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Spinning Controversy:
Oliver Stone on DVD

Director Oliver Stone

Few feature film directors are as uniquely American as Oliver Stone. And some would claim that few are as controversial. Certainly, Stone's films are often difficult to watch, either for their in-your-face camera and editing style, scathing political commentary, intense subject matter... or simply for their length. None of them are watched lightly. But whether you think of him as visionary or delusional, there's no denying the power of Oliver Stone's best works, or his talent as a screenwriter and filmmaker. And there's no denying the impact he's made on American popular culture.

Stone was born in 1946 to a family of some privilege. He received his college education at Yale and NYU and, like so many other young American men of his age, he served a tour of duty in Vietnam (for which he earned both a Bronze Star for Valor and a Purple Heart). It's clear from his body of work that this time period, the 60s and early 70s, had a tremendous influence on Stone and his perception of American culture.

After making a documentary and a few low-budget films, Stone garnered attention by penning the scripts for Midnight Express (for which he won an Oscar), along with Conan the Barbarian, 8 Million Ways to Die and Scarface. His first major effort as a director came with Salvador in 1986. Later that same year, his Platoon was released to critical acclaim, which ultimately led to Oscars for Best Picture and Best Director. But it's Stone's film work after Platoon which has garnered him a reputation (in some quarters) as being creatively excessive, overly self-indulgent and a paranoid conspiracy nut.

Director Oliver Stone
Stone has never been afraid to tackle controversial subject matter in his films, or to take shots at American cultural values and beliefs. And that's where he's gotten himself into trouble in the minds of some viewers. He took a hard look at the culture of corporate greed in the 1980s with Wall Street. He gave us an inside look at the music and drug culture of the 60s with The Doors. His JFK continues to provide fuel for Kennedy assassination conspiracy theorists (the film was even the catalyst for the release of tens of thousands of previously classified government documents on the event, which will be studied by historians for decades to come). Natural Born Killers was intended to be a scathing condemnation of the media in the 90s, but it was so ultra-violent that many missed the point. Stone followed that with a look at the life of one of the 20th Century's most controversial American Presidents, in Nixon. And his most recent work, Any Given Sunday, is at once a scathing condemnation of professional sports and a celebration of the game of football. The one thing you can say about all of Stone's films, is that each is personal. What you see on screen is very much filtered through the lens of his own perceptions and beliefs.

Many of Stone's films have been released on DVD in multiple versions, and most are currently available in Warner Home Video's new Oliver Stone Collection 6 and 10-film boxed sets. Through special arrangement with Fox, Universal, Columbia TriStar, Artisan and Buena Vista, the 10-film version of this set contains virtually every Stone film that's been released on DVD thus far, with the sole exception of Platoon (which is currently owned by MGM - the studio chose not to participate). The collection also features an exclusive, 2-disc special edition version of Any Given Sunday, along with the bonus documentary disc Oliver Stone's America. Also, for this collection, new 2-disc special edition versions of The Doors, JFK and Nixon have been produced (which are, or will soon be, available separately). The 6-film collection includes everything the 10-film set has, except Nixon, U-Turn and Talk Radio. One last note - both Oliver Stone Collections feature the R-rated, theatrical version of Natural Born Killers. The unrated Director's Cut is available separately on DVD from Trimark.

The following is a closer look at the films of Oliver Stone. Simply click on a title (below) to read our full-length review of all existing versions of the film on DVD.

Warner's 6 and 10-film Oliver Stone DVD Collections
Warner Home Video's 6 and 10-film Oliver Stone DVD Collections

The Films of Oliver Stone on DVD:

Any Given Sunday
Born on the Fourth of July
The Doors
Heaven & Earth
Natural Born Killers
Talk Radio
Wall Street

Also Available:

Oliver Stone's America


The Hand
Mad Man of Martinique
Director Oliver Stone

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