DOORS - 1991
Val Kilmer as Jim Morrison
Meg Ryan as Pamela Courson
Kevin Dillon as John Densmore
Kyle MacLachlan as Ray Manzarek
Frank Whaley as Robby Krieger
Also starring Michael Madsen, Billy Idol and Kathleen Quinlan
Music by The Doors
Music produced by Budd Carr and Paul A. Rothchild
Directed by Oliver Stone
Produced by Bill Graham, Sasha Harari and A. Kitman Ho
Executive producers: Mario Kassar, Nicholas Clainos and Brian Grazer
Written by J. Randal Johnson and Oliver Stone
Director of photography: Robert Richardson
To replicate Jim Morrison's
voice permission was given to use The Doors' master tapes, so that Val
Kilmer could sing along. In addition to hearing the actual words, Kilmer
was given a precise breakdown of the way Morrison actually delivered
his lyrics phonetically.
Klye MacLachlan (Ray Manzarek), is a classically trained pianist. He
was able to master the moves needed to synch with ease and to provide
a great stimulus for the other actors.
Frank Whaley (Robby Krieger), plays the drums. The transition to guitar
for synch purposes took hard work, but with the coaching of Elliott
Randall and the benefit of Robby Krieger's input, Whaley was able to
accurately portray the guitarist.
Kevin Dillon (John Densmore), was the least musically trained but worked
five days a week for two months with coaches Bruce Gary and Alan Schwartzberg,
and during production with John Densmore to handle the moves and style
needed for a realistic portrayal of the drummer.
There were full band rehearsals in order to get the actors into the
environment, in addition to Oliver Stone's two-week rehearsal period
for the film. Dillon, MacLachlan and Whaley played nine-hour days in
three, three hour shifts, six days in a row. Kilmer would rehearse vocals
and phrasing all day.
Since the early '80s, the
Morrison story came to be regarded as the movie that couldn't, or shouldn't
be made. So many names were linked to it, William Friedkin, Brian De
Palma, Francis Coppola, Martin Scorsese, John Travolta, Jason Patric,
Keanu Reeves, Tom Cruise, Michael Hutchence, Bono, Tom Cruise, to name
but a few.
Twenty years after the death of Jim Morrison, renowned film maker Oliver
Stone cowrote and directed the movie about The Doors, which starred
Val Kilmer in the coveted role.
Unfortunately the weakness of the script did not give Kilmer the dimension
that Morrison deserved, or that history demanded. Stone showed Jim to
be a mean, selfindulgent, selfdestructive, drunk.
But he was also witty, charming, intelligent and articulate.
Stone's potrayal is an ugly
and unfair one.
Sure The Doors had a dark side, but Oliver Stone took it more seriously
than they ever did.
There was far too many liberties
taken with the script, for example :
Jim met Pam at The London
Fog while they were the resident band, not on the beach.
Jim did not quit UCLA Film School, ( but Oliver Stone did ! ) he graduated
with his degree.
Joel Brodsky took the shirtless pictures during a 'Strange Days' photo
shoot, not Gloria Stavers.
Patricia Kennealy did not have a cocaine-blood soaked orgy with Jim.
was not in the shower room in New Haven, she hadn't even met Jim at
The Doors stopped the car company using 'Light My Fire' for their commercial,
so there never was an ad.
What's low grade acid?
The Doors never left Jim alone at Warhol's Factory, because they were
never there to begin with.
The list is endless.
The most surprising thing is that all these changes were made while
painstaking attention was given to the smallest detail. Millions were
spent recreating the Whisky a GoGo, Patricia's apartment, the Sunset
Strip and sections of San Francisco.
According to Ray Manzarek,
Bill Graham, after seeing the film, rang him up and apologised for how
bad it turned out. However bad the movie is, and it is bad, it did introduce
a whole new audience to the music of The Doors and bring their music
back on the shelves in stores. For this I suppose we should be grateful.
Robby initally didn't want
the movie to be made.
Patricia claims to have put a curse on it.
Val Kilmer recorded three songs for Oliver Stone to listen to, Oliver
didn't couldn't tell the difference between Val and Jim.
When asked did he call Val, Jim or Mr. Morrison as Val insisted, Frank
Whaley said, "No, I called him asshole".
Patricia says that Jim did not believe that there were Indians in his
Oliver Stone admits that he did not portray Pam correctly as Meg Ryan
was uncomfortable with the role and Pam's parents didn't allow Oliver
to show Pam with heroin.
Kathleen Quinlan got on great with Patricia, Patricia says the ceremony
was done correctly.
It's not Val Kilmer in the
love scene with Kathleen.
Patricia says 'baby' scene was a cheap farce, she called it hurtful.
Oliver says if he could go back and change it, he would change Patricia's
character, as he didn't like the way he portrayed her.
Richard Rutowski, who played Death in the movie, is dancing behind Jim
Oliver called the making of the Miami scene, "A carnival of souls".
Robby said that the Miami scene was very close to what happened.
Oliver says he based the movie on what he was told.
Richard Rutowski said he got it right.
Patricia said, "Read the books, see the movie. Make up your own
"It was a beautiful experience for me, perhaps I didn't capture
the way Jim was, I don't know.
I never doubted him. I miss him, I miss him very much."
1. TURKEY JOINT WEST
While still at UCLA, Jim goes to see Ray playing with Rick and the Ravens.
He chats up a girl at the bar. He joins Ray on stage and sings 'Gloria'.
2. SUNSET STRIP
Outside the Whisky, we see Jim talking to a girl telling her that they
are The Doors and they're playing at the London Fog. She tells him that's
a stupid name for a band and she'd never bother going to see them. He
asks her what her name is, when she tells him it's Caprice, he says
that's a stupid name for a girl. That's why she's laughing as Jim jumps
on the car and announces that he is the Lizard King.
3. AIRPLANE TO NEW YORK
Just after we see Jim loking out the window of the plane. Jim and Pam
talking about death. He says he'd like to die in an air crash as it
would be quick, she says she'd like to cut her wrists in a bathtub.
4. PRESS CONFERENCE IN
Where Jim first meets Patricia. Jim goes into more detail about his
parents 'death'. He also starts to cut his hair with a scissors in front
of the press.
5. NEW HAVEN
We see The Doors performing 'The Unknown Soldier'
6. RECORDING STUDIO
Extended scene. We see Cat and Dog watching Jim as he's recording his
poetry, and the effect his words are having on the employees around.
7. POLICE STATION AFTER
NEW HAVEN ARREST
Jim being harassed and beaten by the police. Jim taunts and spits at
them. Protests outside the jail by fans for him being arrested. It's
not known if this actually happened so that's why it was cut.
8. RAY AND DOROTHY'S WEDDING
Jim arrives with Cat and Dog, Ray gives out to Jim for being late. We
see part of the wedding ceremony. Cuts to a market, where Jim and Pam
9. ALTA CIENEGA MOTEL
Jim crying in bed with a naked girl lying beside him and Judy Huddleston
getting dressed. Pam comes to the door and realises he is with someone.
Jim now starts to laugh as he begins undressing Judy. Pam is crying
outside. Excellent scene. Should have been left in.
10. RECORDING STUDIO
Extended scene. Engineer asking Jim will they go out for pizzas, Jim
says no, "We'll get some tacos later". Also in this scene
we see Jim uncontrollably coughing.
Jim and Co. all drunk at an airport bar. Bill Siddons trying to get
them onto a plane to get Jim to Miami. When leaving the lounge, 'Death'
is standing beside Jim, where death says to him, "See you later,
Onboard the plane, Rita the stewardess tries to explain the emergency
routine with Jim and co. singing 'Ol Man Rita' (very funny scene). There's
an extended scene (and it makes it much better) with Tom Baker talking
to Jim about his need to do a better album than The Soft Parade. They
start getting rowdy and the Captain comes down and threatens them that
he'll have them arrested when they land. When he asks them if they have
any questions, Dog asks, "Who's flying the plane?" (verry
funny scene). Also we see Jim consoling a child who's crying. We see
them getting arrested when the plane lands at Miami. Cuts to the Dinner
Key Auditorium where we see the vegetarian guy with the lamb pleading
with the crowd not to eat meat.
This entire scene was brilliant.
The start of the courtroom scene is done to Runnin' Blue and Ghost Song,
then When The Music's Over comes in. We see the prosecution lawyers
playing the Miami tapes. Outside the courtroom there are anti-obscenity
protests. We see Jim being interviewed by the press. Another terrific
13. OUTSIDE RAY'S HOUSE
Just after, "Got a plane to catch, man?". Ray asks Jim if
Pam is waiting in Paris, Jim says "Yeah, we're gonna start afresh".
Jim talks lovingly about Pam. Ray begs Jim to 'slow down'. Ray reflects
when it all started in '65. He asks Jim, as Jim is getting into the
car, what the poem is about the two chicks on the pier. Jim drives off
saying, "In that year we had an intense visitation of energy".
As the plane takes off for Paris, we hear,
"That night, going to the pier, I met two young girls, one was
called Freedom, the other, Enterprise".
Another great scene.
14. PERE LACHAISE
Edited differently, in this one it starts off at Jim's grave and then
we see the other graves.
15. INTERIOR ROOM AND
Jim walks into room, backstage, goes over to the other Doors, smiling.
They walk to the stage and perform 'Roadhouse Blues'. We see Indians
dancing around Jim. Screen fades to white and we hear Jim saying,
"Indian, Indian what did you die for,
Indian says nothing at all".
Now this scene should have been left in, as it's just great