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The Doors This is the end .... my friend

  • Aug 30, 2000
Pros: Stone and Kilmer, good combo

Cons: ......

Frankly I grew up in the 60's and I don't remember much about that time era. Not that I was a dope head or a drunk or any of the other stuff associated with addled brains from the 60's, in fact I was the opposite. I was in high school for part of the time - until 1964 - and worked full time during school as well. I also took care of my mothers home and my two brothers because she worked as well and we worked opposite hours. After high school I became a full time mother, a full time employee and also attended classes at the local junior college. I didn't have the time, money or patience for drugs and drinking.

I didn't like the music during this era, in fact, I can't remember any music I listened to but I must have because after all I was a teenager, even if I was a strange one. I didn't like the Beatles or the entire gang from overseas, nor did I like Elvis and the tripe being offered stateside. There must have been something I listened to, but I can tell you this, it certainly wasn't the Doors.

In fact, until my youngest son purloined a copy of this movie (I tried to return it after his death but they didn't want it back), I only had a vague idea of who and what this group entailed. Sitting down one night with Jason to watch this movie, I was quite surprised to see what was perceived as life in the 60's era. No wonder our parents hated us! Not me, of course, I was a good child.

Jim Morrison was a poet. The fact that he was a self-destructive, extroverted, alcoholic, drug addicted freak was just fodder for him. Played by Val Kilmer (and played well I might add) in this docudrama, we start with the beginning of the band and continue through its' trials and pitfalls until the death of Morrison in 1971, at age 27, in Paris.

It is unfortunate that the devastation of the mind and body of this otherwise angelic creature was doomed from the beginning. Both hypnotic and decadent, Morrison's words and music have an otherworldly aura to them, transporting you to times and visions forgotten or never experienced. The fact that, to this day, his music is able to inspire thoughts long past and yearnings unfulfilled gives testimony to the power of his own personal visions of peace and tranquility. Two things I don't believe he ever achieved, in this life anyway.

In the movie he is often portrayed as spiraling out of control, at the end of his career before it even gets started. His concerts were always heathenistic and controversial. Though married for many years to Pam Courson (Meg Ryan on screen), he indulges in many affairs. One, a prolonged ordeal with Patricia Kennealy (Kathleen Quinlan), who is a purported witch, doesn't help his public image nor his mental one.

Though this movie suggests it is about the band, instead it is an overexposed glimpse - no, not glimpse, deep look - into the depravity and desolation of Jim Morrison. At no time does Stone even attempt to gloss over his personality nor his desire to hurry the end of his life. You are never swayed into thinking he was ever a good boy gone bad, but know from the beginning that Morrison has no intention of ever being anything but an overzealous, overexposed, oversexed and overindulged failure.

Fortunately, Stone and Kilmer are able to dream weave you through the era. Kilmer, a wonderful actor, is able to transform himself into Morrison - body, mind and soul. What a tragic end to an artistic human - draped over the tub, out of shape, fat, over stimulated, a failure, dead.

Stars: Val Kilmer, Meg Ryan, Billy Idol, Kathleen Quinlan, John Densmore, Debi Mazar, Mimi Rogers, Paul Williams and the real Patricia Kennealy.


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Susi Dawson ()
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About this movie


Covers the period from 1965-1971; Produced and released in 1991. <br> <br> Val Kilmer stars as Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's electrifying profile of the Doors, which takes the group from its inception to its demise with the death of the "Lizard King" in a Paris hotel room in 1971. In the early days of the group's formation, Morrison is at his most benign; he's just a guy hanging out at the beach writing poetry. But soon the Doors' fame begins to spread--with Morrison as the focus of attention. Capable of an eerily correct vocal imitation of Morrison, Kilmer makes manifest the talent and charisma, as well as the confusion and despair, of the complex man who was the focal point of the group. As Morrisson's drug consumption and erratic behavior increase exponentially, the rest of the band--Ray Manzarek (Kyle McLachalan), John Densmore (Kevin Dillon), and Robby Krieger (Frank Whaley)--begins to grow tired of his late arrivals, the increasing number of cancellations, and the drunken recording sessions requi...
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Director: Oliver Stone
Release Date: 1991
MPAA Rating: R
DVD Release Date: Artisan Entertainment (February 20, 2001)
Runtime: 2hr 18min
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