilmer's inspired portrayal of Morrison, not to mention nude from of hundreds of Hollywood actresses -- notably the prudish Meg Ryan and Kathleen Quinlan. There's also a prodigious volume of music to contend with -- as virtually ever Doors song worth hearing is at least sampled on the movie. And ultimately, it's the music that tells you more about the nihilism of Jim Morrison than Oliver Stone ever could.
Far out, man.
The beginning of The End.
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 28, 2004 15:47:04 GMT
The Doors (1991)
Real-life Morrison girlfriend Patricia Kennealy played the role of the witch that wed Morrison and Kennealy in the movie.
Prior to the audition, Val Kilmer memorized the lyrics to all songs written by Jim Morrison. He also sent director Oliver Stone a video of him performing a few Doors songs, which Stone claimed hurt Kilmer's image as Morrison.
Ray Manzarek turned down Stone's many requests to help in the movie. Manzarek has since said that the movie is a horrible account of the history of the band.
Kilmer wore special contact lenses that made his pupils seem dilated in the scenes where Morrison was stoned.
Closeup shots use Kilmer's voice, long distance shots use Morrison's.
"Mr Mojo Risin" is an anagram of "Jim Morrison".
John Densmore (The Doors drummer) played the recording engineer for Morrison's solo session.
Bonnie Bramlett (of 60's group Delaney and Bonnie) played the bartender.
Director Cameo: [Oliver Stone] Morrison's film professor.
Prior to production, Val Kilmer lived and breathed Morrison for nearly a year, dressing in his clothes and hanging around at his old haunts on Sunset Strip. Jim Morrison biographer Jerry Hopkins says that he saw him one day when meeting Oliver Stone for lunch, using a payphone in the restaurant, and was so convinced by the believable image he cut that the first thought that entered his head was, "I'd forgotten how tall Jim was."
The film kicked around for nearly twenty years before it made it into production. Amongst other actors considered for the role at various times were Tom Cruise, Jason Patric, and John Travolta. During the time Travolta was being considered he met the band (who were initially quite involved with the possible production), and they discussed reforming the band and going on tour with Travolta on vocals. In the end the band chose not to do this because they felt John Travolta was too nice to fill Morrison's shoes.
More than 20 years before the film's release, Oliver Stone pitched an early version of the screenplay to Jim Morrison himself.
Actor Trademark: [Val Kilmer] Flips coins and a drumstick on his knuckles.
Real Doors guitarist Robby Krieger can be seen briefly walking by the group while they talk in the hallway between sets at the London Fog.
During the filming, Doors music was constantly being played on the set.
Billy Idol's role in the movie was originally much bigger. Prior to filming, Idol was in a motorcycle accident that left him seriously injured and unable to walk. Because of this, his role in the movie was reduced severely, and you'll notice that when he does appear in the film, he is either on crutches, sitting, or laying down.
The real grave of Jim Morrison is shown at the end of the movie, filmed at the Père Lachaise Cemetery in Paris, France. The sculpture of Morrison that is on his gravestone was stolen soon after the film's release.
Ian Astbury, (lead singer for the band The Cult), was considered for the role of Jim Morrison by Oliver Stone. They had lunch in Hollywood to discuss the role. In 2002 he went on tour with The Doors as lead singer.
John Travolta was considered for the role of Jim Morrison in 1986.
Jim Morrison's comment while being interviewed about spending more money on alcohol and tobacco than education is taken from "The Doors of Perception" by Aldous Huxley.
The surviving members of "The Doors" claim that Val Kilmer did such a good job playing Jim Morrison and singing as Jim Morrison that they could not distinguish his voice from the real Morrison's.
Doors guitarist Robby Krieger insisted that the scene showing the band rehearsing "Light My Fire" make clear that it was he, not Jim Morrison, who composed the song.
As documented in the film, after defying Ed Sullivan and using the word "higher" on national TV, Jim Morrison and The Doors were never invited back to "Toast of the Town" (1948).
Val Kilmer broke his arm badly when he performed a jump from the stage into the crowd and the stuntman failed to catch him, leaving Kilmer with an abnormal growth on his right elbow.
After the scene when Jim is being photographed, he stands in place and looks at the camera as a newspapers and magazines fly by showing The Doors' rise to fame, but also, a sculpture of a Greek figure appears over Jim's. This is a sculpture of Alexander The Great. Jim Morrison compared himself to Alexander the Great several times in his life.
Oliver Stone's then wife Elizabeth is mentioned in the closing credit roll as Naijo No Ko. This Japanese term means "with the help of my wife" or, more colloquially, "I owe my success to my better half".
From IMDb Earths Biggest Movie database
Post by ensenada on Dec 28, 2004 19:40:38 GMT
I tink the doors film is a good piece of entertainment, after all thats what its all about. val plays parts of jims idium very well, yet others lack, like when ray said that stone didnt allow jims more intellectual, and funny side show through at all/very much. and there is a lot of stuff added in there that simply didnt happen as we all know. but i like it, i have the special edition disc with 2 discs, interviews etc. i think there is an interview with val and one with pat.
wasnt kurt russell asked to play jim? he certainly wouldnt have been as good as val, looks wise.
who do you guys reckon could have played a good jim?
Post by ensenada on Dec 28, 2004 22:05:43 GMT
the fact that he sang the songs bowls me over to be honest, quite amazing!
and true kurt russell in the thing, would have been a convincing bearded jim. I always thought that the lost boys somehoe tried to compare jason patrick with jim in the cave scene, where jims faced is almost superimposed over jasons. the doors theme does run through that film, what with people are strange performed by echo and the bunnymen, i think.
Post by jym on Dec 29, 2004 0:22:13 GMT
Also mentioned as possible Jim's through the history The Doors movie was Tom Cruise, Bono, Michael Hutchence
Post by hippieflowergirl67 on Dec 29, 2004 5:00:39 GMT
I have yet to see this movie!
Post by stuart on Dec 29, 2004 17:53:19 GMT
When you do! Please dont let it form your view of the man as it is a VERY 1 d"Take" On jim and does not give him the credit and depth he deserves....
Stone even has jim dropping out of flim school when jim did no such thing!!.
watch the film with caution imo!.
Post by TheWallsScreamedPoetry on Dec 29, 2004 18:02:24 GMT
R$ay said under oath that Jim was anti the Buick ad because his dad drove a Buick and he did no such thing so who was worse between the two of them?
Jim's friends have misrepresented him to suit thier agendas on more than one occasion.....
It was just a movie....get over it