"Initially, I didn't start out to be a member of a band. I wanted to make films, write plays, books. When I found myself in a band, I wanted to bring some of these ideas into it. We never did much with it, though"

THE 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.
All true.
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.
Patricia was not in the shower room in New Haven, she hadn't even met Jim at that stage.
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 head.
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 in Miami.
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 mind".

Oliver said,
"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."


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'. Excellent scene.

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.

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.

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.

We see The Doors performing 'The Unknown Soldier'

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. Good scene.

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.

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 are shopping.

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.

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, Jim".
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 scene.

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.

Edited differently, in this one it starts off at Jim's grave and then we see the other graves.

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