|Oliver Stone Director||previously directed Born on the Fourth of July|
A dramatization of the short life of Jim Morrison and his career with The Doors.
|Val Kilmer||Jim Morrison|
|Meg Ryan||Pamela Courson|
|Kyle MacLachlan||Ray Manzarek|
|Frank Whaley||Robby Krieger|
|Kevin Dillon||John Densmore|
|Michael Wincott||Paul Rothchild|
|Michael Madsen||Tom Baker|
|Josh Evans||Bill Siddons|
|See Full Credits|
It's Jim Morrison's (Val Kilmer) 27th birthday. He celebrates it by recording his spoken word album An American Prayer. Cue "Riders of the Storm" as we get a glimpse of Jim as a child. New Mexico, 1949, Jim's family is riding on the highway when they see the remnants of a car accident. Jim locks eyes with one of the Native American victims as his mother tells him it's just a dream. Cut to several years later. We see Jim hitchhiking on the highway. Venice Beach California, 1965. Jim takes note of a woman walking her dog, and follows her to her house. Later that day, he climbs up to her balcony and introduces himself. The woman is Pamela Courson (Meg Ryan).
Jim is a student at UCLA film school. The whole class is watching his film. It's a jumbled mess of black and white stock footage and narration by Jim with cryptic poetry. The class' reaction is decidedly negative. Jim quits. Later, he wakes up Pam in the middle of the night at her house and the two go for a walk. They relax on a rooftop as Pam reads some of Jim's poetry. They share their thoughts on the universe and make out.
Ray Manzarek (Kyle MacLachlan) is sitting on the beach meditating when Jim comes up to him. Ray was in Jim's film class. He says he's given up acid. Jim tells Ray that he's been writing songs. Ray asks Jim to sing, and he reluctantly agrees. The song he sings is what became "Moonlight Drive." Ray is impressed with the lyrics and wants to start a band. Jim picks the name the Doors from the Aldous Huxley book The Doors of Perception. The band add two members, Robby Krieger (Frank Whaley) on guitar and John Densmore (Kevin Dillon) on drums. They practice "Break on Through (To the Other Side)", but it doesn't sound right. Robby pulls a piece of paper out of his pocket and starts to play a song he wrote called "Light My Fire." Jim improvises some more lyrics, John sets up a drum beat, and Ray finds the perfect intro on keyboard.
Sunset Strip, 6 months later, The Doors are playing The London Fog, a small night club. Jim is so nervous he can't face the audience. When he does, the girls go wild. After the show, a man approaches Ray, Robby, and John, offering his services as a manager. He later meets with Jim alone and tells him to ditch the other guys. The guys plus Pam and Kyle's girlfriend all decide to go tripping in the desert. Jim has flashbacks to the Indians on Dawn's Highway bleeding.
Whiskey á Go-Go, 1966. The Doors are playing "The End." The owners at the Whiskey are not impressed by Jim's 10 minute display of poetry, and his breakdown at the end of the song, and he fires the Doors. Outside, after they were thrown out, the Doors are approached by Jac Holzman (Mark Moses) of Elektra Records and producer Paul Rothchild (Michael Wincott), offering a record deal. They get the album done in six days. San Francisco, 1967, The Doors are performing on stage to a crowd of hundreds. Jim gets mobbed by female fans at the airport. Someone recording on the plane asks everyone boarding their name and occupation. We get introduced to the Doors new manager Bill Siddons (Josh Evans). New York, 1967, more female fans mob Jim as they get ready to play the Ed Sullivan Show. They are asked to remove the word "higher" from "Light My Fire." Jim instead yells "higher" into the camera.
Jim is being photographed by a woman, whiskey bottle in hand. These iconic photos became known as "The Young Lion" session. Later, The Doors are at a party hosted by Andy Warhol (Crispin Glover). Pam introduces Jim to actor Tom Baker (Michael Madsen), and model Nico (Christina Fulton). The other three Doors leave the party but Jim goes to meet Andy.