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Most of the allure of Oliver Stone’s The Doors, a rockumentary about the quintessential 60s rock band of the same name & its controversial lead singer Jim Morrison, comes from the renown of the band itself and the appeal of good old rock. So, going into the movie, as you watch the brilliance of Val Kilmer’s performance and his striking & uncanny inhabitation of Jim Morrison’s persona, it does in no way seem like a let-down. The characters are still young and enthused & seem to be going somewhere.

Further, the movie builds up around intriguing premises of lesser known influences on Morrison, like the time he witnessed a dead Native American on a road. But, all this clouds one’s ability to realize that from the very beginning, the film has been on a downward slide into obscurity and stupor.

Raina, P. (2017, August 9). 10 Movies That Went From Wonderful To Awful. Retrieved from www.tasteofcinema.com

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To play rock legend Jim Morrison in Oliver Stone's 1991 movie The Doors, Kilmer started with the music, learning how to sing 50 of the band's songs. He reportedly spent hours in the studio poring over Morrison's vocal performances and watching endless footage of Morrison's interviews to get a sense of his personality and mannerisms.

On set, the cast and crew referred to him as Jim, and many claimed by the end of filming they were unable to tell the difference between Morrison's singing voice and Kilmer's. But when filming ended, Kilmer claimed he had to go to therapy to get Jim out of his system. Rock producer Paul Rothchild, who knew Morrison, claimed that Kilmer "knows Jim Morrison better than Jim ever knew himself."

Ferri, J. (2017, June 4). Actors Who Were Never the Same After a Role. Retrieved from www.looper.com

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Actor Harrison Ford had a brief stint behind the camera in 1968.

It's a fact few people know, but Harrison Ford, who's made a career out of being in front of the camera, once shot Jim Morrison.

Val Kilmer and Meg Ryan in The Doors, 1991

During the press tour for his 1998 memoir Light My Fire, The Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek continued to criticize Oliver Stone for his highly inaccurate biopic on the band released six years earlier. At one reading and signing event that summer, I asked Manzarek from a crowd of fans why he doesn't just make his own movie about The Doors if he's that upset about Stone's. He'd gone to film school, after all, and now he had a new book all set for adaptation. He replied that he was more interested in some other film ideas he had (one of which became Love Her Madly, his 2000 romantic thriller that gives Jim Morrison a story credit).

 

John Densmore and Jim Morrison in Feast of Friends

1968: Harrison Ford was working as a carpenter (working on houses, building sets) when he was asked by photographer and former UCLA student Paul Ferrara if he would like help out on a documentary about The Doors. It was an opportunity the 25-year-old Ford gladly accepted—though his experience of working with the band would leave him "one step away from joining a Jesuit monastery."

Jim Morrison by Stephan Beauvais

Jim Morrison Project

The Jim Morrison Project is an audio & visual anthology detailing the life of Jim Morrison through his poetry, films, art, spoken word & music with The Doors.