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When You're Strange: A Film about The Doors [Blu-ray]

4.4 out of 5 stars 151 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

When You re Strange, written and directed by
the award-winning Tom DiCillo, is the first feature
documentary released on The Doors. Graced by the
narration of Johnny Depp, it carries the audience
through the journeys of vocalist Jim Morrison,
keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robby Krieger,
and drummer John Densmore. This 90-minute
presentation features never-before-seen rare archival film,
pulled from their inception in 1966 to Morrison s passing in 1971.
These snapshot scenes of the band s history is as much an intimate
experience, as it is revealing.
After being featured at the Sundance, Berlin, Deauville, and San Sebastian Film Festivals, music fans who didn t catch this in
theaters can now relish in this extraordinary documentary. It celebrates the collaborative power of this illustrious rock quartet
and their revolutionary fusion of creativity and thought-provoking rebellion.

Special Features


Product Details

  • Actors: The Doors
  • Directors: Tom Dicillo
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Eagle Rock Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: June 29, 2010
  • Run Time: 86 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (151 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B003H5WF44
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #28,396 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "When You're Strange: A Film about The Doors [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
In the short 4 ½ years that keyboardist Ray Manzarek, guitarist Robbie Krieger, drummer John Densmore and lead vocalist Jim Morrison enjoyed an artistic collaboration, they produced six timelessly resonant studio albums and the classic Absolutely Live (which still holds up as one of the best live albums ever by a rock band). The Doors were also one of the first rock bands to successfully bridge deeply avant-garde sensibilities with popular commercial appeal. It was Blake and Rimbaud... that you could dance to.

Surprisingly, it has taken until 2010, 45 years (!) after UCLA film students Jim Morrison and Ray Manzarek first starting kicking around the idea of forming a band, for a proper full-length documentary feature about The Doors to appear, Tom DiCillo's When You're Strange. You'll notice I said, "about The Doors". I felt that Oliver Stone's 1991 biopic ultimately lost its way as a true portrait of the band, because it was too myopically fixated on the Jim Morrison legend; Morrison the Lizard King, the Dionysian rock god, the drunken poet, the shaman. Yes, he was all of that (perhaps more of a showman than a shaman), but he was only 25% of the equation that made The Doors...well, The Doors. That's what I like about DiCillo's film; he doesn't gloss over the contributions of the other three musicians.

In fact, one of the things you learn in the film is that Morrison himself always insisted that all songwriting credits go to "The Doors" as an entity, regardless of which band member may have had the dominant hand in the composition of any particular song (when you consider that Morrison couldn't read a note, that's a pragmatic stance for him to take).
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Format: Blu-ray
John, Jim, Ray, and Robbie - probably the closest an American band ever came to The Beatles. Obviously comparing any band to The Beatles will most likely result in some sort of unjust outcry from the masses, but the comparison is there: 4 guys that the stars aligned to get together for a short period of time to create original music that spoke to a generation and is still going strong after 40 years.

For me, I was born in 1964 so by the time I discovered The Doors, Jim had been dead 7 years. I was rummaging through a stack of old out-of-rotation LPs that a local radio DJ gave to my older sister. In the mix was The Soft Parade. Having heard of The Doors, I gave it a listen. I remember thinking to myself, is this really The Doors' music, but the names on the back of the album confirmed it. Anyway, I liked what I heard and wanted to hear more. At that time, my music collection was mainly British bands like The Who, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, and Pink Floyd. The Doors fit right in very nicely.

As to When You're Strange (I have the Blu-Ray version) I found it to be entertaining. I have seen some of the footage before, but not this clean or sounding as good. As to the story, well, most everyone probably knows it, so this documentary doesn't veer to far away from what most fans already know. However, it is edited very nicely and covers as much as an 85 minute documentary can reasonably cover. To truly tell the full story with in-depth album by album coverage would require a multi-disc anthology set.

I recommend When You're Strange to both the casual and avid fan of The Doors. I was very impressed with the clips from Jim's Highway movie as well as clips from his UCLA days and from when he was 16. The film is very fair and represents all band members.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Big fan of The Doors and a big collector. I was hoping for more person depiction of Jim. Instead I found it more like the story line of Oliver Stone movie. I hate that the most attractive thing to portray about Jim was his antics, drinking and drugs. There has got to be more to the mans personality that's interesting than this. I did enjoy the cleaned up footage of HWY as the copy I have is not great. I would like them to release a full copy of HWY remastered. I saw this movie on the PBS airing as there was no local film release in my area to my disappointment. I will pre-order the blu-ray disc as I still want this movie for my collection. ( Watching the Critique footage right now as I type this and just love it. Sunday morning and The Doors, you can't beat it!)

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Format: Blu-ray
I just finished watching the blu-ray edition and wanted to write a few quick comments. First of all, the only "bonus feature" is a brief (about 9 minutes) interview with Jim's father and sister. Even though it's very short, I found it interesting to hear their comments, especially Jim's dad, as this was the first time he had commented on his famous son. Mr. Morrison had obviously not approved of Jim's chosen path, but had apparently come to terms with it and come to respect it. These all too brief interviews are both touching and sad, showing that Jim Morrison was an enigma to his family, but they still love and miss him. The picture quality is good, but I don't feel blu-ray does much to enhance things, as the original footage is so grainy. There is a stereo and 5.1 audio option, but honestly I found negligible difference between them. There are chapter marks, but no scene selection menu. A fine documentary, but I see no reason to purchase the blu-ray over the DVD.
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It has no subtitles or other languages.
Jul 19, 2010 by Carlos Hernandez |  See all 2 posts
Alternate Narration?
No. The narration is Depp's, from what I've read I don't think the original narration that was voiced by Tom DiCillo is too different from what Depp's is. There isn't much bonus features on the DVD you can see my review for more info.

Jun 20, 2010 by Jym Cherry |  See all 2 posts
DJ Jim Ladd's Voiceover Error Be the first to reply
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