The Doors (1991)

Wow, Jim Morrison was kind of an ass now that I think about it.

This drama is as much about 1960s music culture as it is about legendary outlaw Jim Morrison (Val Kilmer), one of the most influential figures in the history of rock and roll. This electrifying drama chronicles Morrison’s rise from obscurity to the pinnacle of the rock and roll music world as lead singer for The Doors, and, finally, to his tragically early death in a Paris bathtub.

Personally, I love The Doors. I like a lot of their music and thinks its so strange and out there that it really is some of the best. I think Jim Morrison was a great artist when he was alive, he wrote some strange but really beautiful poetry and music. And, I also love Oliver Stone, as much of you already know. Why didn’t this whole film work out like I wanted it to??

To start it off let me look at the positives. The concert scenes are filmed in large screen, cause that’s how Stone wants you to see them as and really there was no other way they could have been shown other than in wide screen presentation. It is amazing how the concert scenes are re-created, as they look like outtakes taken from a documentary at the time. The crowd scenes have a real distinct powerful effect, and this is one of the most realistic looking rock movies I’ve seen in a long time.

Val Kilmer looks so much like Morrison it’s actually scary. But not only does he look like him, Kilmer captures the total essence that Morrison had. He was a strange man, who’s erratic behavior got worse as he started to deal more into drugs, as this film shows very well. Meg Ryan also has a good performance as his long-time girlfriend who goes through some changes herself, and through Ryan’s performance we see this very well.

However, there were many problems I had with this film that did bother me a lot. The historical innacuracies really do start to get out of hand very early in this film. The film shows Morrison holding his crotch and mocking the TV as he says “higher” on live television. Now in real life, Morrison just sayed “higher” by accident and didn’t really know what he was doing when he did it. Also, the film does a great job at showing us the drug addicted, sex making, drunken Jim Morrison, and never really shows us anything good about him. The film dives into his personal life of booze, sex, and drugs, and totally forgets about his work at hand and how his songs came to be.

I did like Stone’s direction as I felt it was very inspired but I felt he could have really changed the last hour or so. The typical rise-and-fall story of Morrison is falling right at about when the first hour is up. The after that the whole film basically becomes a total downer for anyone who loved the band The Doors, such as myself.

Though we get little tidbits of what the other band members have to say, we never fully meet them. We always are able to see their reactions, but there’s never a chance to see where Morrison and all the others met, and we never get to see how close they really were to Morrison.

Consensus: Though it’s not one of Oliver Stone’s finest films, The Doors is exciting and well-acted, but never shows anything good from Morrison and its innacuracies start to get a little out-of-hand by the end of the first act.



  1. How weird, I just saw and reviewed this today myself. I think even you liked it more than I did. Stone tried to paint Jim Morrison as a tragic hero undone by his vices, but he was just an awful person with crap poetry and worse people skills. Rarely have I wanted a character in a film to die as fervently as I did Jim Morrison

    • A. That is very weird, and B. Yes, I do agree but that is very harsh. His poetry may be crappy it all depends on where your coming from. But, Stone doesn’t do a great job of at least once making this person likable.

  2. Before you start criticizing the movie for its inaccuracies, it’s best to get your facts first. I saw the movie before I actually researched Jim Morrison and the Doors and Oliver Stone was more spot on than I would’ve thought. Morrison didn’t die at 27 because he was out smelling the flowers all day long. He had his human as well as character flaws and both were tragic. If you wanna critcize Stone for explaining the tragic side for the last hour that’s fine, but the Doors were only a band for 5-7 years. How much glory was there before the destruction of the band and Morrison’s life started happening? And check what happened on the Ed Sullivan Show. Mr. Sullivan went backstage before hand and asked them to switch the line “get much higher,” to “get much better.” Mr. Sullivan also asked them to smile and Morrison never agreed to that either. He said they were a “sullen” group when asked to smile. And so when they played live, he put the emphasis on the word “higher.” The show was supposed to have been making arrangements for them to come back in the future but after that fiasko the Doors were never asked back again. Next time you try and spew your crap, do your research.

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