Salvador (1986)

Editor’s Desk: This is our first review in our week-long tribute to the acting career of John Doe from the Los Angeles punk band, X.

Before receiving wide-spread acclaim for the one-two punch of Platoon (1986) and Wall Street (1987), and after intriguing audience with his feature film debut Seizure (1974) and an adaptation of the novel The Lizard’s Tale, known as The Hand (1981) starring Sir Michael Caine, writer and director Oliver Stone arrived on A-List Hollywood’s doorstep with this, his third feature film. Sadly, while it received Oscar nods in the actor and screenplay categories for James Woods and Stone — and was loved by critics — it cleared less than $2 million in box office against its $5 million budget.

The film tells the story of an American photojournalist (Woods) who becomes involved with the left-wing liberation military during the Salvadorian Civil War that tore apart the Central American country from 1979 to 1992.

Also starring a great cast of Jim Belushi (as Wood’s out-of-work DJ friend), Micheal Murphy (as a U.S Ambassador), and John Savage (as a fellow, murdered photojournalist), John Doe lends his support as an American expatriate who owns a seedy bar.

While Doe made his acting debut in Border Radio, which was shot in 1983, it wasn’t released until 1987. So, outside of his uncredited, under-five bit-parts in Smithereens (1982; as a bouncer) and 3:15, the Moment of Truth (1986; as a club drunk), this Stone award-nominee served as John Doe’s big screen acting debut — a career that has since grown to a resume of 82 credits. We’ll soon see John in the lead of the indie-film noir D.O.A The Movie in 2021.

About the Author: You can learn more about the writings of R.D Francis on Facebook. He also writes for B&S About Movies.

Image courtesy of photographer Allen J. Schaben for the Los Angeles Times, May 2020/font overlay by PicFont.

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