Oliver Stone has been credited with writing and or directing over 20 full-length feature films, earning him a well-respected place in cinematic history for some of the most influential and iconic films of the last few decades.
Throughout his long career, which began at a young age writing short plays for his family, Oliver has served as director, writer and producer on a variety of films, documentaries and television movies. He is widely recognized for his controversial versions of recent American history, some of them at deep odds with conventional myth — films such as 1986’s Platoon, the first of his Vietnam trilogy (along with Born on the Fourth of July and Heaven and Earth), or 1991’s JFK and 1994’s Natural Born Killers and Nixon, his 1995 take on the finer points and parables of the Nixon administration, as well as on George W. Bush in W (2008). Stone says his films are “first and foremost dramas about individuals in personal struggles,” and considers himself a dramatist rather than a political filmmaker.
In 1966, Oliver signed on to the U.S. Merchant Marine, where he worked as a “wiper” in the engine room below deck on several ships. His travels took him from Asia back to Oregon and then Mexico. In Guadalajara, he began writing a first novel, a 1,400-page manuscript entitled A Child’s Night Dream. He later reedited the novel down to a manageable 236 pages, which was released 30 years later by St. Martin’s Press (1997). In 1967, Stone enlisted in the United States Army and served in the 25th Infantry Division near the Cambodian border, where he was wounded twice, and then later in the 1st Calvary Division in the northernmost part of Vietnam. He was honored with a Bronze Star for heroism and Purple Heart for his service.
Tackling subjects often deemed controversial and too grand in scale, Stone continued to build his successful film career in projects like Wall Street, a tale of greed, corruption and power in the excess era of the 80’s and The Doors, a drug-saturated biopic of the legendary and controversial singer Jim Morrison.
Oliver continues to write, direct and produce movies and documentaries that fit with his sensibilities and challenge the conventional teachings. With recent projects like Savages, an action-packed story of three SoCal friends going up against the Baja cartel to his 10-part Showtime documentary series called The Untold History of the United States, Oliver Stone shows no signs of slowing down his creativity while daring the global audience to see events in a whole new light.