Jun 082011

When I’m watching a movie, especially a rock movie, I”m not usually a stickler for historical accuracy, anachronisms, continuity, and the like, but the period films of Oliver Stone have a special place in my critical eye based on Stone’s unbelievably shoddy use of spirit glue and fake facial hair and wigs. I can’t watch The Doors or Born on the Fourth of July, for instance, without being completely distracted by the seeping spirit glue running down the actors’ fake sideburned cheeks. If I had my druthers I’d invite you over tonight and spend the evening screening these films and cutting up on just this topic, but today I’d rather have us turn our critical eye on the following clip from Stone’s Doors flick.

Click on this formative scene (sorry, you’ll need to click the link because all versions of this classic excerpt I can find on YouTube prohibit embedding – we wouldn’t want to mess with Stone’s vision, you know) from the Book of Doors. At one point I’m pretty sure I noticed a blatant anachronism, one way worse than the occasional woman with a poofy, early ’90s hairdo. What is it that I immediately tuned into?

Some of you are much better tuned into this stuff than me. Why don’t you join me in identifying other anachronisms and whatnot?

Make sure you don’t get a whiff of that spirit glue!


  47 Responses to “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Oliver Stone’s The Doors

  1. I love that movie (although I saw in an Athens.GA movie theatre full of college kids it tripping on mushrooms). They always get the hair wrong in rock movies though….

  2. Maybe I’m not hip to SoCal bar lighting, but it looks like they have stage footlights at a rock bar? All the lighting just seems wrong to me.

    Also Mr. Mod — are you bitter about that baseball uniform on the TV right off the bat? Nobody was wearing those doubleknits yet in 1967. That’s a shot from the early 70s or later.

  3. BINGO!!!

    Isn’t that 1976-era Rod Carew?

  4. misterioso

    Saw it when it came out. Haven’t seen it since. Not the worst rock movie (tough call, but off the top of my head I’ll go with Grace of My Heart) nor the worst Oliver Stone film I’ve seen (again, such riches to choose from, but I’ll say Born on the 4th of July). But, then, that’s setting the bar pretty low. It’s tempting to rewatch it and reassess–but I’m not sure that wouldn’t conjure up too many ghosts crowding my fragile eggshell mind, if you know what I mean.

  5. OK, it’s not Carew, who wore #29 with the Angels. This guy looks like he’s wearing a number in the teens.

  6. Could be. The guy is a lefty, they look like Angels uniforms to me, but it’s pretty grainy — is the uniform number 10? Carew was still with the Twins in 76 and he was number 29 for both teams — As a Twins fan, I take comfort out that he went into the Hall as a member of the Twins.

  7. misterioso

    I’ll wager it is from a game airing at the time the movie was made–so 1990 or 91, I think. So, who is it? Devon White?

  8. That would be really shoddy of Stone, misterioso, but it is Stone, the master of shoddy spirit glue, we’re talking about.

    I just noticed the Angels had numbers on the front of their uniforms: he’s #10. This shouldn’t be a tough nut to crack.

  9. Oh man, if that actually is a shot from the ’66 Angels and they were at the vanguard of doubleknits, then #10 on that squad would have been a young Willie Montanez, 5 years away from his (and my) official rookie season – my original baseball hero!

  10. misterioso

    According to this, Luis Polonia wore 18 for the Angels for some of 1990 http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teamstats/roster.php?y=1990&t=CAL

    Could it be him?

  11. misterioso

    Or Mark McLemore? Sorry, I don’t have clear enough recall of these guys.

  12. It could be McLemore. Doesn’t it look like an M at the beginning of his name? I think I noticed he wore #10, and he was a switch hitter.

    Too bad Stone didn’t digitally add a glued-on mustache to the batter.

  13. misterioso

    How many clubs like the one shown in the clip (admittedly, I realize, a fiction) in 1966 or whenever it is supposed to be, 1) would have on a baseball game and 2) would have a small *color* tv behind the bar? I realize this is splitting hairs, albeit fake, glued on moustache hairs, but still.

  14. Great catch! Keep ’em coming.

  15. misterioso

    Oh, and there’s also the fact that Oliver Stone’s movies blow.

  16. ladymisskirroyale

    Ok, I’m going to cry a possible foul on those neon beer signs: Miller High Life and PBR. I don’t know if PBR would have had a distribution deal out west in the late 1960’s. I think Coors would have been the other light, cheap beer of choice at that time. I didn’t see PBR until I moved East (granted, many years later).

  17. shawnkilroy

    oddly enough it is another Val Kilmer film that has the worst period wigs, sideburns, and moustaches i’ve ever seen. it’s Wonderland, in which Kilmer plays porn star John Holmes.

  18. Oooh, the distribution angle is a cool line of thinking! I was suspicious of the Miller High Life sign, but I actually looked up mid-’60s vintage signs on eBay and they looked close enough if not exactly the same.

  19. Now I feel like I need to watch that movie to compare bad spirit glue applications.

  20. Could be! I forgot he batted left.

  21. ladymisskirroyale

    Yes, I looked too and didn’t see any PBR signs.

  22. Wonderland is a wild movie — some good period music — and Lisa Kudrow as Kilmer/Holmes’ wife has some good rants. I am also sure it is full of continuity lapses, but I wasn’t checking at the time.

  23. alexmagic

    If Manzarek had been involved in the making of this one, it could be both footage of a game from 1990 and historically accurate, because Ray would have clued everyone in that Jim was able to bend time and space and that bar would have existed in both the ’60s and ’90s at the same time while The Doors were working.

    But, since Ray disavowed the film, that’s definitely not Stone’s intent. Willie Montanez did wear #10 for the Angels in 1966, but the Angels didn’t have that kind of uniform with the numbers on the front that year. The Dodgers did, and with the numbers in that position, but #10 for the Dodgers that year was Jeff Torborg, and it’s not him either.

    Conclusion: The game being shown in the bar was a secret Angels-Dodgers interleague Turn The Clock Sideways night where the teams switched uniform designs for one day only, and Oliver Stone has the only existing footage of this event, which he keeps in a vault with the only existing footage of the Worldwide Texas Tour.

  24. I sent this into Uni Watch, figuring that blog’s expert sports uniform nerds would be able to identify not only the player but the specific game from which this video clip was excerted. You’ll see the reference to the Doors video in the ticker:


  25. Sure enough Uni Watchers are getting to the bottom of our Mystery Anachronistic Angels Player! Check it out:

    It’s not Rod Carew in that Doors clip because Carew wore #29 on the Angels. It appears to be Lyman Bostock who only played one season with the Angels, 1978. #10 by the Angels was mostly used by Jay Johnstone, Jeff Torborg, and Tom Eagan from the mid 60′s-mid 70′s. Jerry moses and Tony C. wore #10 during the 1971 season and Adrian Garrett & Mike Easler wore #10 during the 1976 season. Dave Kingman actually wore #10 during the 1977 season.

    Bostock only played one year for the Angels in 1978 before he was tragically killed by gunshot. The catcher in the clip was wearing #21. There were only two catchers in the AL who wore #21 during the 1978 season, Buck Martinez of the Brewers and Art Kusnyer of the K.C. Royals.

    It appears to be an Angels home game in the clip so Martinez and Bostock only appeared in the same game twice in California during 1978, May 26th and May 27th. There doesn’t appear to be any type of play (Bunt, slap hit to SS-3B) to match the clip in the Martinez games.

    Bostock & Kusnyer only appeared in one game together, June 26th in California. In the first inning Bostock reached first base with an infield single so that appears what’s being shown in the clip.

    I’m pretty certain that the clip in the film is from the Angels-Royals game from June 26th 1978 which would be an anachronism because the scene is supposed to take place around 1966-1967.

    But that’s not all!

    To follow up on that Doors clip, the Angels only had 5 black/latino players wear #10 from 1961-1986: Dick Simpson 1962, ’64-65, Willie Montenez 1966, Bubba Morton 1966, Mike Easler 1976 and Lyman Bostock 1978. Simpson & Morton were both Right handed batters so that eliminates those two players. Also, Bostock was the only black/latino Angel to wear #10 to play a home game against a catcher wearing #21.

    The uniform in the clip looks like a pullover non-button type which the Angels only started using in 1973. So that would eliminate everyone except Easler & Bostock. Easler while on the Angels in 1976 never played against a catcher wearing #21 so it has to be Bostock in the clip.

    Again, it appears to be the first inning of the Angels-Royals game of June 26th 1978.

    Alexmagic, is this your work?

  26. misterioso

    Ah, jeez. I want to get to the bottom of this. God knows I have nothing else to deal with of even remotely equal importance. But can we employ Occam’s razor here? Stone is too lazy to find a period-appropriate baseball clip for the sequence but happens to have access to a copy of a 1978 broadcast? I don’t buy it. Not unless some sort of compelling thematic reason can be offered, like “Lyman Bostock was murdered by a psychopath known as ‘Peace Frog’ who was told by the ghosts of dead Indians to murder Bostock so he could be replaced by then-Philly Jim Morrison.” Obviously, I know how absurd this scenario is: Morrison was an infielder! So we can rule that out.

    The film began pre-production some time in 1989, and it opened in March 1991. My money is still on 1990.

  27. misterioso

    I’m still going with Mark McLemore. Wore 10 for the Angels in 89-90 and batted both ways. http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/mclemma01.shtml

  28. alexmagic

    Not my work, Mod, but I knew you went to the right people to sort this out. Baseball fans, and especially uniform-savvy types, excel at the type of work we here in the Labs are always striving to bring to the the world of Rock. Maybe we’ll have to recruit some of them someday to help make my dream of SWLABR-metrics come true.

    Between this info and bruinskip’s take above, I feel confident with the Lyman Bostock stance. Like misterio suggests below, it can’t be a coincidence that Stone used anchronistic footage of a player who was murdered and there must be some terrifying conspiracy here, but I’ll confess that I’m now too preoccupied with casting a theoretical Oliver Stone movie about the Worldwide Texas Tour Conspiracy to devote any more time to the Bostock situation.

  29. Remember the old Pirates’ third baseman named Jim Morrison? They should have used footage of him at bat!

  30. I think it’s him, too, and I’m a little bugged by that Uni Watch guy completely ignoring him in his calculations. On the other hand, perhaps he checked the records and confirmed that McLemore never batted against a catcher with the number 21.

  31. It looks like McLemore wore #10 in 1988 but not the 2 following years (he wore a different number each of those 3 years). I noticed that the batter is wearing a single earflap. I thought that as a switch-hitting utilityman that he may have been the sort to wear a double-flap helmet, but there are shots of him with single flaps for whichever side he was batting from. Here he is wearing a lefty batter’s helmet:


    Plus, doesn’t it look like the name comes far across the back of his jersey?


    Which do you think would take up more space?

  32. Looks more like McLemore than Bostock — but it is close.


    Since you did dig up that McLemore wore 10 and Bostock never did – I consider the case closed!

  33. Plus what are the odds the Stone or his assistant director could find footage of Bostock who played one year for the Angels 12 years before? Very slim, I would wager . . .

  34. I stand corrected on the 10 — geez. I didn’t hard enough at above.

  35. OK, I had to follow the Uni Watcher. I really thought it might have been Mark McLemore, a switch-hitter (who did not wear double earflaps) who wore #10 with the Angels for the 1989 season (right around the time the movie was filmed). However, the only AL catcher wearing #21 that year was Ozzie Virgil. In Virgil’s limited action that year it doesn’t look like he faced the Angels!

  36. misterioso

    Same guy, Mod.

  37. DUH! Man, I must have seemed like an ass! I was totally confused by your “Philly” reference re: Morrison. I was trying to figure out who the Philly equivalent of Morrison might be. Jeez, I feel stupid.

    The singular for our baseball team is “Phillie.” Now that I get what you were saying I also recall that he started as in the Phils’ organization. Memories…

  38. misterioso

    According to baseball-reference.com McLemore wore 10 in 89-90. See http://www.baseball-reference.com/players/m/mclemma01.shtml Put the cursor over the 10.

  39. misterioso

    Phillie, of course. Just as the singular of Red Sox is Red Sox, not Red Sock or whatever. We’re cool.

  40. misterioso

    It isn’t that clear to me that the catcher is #21. The 2 is clear, yes. I’m not prepared to give this one up yet.

  41. Good point. I’ll keep backing you up. I don’t think the batter is long enough to be Bostock, I think that last name begins with an M, I think the video quality wouldn’t be so clear if Stone bought an old tape from 1978, and I’m still a little bugged at the Uni Watcher for not bonding with me, the way we have over this. This is a team effort, man, and that guy took the ball and ran with it, looking up catchers’ numbers and limiting his search of dark-skinned Angels players before the age of McLemore. Let’s stay strong. As alexmagic said, the birth of SWLABR-metrics is near!

  42. You should have heard my wife go off over how stupid and pointless the surviving Doors’ suit against this bar owner is.

  43. Uni Watcher is sticking with his dismissal of McLemore and ends with a possible cop-out regarding Stone’s culpability:

    It couldn’t have been Mclemore in 1989 because the Angels switched back to a Button-up jersey instead of the pull-over type they had been using from 1973-1988. Ozzie Virgil played for the Blue Jays and did wear #21 in 1989 but he only appeared in 9 games and never played against the Angels.

    No Angel wore #10 in ’79 or ’80 probably in deference to Bostock. Butch Hobson wore it 1981 and Tim Foli wore #10 from 1982-83. Rob Picciolo wore #10 in 1984 and Ron Romanick wore #10 in 1985-86. Tony Armas wore #10 in 1987.

    Chico Walker wore #10 in 1988 and actually played in a game with a catcher wearing #21, Bill Schroeder for Milwaukee. Schroeder left the game in the 8th inning and Walker didn’t enter the game until the 10th.

    #21 is an unusual number for a catcher, you just don’t find many catchers that wore the #21. Most players that wear #21 are pitchers or outfielders.

    It’s probably very difficult to find clips of Angels baseball games from 1966-67 so the person in charge of finding those types of things probably found some footage from a game in the 70′s. Also, seeing that it’s only on the screen for a second or two, Oliver Stone probably didn’t worry too much about any Anachronism.

    This can only mean one thing: one of us is going to have to rent that thing and watch it in hi-def again.

  44. misterioso

    I’m not sure the Uni-bomber is really entering into the spirit of the thing, but I take the point that the Angels were wearing button-ups. But is it so clear from a youtube clip of a split second shot on a small tv in a movie scene that the uniform is a pull-over? And I would reiterate that the catcher’s full number is not visible; we see the 2 and something. What I find most irksome is that the batter has a very unusual swing that ought to be readily identifiable by someone.

  45. The way the batter’s hands slide down the bat it looks like he’s trying to push-bunt down the third base line.

    Yeah, Uni-man is a lone wolf. Mad props if he can see the second digit on the catcher’s uniform and really distinguish between uni-tops with such certainty, but more power to him for being so confident. Maybe he owns the movie on Blu-Ray.

    You see why I keep coming back the the Halls of Rock, don’t you?

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