Iconic Door Scenes from Famous Films
Doors are a part of everyday life. We walk through them without a second thought and they seamlessly blend into their surroundings. It’s interesting to consider how many memorable scenes involving doors have taken place in famous films – more than a piece of background furniture, some doors are integral to the plot.
How would The Shining have turned out without the iconic scene in which Jack Nicholson’s crazed caretaker bursts through the bathroom door shouting, “Here’s Johnny!” as his terrified wife fights for her life? Without the doors in the Gwyneth Paltrow rom-com, Sliding Doors, there simply wouldn’t have been a film at all!
The Shining (1980)
A recent viewers’ poll revealed the most memorable door movie scene of all time was the terrifying moment in the 1980 psychological horror film, The Shining, when Jack Torrance (Nicholson) chops through the bathroom door wearing a manic expression and uttering the famous line to his wife Wendy (Shelley Duvall). Viewers have wondered why he says, “Here’s Johnny!” when his name’s Jack. It was said that Jack Nicholson ad-libbed the line, turning a classic catchphrase used when Johnny Carson hosted the Tonight Show, into something altogether much creepier.
Sliding Doors (1998)
Helen Quilley (Gwyneth Paltrow) is sacked from her PR job. After she leaves the office for the final time, she rushes to the London Underground but the tube’s sliding doors close in front of her and she misses it. The plot splits into two different storylines, as two seemingly parallel universes running side-by-side compare what happens if Helen catches the train – and what happens if she doesn’t. Events unfold throughout the film, as the two timelines run their course – but how will it end?
Notting Hill (1999)
The blue door in Notting Hill is among the most famous British film locations ever following its appearance in this romantic comedy. Starring Hugh Grant as bumbling English book-seller William Thacker and Julia Roberts as his love interest, American film star Anna Scott, the door is the gateway to Thacker’s inner retreat, where he takes Anna to clean up after he spills orange juice all over her in his book shop. When the press arrives at William’s flat, his housemate Spike (Rhys Ifans) strikes a pose on the doorstep in his wholly unattractive underwear.
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
One of the earliest films in glorious technicolour, the door of heroine Dorothy’s house plays an integral role in this Hollywood classic. The fantasy film starts off in black and white as Dorothy (Judy Garland) and her dog Toto are caught up in a tornado, which whisks their house off the ground and sends it flying through the air. After the house lands, Dorothy picks herself up and walks to the front door to see what’s going on. As she opens the door, she is immediately transported to the land of Oz on the other side, where everything is in vibrant colours.
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)
Possibly the tiniest door to achieve world fame, the entrance to hobbit Bilbo Baggins’ house in Hobbiton, Middle Earth, is now a famous tourist attraction. While the fantastic world of wizards, orcs, dwarves and elves fighting to save Middle Earth is vast, the start of the great adventure – based on JR Tolkien’s novel – is outside a quiet little house with an unusual circular door. The film set is still available to visit in Matamata, New Zealand.
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