8th Dec, 2016

Hollywood director behind 'Platoon' honoured at Warwick University

Les Reid 17th Mar, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

HOLLYWOOD film director and screenwriter Oliver Stone has received an honorary doctorate from Warwick University at a special ceremony.

The creative force behind films such as Platoon, Scarface, Born on the Fourth of July and Wall Street was conferred an honorary Doctor of Letters degree on Friday.

He officially received the honour from the university’s vice-chancellor, professor Stuart Croft, during a formal ceremony held on campus.

After the ceremony, the Academy Award winner took part in an ‘in conversation’ interview in front of an invited audience.

As well as discussing his past achievements he discussed his next project, “Snowden”, about Edward Snowden the US government contractor whose revelations were the start of a series of global surveillance disclosures.

During the Warwick event Oliver Stone described the film as “a fascinating story- it tells you what’s going on, the new state of things.”

He was interviewed Dr J.E. Smyth of Warwick’s History department, who also organised the event. She said: “Oliver Stone is Hollywood’s most dedicated and influential political filmmaker.

“Throughout his career he’s asked tough questions about America and its legacies of greed, corruption, and imperialism. I’m delighted that the University of Warwick is honouring his career.”

His repertoire also includes “Salvador” (1985), which revealed the U.S. government’s involvement in Central America; “Platoon” (1986), the first of his three Vietnam films; “JFK” (1991); “Natural Born Killers” (1994); and “Nixon” (1995).

Stone, aged 70, served in the U.S. Army Infantry in Vietnam in 1967-68, and was decorated with the Purple Heart and the Bronze Star for Valor.

After returning from Vietnam, he completed his undergraduate studies at New York University Film School in 1971. His script for “Midnight Express” (1978) earned him his first Academy Award and “Scarface” (1983) transformed the gangster genre and became a cult hit.

“Wall Street” (1987) was an exposé of American capitalism; “World Trade Center” (2006), a true story of 2 (of only 20) 9/11 survivors; and “The Doors” (1991), a biopic of influential rock icon Jim Morrison.