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The Doors (Special Edition)

4.0 out of 5 stars 492 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

UCLA film student Jim Morrison finds a girlfriend, forms a band and turns tragic 1960s rock star.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: John Densmore, Kevin Dillon, Billy Idol, Val Kilmer, Kyle MacLachlan
  • Directors: Oliver Stone
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC, Special Edition
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    R
    Restricted
  • Studio: Lions Gate
  • DVD Release Date: February 20, 2001
  • Run Time: 138 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (492 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005NB8K
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,745 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Doors (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 6, 2012
Format: Amazon Video
Calling this movie "The Doors" is misleading. It would be more accurate to call it "Jim Morrison and Those Other Guys In the Band," since that is how it's presented.

It's always tempting to latch onto a rock legend in these rock biopics, and Oliver Stone clings like a limpet to the ghost of Jim Morrison. Acid-soaked scenery and mysticism are in every scene, but Stone seems content to wallow in the rock'n'roll debauchery rather than get into Morrison's head.

It opens with a voiceover of Jim Morrison's poetry, as we slowly fade into a stalled recording session. Then it flips back to 1949, as Morrison's family drives through the desert. The boy catches a glimpse of several Indians by the road -- and one of them dies as the family leaves.

Then it flips ahead to Morrison's (Val Kilmer) years at college -- he crashes a party for a pretty girl, makes arty films, acid-trips, and devotes himself to poetry. Then his pal Ray Manzarek (Kyle McLachlan) creates a rock band, with Morrison's poetry and voice as the centerpiece. Soon The Doors become a fixture in L.A. -- and then a famed band.

But as the Doors become more famous, Morrison increasingly loses himself in the messianic-Dionysian-rocker role that has been set out for him. He weds a witch-journalist (Katherine Quinlan) but loves his fey girlfriend Pamela (Meg Ryan). And when he outrages the authorities with the threat of public exposure, the spiral starts that will only lead to death.

Stone certainly knew how to evoke the golden ages of rock'n'roll. Lots of sex, kinetic concerts, and bizarre behavior where Morrison jumps up on platforms and screams, "I am the Lizard King! I can do anything!" The whole movie just kind of sweeps you off your feet.
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Format: DVD
"Pam joined him three years later . . ." is on my copy of the 15 Year Anniversary Edition; the movie is the same as the Special Edition.

The packaging and menus are updated and look great. Substantially better than the special edition.

On to the 2 new features.

The Doors in L.A. - 20 minute feature; Robbie Krieger, John Densmore, (yaaay!), Jimmy Greenspoon, and Pamela Des Barres are the prominent interviews on camera here. Nothing earth shattering, but it's nice to see/hear John Densmore's abridged opinions.

The Jim Morrison Phenomena in Paris - it's interesting. You've got a handful of people who met JDM in Paris and hung out; they describe his mood and what he was (arguably) saying at the time. There's a French librarian who breaks down a lot of the parallels in the subtleties of the lyrics w/Greek literature. There's a somewhat annoying 20 something saying Jim was done with music and The Doors and blah, blah, blah that isn't substantiated w/anything. There is an interview w/Michelle Rudler, who is listed as "Coroner" who says lots of things were done wrong in the documentation of Morrison's death. It's about 50 minutes.

All of the extras on the Special Edition are here as well.

So in conclusion, if you are looking to purchase The Doors movie on DVD, by Oliver Stone, this is the one to get. The movie is entertaining enough but, you know, it's fictional and not historically accurate enough to garner more than 3 stars from this reviewer.
1 Comment 44 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: DVD
The Doors suffers the same problems that Stone's other films about real people and events (JFK and Nixon) do; Stone uses the docu-drama format as a license to condense times and events, while simultaneously inventing composite characters and situations that never existed. All too often, these films, while containing exciting filmic and visual elements, ring a bit hollow.

The upside of The Doors is the performance of Val Kilmer, who threw himself into the role with ferocity and conviction; that he comes up short in the end isn't due to his acting abilities as much as the choice of episodes and Morrison's characteristics (both real and invented) that Stone chose to film. Simply put, Stone's Morrison comes across as little more than a sporatically gifted poet who sublimates his poetic callings to all the cliched rock star trappings. Perhaps this does describe some of Morrison's personality to a degree, but after seeing Morrison get stoned, drunk and act like a spoiled child throwing a tantrum for 2 hours plus, one wonders if Oliver thought of Morrison as basically an obnoxious drunk (possessed by the soul of a bald, silly-looking, half-naked dead indian that continually wanders around the movie) and, if so, what it was that turned Stone onto making the film in the first place...

The downside, in addition to the lack of scope regarding Morrison, comes in the numerous episodes that never happened (The Doors tripping on acid in the desert, Patricia Kennealy being present at the New Haven show Morrison got arrested at, Particia Kennealy and Pam Courson having a catfight, Buick actually making a commercial using the song Light My Fire and Jim finding out about it by watching tv, Jim setting fire to his and Pam's house while Pam was smacked up in the closet...and on and on).
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