Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Doors (movie)
The Doors is a 1991 film about Jim Morrison and The Doors. It was directed by Oliver Stone, and stars Val Kilmer as Morrison, Meg Ryan as Pamela Courson (Morrison's companion), Kevin Dillon as John Densmore, Kyle MacLachlan as Ray Manzarek, Frank Whaley as Robby Krieger and Kathleen Quinlan as Patricia Kennealy .
The film is very much focused on Morrison, portraying him as larger-than-life and an icon of 1960s rock and roll, counterculture, and the drug-using free love hippie lifestyle. But the depiction goes beyond the iconic: his alcoholism, interest in the spiritual plane and hallucinogenic drugs as entheogens, and, particularly, his obsession with death are threads which weave in and out of the film. Attentive viewers (or those who listen to Stone's DVD commentary) witness Death personified throughout the film by Richard Rutowski , who even appears in drag in one scene.
The film's soundtrack contains over two dozen of The Doors songs; in the film, original recordings of the band are seamlessly combined with performances by Kilmer as Morrison.
Dramatization, not biography
The film is based mostly on real people and actual events, but is clearly Stone's vision and dramatization of those people and events.
Krieger, Densmore, and Kennealy are all credited as technical advisors for the film, and the settings for the film, particularly the concert sequences, are depicted realistically and in mostly chronological order.
But as the credits point out and as Stone emphasizes on his DVD commentary, some characters, names, and incidents in the film are fictitious or amalgamations of real people. Stone points out in the 1997 documentary The Road of Excess that Quinlan's character is in particular, a composite and, in retrospect, should have been given a fictitious name. Ryan's character involves liberties of a different sort: Courson's parents had inherited Morrison's poems when their daughter died, and Stone had to agree to restrictions about his portrayal of her in exchange for the rights to use the poetry.
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