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Trivia / The Doors (1991)

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  • California Doubling: The cave scene, in which Jim Morrison wanders out in the New Mexico desert, was shot at the Mitchell Caverns in the East Mojave Preserve in California. According to the tour guide there, Oliver Stone and the art dept. painted Indian petroglyphs at the site that wouldn't wash off. The state fined Stone and banned future film shoots at the caves.
  • Cast the Runner-Up:
    • Michael Madsen originally auditioned for the role of Jim Morrison. He was later cast in the part of Tom Bakernote  after Billy Idol switched from playing Baker to the smaller role of Cat due to being in a bad motorcycle accident.
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    • Kyle MacLachlan initially auditioned to play Jim Morrison, but Oliver Stone felt he was a better fit to play Ray Manzarek. The supporting role was a better scheduling fit for the actor, who filmed his part while on hiatus between seasons of Twin Peaks.
    • Lisa Edelstein auditioned for the role of Pamela Courson. She had a small part as a make-up artist.
  • The Cast Showoff: Val Kilmer is quite skilled at fingerwalking: rolling something through and over his fingers. He has shown this in other movies (a coin in Billy the Kid, two coins while standing and walking in Real Genius, a poker chip in Tombstone and a crowbar in Top Secret!), and he shows it with drumsticks here.
  • Creator Backlash: None of the surviving Doors members were happy with the final film, and all heavily criticized Stone's portrayal of Morrison. Even Krieger and Densmore, who are credited as technical advisors for the film, have commented that, although they may have given advice, Stone often chose to ignore it in favor of his own vision of the story.
    Ray Manzarek: Jim with a bottle all the time. It was ridiculous … It was not about Jim Morrison. It was about Jimbo Morrison, the drunk. God, where was the sensitive poet and the funny guy? The guy I knew was not on that screen.
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  • Dawson Casting: Jim Morrison died at 27. Val Kilmer played him at 32.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Because the film was shot out of sequence, Val Kilmer had to carefully gain weight for Jim Morrison's heavier, later years so the flab was only noticeable on his belly, and could be concealed when he played Morrison as a younger man.
  • In Memoriam: The film is dedicated to Rocco Viglietta, the head of International Sales Department at Carolco Pictures, the company that co-produced the movie.
  • Method Acting: Prior to production, Val Kilmer lived and breathed Jim Morrison for nearly a year, dressing in his clothes and hanging around his old haunts on Sunset Strip. Morrison biographer Jerry Hopkins says that he saw Kilmer one day when meeting Oliver Stone for lunch, using a payphone in the restaurant, and was so convinced that the first thought that entered his head was, "I'd forgotten how tall Jim was."
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  • Saved from Development Hell: A Doors biopic was in development for years, with Brian De Palma, Martin Scorsese, and William Friedkin being attached at different points.
  • Starring a Star as a Star: The eponymous band is played by Val Kilmer (Jim Morrison), Kevin Dillon (John Densmore), Kyle MacLachlan (Ray Manzarek), and Frank Whaley (Robby Krieger).
  • What Could Have Been:
  • Written-In Infirmity: Billy Idol's role was originally much bigger. Prior to filming, Idol was in a motorcycle accident that left him unable to walk. Every time he appears in the film, he is either on crutches, sitting, or lying down.

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