When You’re Strange

When You’re Strange

86 minutes 9.15/10 based on 117 votes

When You’re Strange uncovers historic and previously unseen footage of the illustrious rock quartet and provides new insight into the revolutionary impact of its music and legacy. Directed by award-winning writer/director Tom DiCillo and narrated by Johnny Depp, the film is a riveting account of the band’s history.

Said Depp, “Watching the hypnotic, hitherto unreleased footage of Jim, John, Ray and Robby, I felt like I experienced it all through their eyes. As a rock n’ roll documentary, or any kind of documentary for that matter, it simply doesn’t get any better than this. What an honor to have been involved. I am as proud of this as anything I have ever done.”

The film reveals an intimate perspective on the creative chemistry between drummer John Densmore, guitarist Robby Krieger, keyboardist Ray Manzarek and singer Jim Morrison — four brilliant artists who made The Doors one of America’s most iconic and influential rock bands. Using footage shot between the band’s 1965 formation and Morrison’s 1971 death, When You’re Strange follows the band from the corridors of UCLA’s film school, where Manzarek and Morrison met, to the stages of sold-out arenas.

The film is produced by Wolf Films/Strange Pictures, in association with Rhino Entertainment, and released by Abramorama. Additional credits for When You’re Strange include producers Dick Wolf, John Beug, Jeff Jampol, and Peter Jankowski. The film is written and directed by Tom DiCillo (“Johnny Suede,” “Living in Oblivion”). Narrated by Johnny Depp.

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9.15/10 (117 votes)

Discuss This Documentary

9 responses to “When You’re Strange”

  1. bsi112iui says:

    Only a trailer ?

    You need to indicate that rather than list this with complete films.


  2. pwndecaf says:

    This is really good, but it is like watching a train wreck. Thrilling, but scary. The Doors are still amazing and the hardships the band endured because of Jim Morrison’s troubles are clear in this doc. “What a shame about Jim.” I imagine that’s what his family and friends heard from others when they found out. Self-destruction comes in many forms.

  3. Chris K says:

    The autobiography Wonderland Avenue by Danny Sugarman does much to fill in the (many) gaps in this documentary. Of the many autobiographies I’ve read, it is by far my favorite and I highly recommend it.

  4. Henry Wright says:


  5. Daniel Bond says:

    Why couldn’t Unsolved Mysteries done a segment on Jim Morrison’s final days? His death leaves unanswered questions since he died in Paris and no autopsy was performed. They said he died of heart failure but there’s always doubt. There was the rumor that he bought drugs from a French dealer and that he overdosed in the bathroom of a Paris nightclub before his body was carried out and placed into the tub.

  6. Daniel Bond says:

    Jim had been arrested several times (The first 2 began before New Haven, 2 before Miami, and 3 others after Miami (1 of which occurred after being convicted of indecent exposure and profanity) First at Florida State, for drunk and disorderly conduct and disturbing the peace (He’d stolen a police helmet from a police car along with an umbrella). In Inglewood he was busted for sexual battery (while riding with 2 friends to the desert, he got out of the car kissed some random chick and then got back into the car).

    A few months after New Haven, he was busted in Las Vegas for public intoxication, vagrancy and failure to possess an ID (While outside smoking a cigarette [like it was a joint],[at the Pussycat a’ Go Go] and taunting a security guard, the guard proceeds to start beating him with his billy club. Blood is running down Jim’s face, the cops are called, and Morrison and his friend, author Robert Gover are arrested.

    A month before the incident in Miami, he was busted in LA for drunk driving and having no license

    While awaiting trial for the Miami incident, he busted was in Phoenix for drunk and disorderly conduct and interfering with a flight attendant but those charges were later dropped in April of 1970 due to a case of mistaken identity.

    Then he was busted in Beverly Hills for public intoxication (where he passed out drunk on the front yard of a woman’s house. She discovers him on the grass the morning she went out to get her newspaper

    A few months after being convicted of Indecent Exposure, he was busted in Clear Water Florida for drunk and disorderly conduct

  7. Daniel Bond says:

    New Orleans proved to be the final straw (when Jim picked up the microphone stand and smashed it on stage before heading to the dressing room).

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