William Oliver Stone (born September 15, 1946) is an American writer, filmmaker, and conspiracy theorist. Stone won an Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay as writer of Midnight Express (1978). He also wrote the acclaimed gangster movie Scarface (1983). Stone achieved prominence as director/writer of the war drama Platoon (1986), for which he won the Academy Award for Best Director and the film received Best Picture. Platoon was the first in a trilogy of films based on the Vietnam War, in which Stone served as an infantry soldier. He continued the series with Born on the Fourth of July (1989)—for which Stone won his second Best Director Oscar—and Heaven & Earth (1993). Stone's other notable works include the Salvadoran Civil War-based drama Salvador (1986); the financial drama Wall Street (1987) and its 2010 sequel Money Never Sleeps; the Jim Morrison biographical film The Doors (1991); the satirical black comedy crime film Natural Born Killers (1994); and a trilogy of films based on the American Presidency—JFK (1991), Nixon (1995) and W. (2008). His latest film is Snowden (2016).
Many of Stone's films focus on controversial American political issues during the late 20th century, and as such were considered contentious at the times of their releases. They often combine different camera and film formats within a single scene, as demonstrated in JFK, Natural Born Killers, and Nixon.
Stone at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con
William Oliver Stone
September 15, 1946
New York City, New York, U.S.
|Alma mater||Yale University|
New York University (BFA)
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, film producer, author|
(m. 1971; div. 1977)
Elizabeth Burkit Cox
(m. 1981; div. 1993)
Sun-jung Jung (m. 1996)
|Children||3, including Sean Stone|
Stone was born September 15, 1946, in New York City, the son of a French woman named Jacqueline (née Goddet) and Louis Stone (born Louis Silverstein), a stockbroker. He grew up in Manhattan and Stamford, Connecticut. His parents met during World War II, when his father was fighting as a part of the Allied force in France. His American-born father was Jewish and his French-born mother was Roman Catholic, both non-practicing. Stone was raised in the Episcopal Church, and now practices Buddhism.
Stone attended Trinity School in New York City before his parents sent him away to The Hill School, a college-preparatory school in Pottstown, Pennsylvania. His parents were divorced abruptly while he was away at school (1962) and this, because he was an only child, marked him deeply. Stone's mother was often absent and his father made a big impact on his life; father-son relationships were to feature heavily in Stone's films perhaps because of this.
He often spent parts of his summer vacations with his maternal grandparents in France, both in Paris and La Ferté-sous-Jouarre in Seine-et-Marne. Stone also worked at 17 in the Paris mercantile exchange in sugar and cocoa – a job that proved inspirational to Stone for his film Wall Street. He speaks French fluently. Stone graduated from The Hill School in 1964.
Stone was admitted into Yale University, but left in June 1965 at age 18 to teach high school students English for six months in Saigon at the Free Pacific Institute in South Vietnam. Afterwards, he worked for a short while as a wiper on a United States Merchant Marine ship in 1966, traveling from Asia to Oregon across the rough Pacific ocean in January. He returned to Yale, where he dropped out a second time (in part due to working on an autobiographical novel A Child's Night Dream, published 1997 by St. Martin's Press).
In April 1967, Stone enlisted in the United States Army and requested combat duty in Vietnam. From September 16, 1967 to April 1968, he served in Vietnam with 2nd Platoon, B Company, 3rd Battalion, 25th Infantry Division and was twice wounded in action. He was then transferred to the 1st Cavalry Division participating in long range patrols before being transferred again to drive for a motorized infantry unit of the division until November 1968. For his service, his military awards include the Bronze Star with "V" Device for VALOR for heroism, the Purple Heart with Oak Leaf Cluster to denote two awards, the Air Medal, the Army Commendation Medal, the National Defense Service Medal, the Vietnam Service Medal, the Vietnam Campaign Medal and the Combat Infantryman Badge.
Stone graduated from New York University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in film in 1971, where his professors included director and fellow NYU alumnus Martin Scorsese. The same year, he had a small acting role in the comedy The Battle of Love's Return. Stone made a short, well received 12-minute film Last Year in Viet Nam. He worked as a taxi driver, film production assistant, messenger, and salesman before making his mark in film as a screenwriter in the late 1970s, in the period between his first two films as a director: horror films Seizure and The Hand.
In 1979, Stone was awarded his first Oscar, after adapting true-life prison story Midnight Express into a hit film of the same name for British director Alan Parker (the two would later collaborate on a 1996 movie of stage musical Evita). Stone's screenplay for Midnight Express was widely criticized by for its inaccuracies in portraying the events described in the book and vilifying the Turkish people. The original author, Billy Hayes, around whom the film is set, spoke out against the film, protesting that he had many Turkish friends while in jail. Stone later apologized to Turkey for over-dramatizing the script, while not repudiating the film's stark brutality or the reality of Turkish prisons.
Stone wrote further features, including Brian De Palma's drug lord epic Scarface, loosely inspired by his own addiction to cocaine, which he successfully kicked while working on the screenplay. He also pennedYear of the Dragon (co-written with Michael Cimino) featuring Mickey Rourke, before his career took off as a writer-director in 1986. Like his contemporary Michael Mann, Stone is unusual in having written or co-written most of the films he has directed. In 1986, Stone directed two films back to back: the critically acclaimed but commercially unsuccessful Salvador, shot largely in Mexico, and his long in-development Vietnam project Platoon, shot in the Philippines.
Platoon brought Stone's name to a much wider audience. It also finally kickstarted a busy directing career, which saw him making nine films over the next decade. Alongside some negative reaction, Platoon won many rave reviews (Roger Ebert later called it the ninth best film of the 1980s), large audiences, and Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Director. In 2007, a film industry vote ranked it at number 83 in an American Film Institute "AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Movies" poll of the previous century's best American movies. British TV channel Channel 4 voted Platoon as the sixth greatest war film ever made.
Platoon was the first of three films Stone has made about the Vietnam War: the others were Born on the Fourth of July and Heaven & Earth, each dealing with different aspects of the war. Platoon is a semi-autobiographical film about Stone's experience in combat; Born on the Fourth of July is based on the autobiography of US Marine turned peace campaigner Ron Kovic; Heaven & Earth is based on the memoir When Heaven and Earth Changed Places, in which Le Ly Hayslip recalls her life as a Vietnamese village girl drastically affected by the war and who finds another life in the USA.
Stone also directed the acclaimed Wall Street, which won Michael Douglas an Academy Award for Best Actor as a ruthless Wall Street corporate raider, and Talk Radio, based on Eric Bogosian's Pulitzer-nominated play.
The Doors, released in 1991, received criticism from former Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek during a question and answer session at Indiana University East in 1997. During the discussion, Manzarek stated that he sat down with Stone about The Doors and Jim Morrison for over 12 hours. Patricia Kennealy-Morrison—a well known rock critic and author—was a consultant on the movie, in which she also has a cameo appearance, but she writes in her memoir Strange Days: My Life With and Without Jim Morrison (Dutton, 1992) that Stone ignored everything she told him and proceeded with his own version of events. From the moment the movie was released, she blasted it as untruthful and inaccurate. The other surviving former members of the band, John Densmore and Robby Krieger, also cooperated with the filming of Doors, but Krieger distanced himself from the work before the film's release. However, Densmore thought highly of the film, and in fact celebrated its DVD release on a panel with Oliver Stone.
During this same period, Stone directed one of his most ambitious, controversial and successful films to date: JFK, that depicts the assassination of John F. Kennedy on November 22, 1963. In 1991, Stone showed JFK to Congress on Capitol Hill, which helped lead to passage of the Assassination Materials Disclosure Act of 1992. The Assassination Records Review Board (created by Congress to lessen, but not end the secrecy surrounding Kennedy's assassination) discussed the film, including Stone's observation at the end of the film, about the dangers inherent in government secrecy. Stone published an annotated version of the screenplay, in which he cites references for his claims, shortly after the film's release.
I make my films like you're going to die if you miss the next minute. You better not go get popcorn.
1994 saw the release of Stone's satire of the modern media, Natural Born Killers. Originally based on a screenplay by Quentin Tarantino, critics recognized its portrayal of violence and the intended satire on the media. Before it was released, the MPAA gave the film a NC-17 rating; this caused Stone to cut four minutes of film footage in order to obtain an R rating (he eventually released the unrated version on VHS and DVD in 2001).
Stone went on to direct the 1995 Richard Nixon biopic Nixon, which was nominated for Oscars for script, John Williams' score, Joan Allen as Pat Nixon and Anthony Hopkins' portrait of the title role. Stone followed Nixon with the 1997 road movie/film noir, U Turn, and 1999's Any Given Sunday, a film about power struggles within and without an American football team.
After a period from 1986 to 1999, where he released a new film at least every 1–2 years, Stone slowed down in the 2000s, though still finding some success.
In 2004, Stone directed the critically savaged Alexander. He later radically re-edited his biographical film of Alexander the Great into a two-part, 3-hour 37-minute film Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut, which became one of the highest-selling catalog items from Warner Bros. He further refined the film and in 2014 released the two-part, 3-hour 26-minute Alexander: The Ultimate Cut. After Alexander, Stone went on to direct World Trade Center, based on the true story of two PAPD policemen who were trapped in the rubble and survived the September 11 attacks.
In 2007, Stone was intended to direct his fourth Vietnam War film Pinkville, about a Pentagon investigation into the My Lai massacre of Vietnamese civilians. The film was to have been made for United Artists, but the company officially cancelled the production start due to the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. Shortly after the strike, Stone went on to write and direct the George W. Bush biopic W., that chronicles the controversial President's childhood, relationship with his father, struggles with his alcoholism, rediscovery of his Christian faith, and continues the rest of his life up until the 2003 invasion of Iraq.
In 2014, Stone announced that his Martin Luther King project, which he had worked on for three years, was aborted by the producing studios, Warner Bros and DreamWorks, following the objection of King's estate to his screenplay, which deals with King's adultery. Later Stone commented in a BBC interview: "These are not rumours; these are facts and Hoover had the tapes."
In 2015, he was presented with an honorific award at the Sitges Film Festival. His most recent film is Snowden, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as whistleblower Edward Snowden. Snowden finished filming in May 2015 and was released on September 16, 2016.
On May 22, 2017, various industry papers reported that Stone was going to direct a television series about the Guantanamo detention camp. Daniel Voll was credited with creating the series. Harvey Weinstein's production company is financing the series. Stone is reported to be scheduled to direct every episode of the first season. However, Stone announced he would quit the series after sexual misconduct allegations surfaced against Weinstein in October 2017.
Stone made three documentaries on Fidel Castro: Comandante (2003), Looking for Fidel, and Castro in Winter (2012). He made Persona Non Grata, a documentary on Israeli-Palestinian relations, interviewing several notable figures of Israel, including Ehud Barak, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Shimon Peres, as well as Yasser Arafat, leader of the Palestine Liberation Organization.
In 2009, Stone completed a feature-length documentary, South of the Border about the rise of populist governments in Latin America, featuring seven presidents: Hugo Chávez of Venezuela, Bolivia's Evo Morales, Ecuador's Rafael Correa, Cuba's Raúl Castro, the Kirchners of Argentina, Brazil's Lula da Silva, and Paraguay's Fernando Lugo (all of whom hold negative views of US manipulations in South America). Stone hoped the film would get the rest of the Western world to rethink socialist policies in South America, particularly as it was being applied by Venezuela's Hugo Chávez. Chávez joined Stone for the premiere of the documentary at the Venice International Film Festival in September 2009. Stone defended his decision not to interview Chávez's opponents, stating that oppositional statements and TV clips were scattered through the documentary and that the documentary was an attempt to right a balance of heavily negative coverage. He praised Chávez as a leader of a movement for social transformation in Latin America (the Bolivarian Revolution), along with the six other presidents in the film. The documentary was also released in several cities in the United States and Europe in the mid-2010.
In 2012, the documentary miniseries Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States premiered on Showtime, Stone co-wrote, directed, produced, and narrated the series, having worked on it since 2008 with co-writers American University historian Peter J. Kuznick and British screenwriter Matt Graham. The 10-part series is supplemented by a 750-page companion book of the same name, also written by Stone and Kuznick, released on October 30, 2012 by Simon & Schuster. Stone described the project as "the most ambitious thing I've ever done. Certainly in documentary form, and perhaps in fiction, feature form." The project received positive reviews from former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev, The Guardian journalist Glenn Greenwald, and reviewers from IndieWire, San Francisco Chronicle, and Newsday. Hudson Institute adjunct fellow historian Ronald Radosh accused the series of historical revisionism, while journalist Michael C. Moynihan accused the book of "moral equivalence" and said nothing within the book was "untold" previously. Stone defended the program's accuracy to TV host Tavis Smiley by saying "This has been fact checked by corporate fact checkers, by our own fact checkers, and fact checkers [hired] by Showtime. It's been thoroughly vetted ... these are facts, our interpretation may be different than orthodox, but it definitely holds up."
On March 5, 2014, Stone and teleSUR premiered the documentary film Mi Amigo Hugo (My Friend Hugo), a documentary about Venezuela's late President, Hugo Chávez, one year after his death. The film was described by Stone as a "spiritual answer" and tribute to Chávez. At the end of 2014 according to a Facebook post Stone said he had been in Moscow to interview (former Ukrainian president) Viktor Yanukovych, for a "new English language documentary produced by Ukrainians". Foreign Policy called the documentary "beyond redemption, a work of cinematic malpractice that marks him as a 'useful idiot'".
Two years later in 2016, Stone released Ukraine on Fire. In the documentary, Stone argued that Russia was justified in invading Crimea. Newsweek stated that "The less said about that orgy of alternative facts, the better".
Stone's series of interviews with Russian president Vladimir Putin over the span of two years was released as The Putin Interviews, a four-night television event on Showtime on June 12, 2017. The segments have been described as an advocacy project toward President Putin. On June 13, Stone and Prof Stephen F Cohen joined John Batchelor in New York to record an hour of commentary on The Putin Interviews. Stone also appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in a controversial interview about the film.
In 1993, Stone produced a miniseries for ABC Television called Wild Palms. In a cameo, Stone appears on a television in the show discussing how the theories in his film JFK had been proven correct (the series took place in a hypothetical future, 2007). That same year, he also spoofed himself in the comedy hit Dave, espousing an (accurate) conspiracy theory about the film President's replacement by a near-identical double. In 1997, Stone published A Child's Night Dream (St. Martin's Press), a semiautobiographical novel first written in 1966–1967.
On September 15, 2008, Stone was named the Artistic Director of New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Asia in Singapore.
Stone has been married three times, first to Najwa Sarkis on May 22, 1971. They divorced in 1977. He then married Elizabeth Burkit Cox, an assistant in film production, on June 7, 1981. They had two sons, Sean Stone/Ali (b. 1984) and Michael Jack (b. 1991). Sean appeared in some of his father's films while a child. Sean Stone currently works for the Russia state media company Russia Today. Oliver and Elizabeth divorced in 1993. Stone is currently married to Sun-jung Jung from South Korea, and the couple have a daughter, Tara (b. 1995). Stone and Sun-jung live in Los Angeles.
Stone is mentioned in Pulitzer Prize-winning American author Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief as having been a member of Scientology for about a month, saying "It was like going to college and reading Dale Carnegie, something you do to find yourself." In 1997, Stone was one of 34 celebrities to sign an open letter to then-German Chancellor Helmut Kohl, published as a newspaper advertisement in the International Herald Tribune, which protested against the treatment of Scientologists in Germany and compared it to the Nazis' oppression of Jews in the 1930s. In 2003, Stone was a signatory of the third Humanist Manifesto.
In 1999, Stone was arrested and pleaded guilty to alcohol and drug charges. He was ordered into a rehabilitation program. He was arrested again on the night of May 27, 2005 in Los Angeles for possession of an undisclosed illegal drug. He was released the next day on a $15,000 bond. In August 2005, Stone pleaded no contest and was fined $100.
The allegation Stevens made surfaced after Stone announced he would no longer direct The Weinstein Company's television series Guantanamo following the revelation of the Harvey Weinstein sexual misconduct allegations. Stone also drew criticism for defending Weinstein, saying
I'm a believer that you wait until this thing gets to trial. I believe a man shouldn't be condemned by a vigilante system. It's not easy what he's going through, either. During that period he was a rival. I never did business with him and didn't really know him. I've heard horror stories on everyone in the business, so I'm not going to comment on gossip. I'll wait and see, which is the right thing to do.
Stone has been described as having leftist political views. He has also drawn attention for his opinions on controversial world leaders such as Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin and Hugo Chávez. In Showtime's The Putin Interviews, Stone called Joseph Stalin "the most famous villain in history, next to Adolf [Hitler]", who "left a horrible reputation, and stained the [Communist] ideology forever ... it's mixed with blood, and terror."
Stone has had an interest in Latin America since the 1980s when he made his 1986 film Salvador and later returned to make his documentary South of the Border about the left-leaning movements that had been taking hold in the region. He has expressed the view that these movements are a positive step toward political and economic autonomy for the region. He has shown support for Venezuelan president Hugo Chávez and admires the Colombian militant group FARC.
Stone has criticized the U.S.–supported Operation Condor, a state terror operation that carried out assassinations and disappearances in support of South America's right-wing dictatorships in Argentina (see Dirty War), Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, and Uruguay.
Stone called Saudi Arabia a major destabilizer in the Middle East. He also criticized the foreign policy of the United States, saying: "We made a mess out of Iraq, Syria, Libya, but it doesn't matter to the American public. It's okay to wreck the Middle East."
According to Entertainment Weekly, Stone voted for Barack Obama as President of the United States in both the 2008 and 2012 elections, instead of John McCain and Mitt Romney, the GOP candidates for the presidency. Stone was quoted as saying at the time: "I voted for Obama because ... I think he's an intelligent individual. I think he responds to difficulties well ... very bright guy ... far better choice yes." In 2012, Stone endorsed Ron Paul for the Republican nomination for President, citing his support for a non-interventionist foreign policy. He said that Paul is "the only one of anybody who's saying anything intelligent about the future of the world." then later: "I supported Ron Paul in the Republican primary ... but his domestic policy ... made no sense!" In March 2016, Stone wrote on the Huffington Post his support for Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic nomination. In September 2016, Stone said he was voting for Green Party candidate Jill Stein for President.
Speaking at the San Sebastián film festival, Stone said that many Americans had become disillusioned with Barack Obama's policies, having originally thought he would be "a man of great integrity." He said: "On the contrary, Obama has doubled down on the (George W.) Bush administration policies," and "has created ... the most massive global security surveillance state that's ever been seen, way beyond East Germany's Stasi".
In an interview with The Times newspaper on July 25, 2010, Stone claimed that America does not know "the full story" on Iran and complained about Jewish "domination" in parts of the U.S. media and foreign policy, notably his view that Adolf Hitler was misunderstood due to Jewish control of the media. When Stone was asked why so much of an emphasis has been placed on the Holocaust, as opposed to the 20-plus million casualties of the Soviet Union, for example, suffered in World War II, he stated that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) was an overly powerful Jewish lobby within the U.S. The remarks were heavily criticized by Jewish groups, including the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Abraham Foxman of the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) said, "Oliver Stone has once again shown his conspiratorial colors with his comments about 'Jewish domination of the media' and control over U.S. foreign policy. His words conjure up some of the most stereotypical and conspiratorial notions of undue Jewish power and influence."
Yuli Edelstein, the speaker of Israel's Knesset and the leading Soviet refusenik, described Stone's remarks as what "could be a sequel to The Protocols of the Elders of Zion", and the American Jewish Committee, as well as from Israel's Diaspora Affairs and Public Diplomacy Minister.
A day later, Stone stated:
In trying to make a broader historical point about the range of atrocities the Germans committed against many people, I made a clumsy association about the Holocaust, for which I am sorry and I regret. Jews obviously do not control media or any other industry. The fact that the Holocaust is still a very important, vivid and current matter today is, in fact, a great credit to the very hard work of a broad coalition of people committed to the remembrance of this atrocity—and it was an atrocity.
Two days later, Stone issued a second apology to the ADL, which was accepted. "I believe he now understands the issues and where he was wrong, and this puts an end to the matter," Foxman said.
Oliver Stone is a vocal supporter of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. Stone signed a petition in support of Assange's bid for political asylum in June 2012. In August 2012, he penned a New York Times op-ed with filmmaker Michael Moore on the importance of WikiLeaks and free speech. Stone visited Assange in the Ecuadorian Embassy in April 2013 and commented, "I don't think most people in the US realize how important WikiLeaks is and why Julian's case needs support." He also criticized the documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks and the film The Fifth Estate, saying "Julian Assange did much for free speech and is now being victimised by the abusers of that concept".
In December 2014, Stone made statements supporting the Russian government's narrative on Ukraine, portraying the 2014 Ukrainian revolution as a CIA plot. He also refutes the claim that former Ukrainian president (who was ousted as a result of the 2014 Ukrainian revolution) Viktor Yanukovych, was responsible for the killing of protesters as claimed by the new Ukrainian government, and was the legitimate president forced to leave Ukraine by "well-armed, neo-Nazi radicals". He said that in "the tragic aftermath of this coup, the West has maintained the dominant narrative of ’Russia in Crimea’ whereas the true narrative is ’USA in Ukraine’". The University of Toronto's Stephen Velychenko, the author of several books on Ukrainian history, and James Kirchick of The Daily Beast criticized Stone's comments and plans for a film.
|1979||Best Adapted Screenplay||Midnight Express||Won|
|1987||Best Original Screenplay||Salvador||Nominated|
|Best Original Screenplay||Platoon||Nominated|
|1990||Best Picture||Born on the Fourth of July||Nominated (shared with A. Kitman Ho)|
|Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated (shared with Ron Kovic)|
|1992||Best Picture||JFK||Nominated (shared with A. Kitman Ho)|
|Best Adapted Screenplay||Nominated (shared with Zachary Sklar)|
|1996||Best Original Screenplay||Nixon||Nominated (shared with Stephen J. Rivele|
|Year||Film||Dir.||Wri.||Pro.||Academy Awards||Golden Globe Awards||BAFTA Awards||Golden Raspberry Awards|
|1982||Conan the Barbarian||No||Yes||No||1||1|
|1985||Year of the Dragon||No||Yes||No||2||5|
|8 Million Ways to Die||No||Yes||No|
|1989||Born on the Fourth of July||Yes||Yes||Yes||8||2||5||4||2|
|Reversal of Fortune||No||No||Yes||2||1||3||1|
|1993||Heaven & Earth||Yes||Yes||Yes||1||1|
|The Joy Luck Club||No||No||Yes||1|
|1994||Natural Born Killers||Yes||Yes||No||1|
|The New Age||No||No||Yes|
|Indictment: The McMartin Trial||No||No||Yes|
|The People vs. Larry Flynt||No||No||Yes||2||3||2|
|Killer: A Journal of Murder||No||No||Yes|
|Cold Around the Heart||No||No||Yes|
|1999||Any Given Sunday||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|2001||The Day Reagan Was Shot||No||No||Yes|
|2003||Persona Non Grata||Yes||No||No|
|Looking for Fidel||Yes||Yes||No|
|2006||World Trade Center||Yes||No||No|
|2009||South of the Border||Yes||No||No|
|2010||Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps||Yes||No||Yes||1|
|Oliver Stone's Untold History of the United States||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|All Governments Lie||No||No||Yes|
|2017||The Putin Interviews||Yes||Yes||Yes|
Stone plans to direct the entire first season of the show, which was created by Daniel Voll.
Oliver Stone, perhaps the most left-wing and certainly the most anti-establishment figure in Hollywood, is Chávez's natural ally. ... Stone openly admires the FARC ...
Alexander is a 2004 epic historical drama film based on the life of the Macedonian general and king Alexander the Great. It was directed by Oliver Stone and starred Colin Farrell. The film's original screenplay derived in part from the book Alexander the Great, published in 1973 by the University of Oxford historian Robin Lane Fox. After release, while it performed well in Europe, the American critical reaction was negative. It grossed over $167 million worldwide against a $155 million budget.
Four versions of the film exist, the initial theatrical cut and three home video director's cuts: the "Director's Cut" in 2005, the "Final Cut" in 2007 and the "Ultimate Cut" in 2013. The two earlier DVD versions of Alexander ("director's cut" version and the theatrical version) sold over 3.5 million copies in the United States. Oliver Stone's third version, Alexander Revisited: The Final Cut (2007), sold nearly a million copies as of 2012.Any Given Sunday
Any Given Sunday is a 1999 American sports drama film directed by Oliver Stone depicting a fictional professional American football team. The film features an ensemble cast, including Al Pacino, Cameron Diaz, Dennis Quaid, Jamie Foxx, James Woods, LL Cool J, Ann-Margret, Lauren Holly, Matthew Modine, John C. McGinley, Charlton Heston, Bill Bellamy, Lela Rochon, Aaron Eckhart, Elizabeth Berkley, Marty Wright, and NFL players Jim Brown and Lawrence Taylor. It is partly based on the novel On Any Given Sunday by famed NFL defensive end Pat Toomay; the title is derived from a line in the book (also used in the film) that a team can win or lose on "any given Sunday", said by the fictitious coach Tony D'Amato.
Cameo roles also featured many former American football players including Dick Butkus, Y. A. Tittle, Pat Toomay, Warren Moon, Johnny Unitas, Ricky Watters, Emmitt Smith and Terrell Owens, as well as coach Barry Switzer.Born on the Fourth of July (film)
Born on the Fourth of July is a 1989 American biographical war drama film based on the eponymous 1976 autobiography by Ron Kovic. Directed by Oliver Stone, and written by Stone and Kovic, it stars Tom Cruise, Kyra Sedgwick, Raymond J. Barry, Jerry Levine, Frank Whaley and Willem Dafoe. The film depicts the life of Kovic (Cruise) over a twenty-year period, detailing his childhood, his military service and paralysis during the Vietnam War, and his transition to anti-war activism. It is the second installment in Stone's trilogy of films about the Vietnam War, following Platoon (1986) and preceding Heaven & Earth (1993).
Producer Martin Bregman acquired the film rights to the book in 1976 and hired Stone, also a Vietnam veteran, to co-write the screenplay with Kovic. When Stone optioned the book in 1978, the film adaptation became mired in development hell, and resulted in him and Kovic putting the film on hold. After the release of Platoon, the project was revived at Universal Pictures, with Stone attached to direct. Principal photography commenced in October 1988 and concluded in December after 65 days of filming. It was shot on locations in the Philippines, Texas and Inglewood, California. The film went over its initial $14 million production budget, and ended up costing $17.8 million after reshoots.
Upon release, Born on the Fourth of July was praised by critics for its story, Cruise's performance and Stone's direction. The film was successful at the box office as it grossed over $161 million worldwide, becoming the tenth highest-grossing film of 1989. At the 62nd Academy Awards, it received eight nominations, including Best Picture and Best Actor, and won for Best Director and Best Film Editing. The film also won four Golden Globe Awards for Best Motion Picture – Drama, Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama, Best Director and Best Screenplay.Heaven
Heaven, or the heavens, is a common religious, cosmological, or transcendent place where beings such as gods, angels, spirits, saints, or venerated ancestors are said to originate, be enthroned, or live. According to the beliefs of some religions, heavenly beings can descend to earth or incarnate, and earthly beings can ascend to heaven in the afterlife, or in exceptional cases enter heaven alive.
Heaven is often described as a "higher place", the holiest place, a Paradise, in contrast to hell or the Underworld or the "low places", and universally or conditionally accessible by earthly beings according to various standards of divinity, goodness, piety, faith, or other virtues or right beliefs or simply the will of God. Some believe in the possibility of a heaven on Earth in a World to Come.
Another belief is in an axis mundi or world tree which connects the heavens, the terrestrial world, and the underworld. In Indian religions, heaven is considered as Svarga loka, and the soul is again subjected to rebirth in different living forms according to its karma. This cycle can be broken after a soul achieves Moksha or Nirvana. Any place of existence, either of humans, souls or deities, outside the tangible world (heaven, hell, or other) is referred to as otherworld.JFK (film)
JFK is a 1991 American political thriller film directed by Oliver Stone. It examines the events leading to the assassination of John F. Kennedy and alleged cover-up through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (Kevin Costner). Garrison filed charges against New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones) for his alleged participation in a conspiracy to assassinate the President, for which Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman) was found responsible by the Warren Commission.
The film was adapted by Stone and Zachary Sklar from the books On the Trail of the Assassins by Jim Garrison and Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy by Jim Marrs. Stone described this account as a "counter-myth" to the Warren Commission's "fictional myth."
The film became embroiled in controversy. Upon its theatrical release, many major American newspapers ran editorials accusing Stone of taking liberties with historical facts, including the film's implication that President Lyndon B. Johnson was part of a coup d'état to kill Kennedy. Despite the controversy surrounding its historical depiction, JFK received critical praise for the performances of its cast (particularly from Costner, Oldman, and Jones), Stone's directing, score, editing, and cinematography. The film gradually picked up momentum at the box office after a slow start, earning over $205 million in worldwide gross, making it the sixth highest-grossing film of 1991 worldwide. JFK was nominated for eight Academy Awards, including Best Picture, Best Director for Stone and Best Supporting Actor for Jones and won two for Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing. It was the most successful of three films Stone made about American presidents, followed by Nixon with Anthony Hopkins in the title role and W. with Josh Brolin as George W. Bush.Natural Born Killers
Natural Born Killers is a 1994 American satirical black comedy crime film directed by Oliver Stone and starring Woody Harrelson, Juliette Lewis, Robert Downey Jr., Tom Sizemore, and Tommy Lee Jones. The film tells the story of two victims of traumatic childhoods who became lovers and mass murderers, and are irresponsibly glorified by the mass media.
The film is based on an original screenplay by Quentin Tarantino that was heavily revised by Stone, writer David Veloz, and associate producer Richard Rutowski. Tarantino received a story credit. Jane Hamsher, Don Murphy, and Clayton Townsend produced the film, with Arnon Milchan, Thom Mount, and Stone as executive producers.
The film was released on August 26, 1994 in the United States, and also screened at the Venice Film Festival on August 29, 1994. It was a box office success, grossing over $50 million against a production budget of $34 million, and received generally positive reviews from critics, who praised the cast's performances, the humor, plot and combination of action and romance; some found the film too violent and graphic. Notorious for its violent content and inspiring "copycat" crimes, the film was named the eighth most controversial film in history by Entertainment Weekly in 2006.Platoon (film)
Platoon is a 1986 American anti-war film written and directed by Oliver Stone, starring Tom Berenger, Willem Dafoe, Charlie Sheen, Keith David, Kevin Dillion, John C. McGinley, Forest Whitaker, and Johnny Depp. It is the first film of a trilogy of Vietnam War films directed by Stone, followed by Born on the Fourth of July (1989) and Heaven & Earth (1993). The film, based on Stone's experience from the war, follows a U.S. Army volunteer (Sheen) fighting in the war while his two sergeants (Berenger and Dafoe) argue over the leadership of the platoon.
Stone wrote the screenplay based upon his experiences as a U.S. infantryman in Vietnam, to counter the vision of the war portrayed in John Wayne's The Green Berets. Although having written films such as Midnight Express and Scarface, Stone struggled to get the film developed until Hemdale Film Corporation acquired the project along with Salvador. Filming took place in the Philippines in February 1986 and lasted 54 days. Platoon was the first Hollywood film to be written and directed by a veteran of the Vietnam War.Upon its release, Platoon received critical acclaim for Stone's directing and screenplay, the performances, cinematography, battle sequences, and realism. The film was a box office success upon its release, grossing $138.5 million domestically against its $6 million budget. The film was nominated for eight Academy Awards at the 59th Academy Awards, and won four including Best Picture, Best Director for Stone, Best Sound and Best Film Editing. In 1998, the American Film Institute placed Platoon at #83 in their "AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Movies" poll.Savages (2012 film)
Savages is a 2012 American crime thriller film directed by Oliver Stone. It is based on Don Winslow's novel of the same name. The screenplay was written by Shane Salerno, Stone, and Winslow. The film was released on July 6, 2012 to mixed reviews, and stars Taylor Kitsch, Blake Lively, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Demián Bichir, Benicio del Toro, Salma Hayek, John Travolta and Emile Hirsch.Snowden (film)
Snowden is a 2016 biographical thriller film about Edward Snowden. Directed by Oliver Stone and written by Stone and Kieran Fitzgerald, the film, based on the books The Snowden Files by Luke Harding and Time of the Octopus by Anatoly Kucherena, stars an ensemble cast that includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the title character, Edward Snowden, with Shailene Woodley, Melissa Leo, Zachary Quinto, Tom Wilkinson, Scott Eastwood, Logan Marshall-Green, Timothy Olyphant, Ben Schnetzer, LaKeith Lee Stanfield, Rhys Ifans and Nicolas Cage also starring. Filming began on February 16, 2015 in Munich, Germany.
Snowden screened at Comic-Con on July 21, 2016, before premiering at the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival on September 9, 2016. The film was theatrically released in the United States on September 16, 2016, by Open Road Films and on September 22 in Germany. It received mixed-to-positive reviews from critics, who praised Gordon-Levitt's performance but criticized the screenplay. It was also a box office disappointment, grossing $37.3 million worldwide against its $40 million budget.W. (film)
W. is a 2008 American biographical film based on the life of George W. Bush. It was directed by Oliver Stone, written by Stanley Weiser, and stars Josh Brolin as Bush, with a supporting cast that includes Elizabeth Banks, James Cromwell, Ellen Burstyn, Thandie Newton, Jeffrey Wright, Scott Glenn, and Richard Dreyfuss. Filming began on May 12, 2008, in Louisiana, and the film was released on October 17, 2008.Wall Street (1987 film)
Wall Street is a 1987 American drama film, directed and co-written by Oliver Stone, which stars Michael Douglas, Charlie Sheen, and Daryl Hannah. The film tells the story of Bud Fox (Sheen), a young stockbroker who becomes involved with Gordon Gekko (Douglas), a wealthy, unscrupulous corporate raider.
Stone made the film as a tribute to his father, Lou Stone, a stockbroker during the Great Depression. The character of Gekko is said to be a composite of several people, including Dennis Levine, Ivan Boesky, Carl Icahn, Asher Edelman, Michael Milken, and Stone himself. The character of Sir Lawrence Wildman, meanwhile, was modeled on the prominent British financier and corporate raider Sir James Goldsmith. Originally, the studio wanted Warren Beatty to play Gekko, but he was not interested; Stone, meanwhile, wanted Richard Gere, but Gere passed on the role.
The film was well received among major film critics. Douglas won the Academy Award for Best Actor, and the film has come to be seen as the archetypal portrayal of 1980s success, with Douglas' character declaring that "greed is good." It has also proven influential in inspiring people to work on Wall Street, with Sheen, Douglas, and Stone commenting over the years how people still approach them and say that they became stockbrokers because of their respective characters in the film.
Stone and Douglas reunited for a sequel titled Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps, which was released theatrically on September 24, 2010.