Site created 12/15/97.
page updated: 1/26/01
Oliver Stone on DVD
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
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.
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.
Video's 6 and 10-film Oliver Stone DVD Collections