Watch the Only Surviving Copy of Jim Morrison's Student Films

by Tyler Golsen
Credit: Elektra Records
Credit: Elektra Records

If you’ve ever seen Oliver Stone’s bananas retelling of Jim Morrison’s life in The Doors, you probably have an idea of what Jim Morrison’s brief foray into professional filmmaking was like. A listless young man of indeterminate origin obsessed with the darker side of culture and spirituality makes lascivious films that earn the scorn of his classmates before he dramatically quits to embrace life as a poet.

That’s not quite how it shook out. Morrison was the son of a career military man and found solace from his restrictive, disciplined, and frequently uprooted lifestyle through literature. Tall and bumpkinish, Morrison attended Florida State University and was either kicked out or he dropped out after a drunken incident at a football game.

Morrison departed Florida for Los Angeles, where he enrolled at UCLA and eventually received a degree in Theatre Arts, and while he participated in film classes, he never registered, nor left, the film program. During his time at UCLA, Morrison began to adopt a countercultural persona, starting the initial transformation into the Morrison that remains burned in the public psyche.


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