Doors Resource

Doors in Literature and Film


The medieval Arabic story Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves features a magic doorway into a forest cave, which will open only to the code 'Open Sesame'. Ali Baba, a poor woodcutter, comes upon the thieves and overheads the code. He comes back later and helps himself to some of the vast hoard of gold coins which the thieves have concealed in the cave. A complicated story follows, which has a reasonably happy ending for Ali Baba.


A very small door plays an important role in Lewis Carroll's story Alice in Wonderland. Alice is bored as she sits with her sister at the side of a river, when she sees a talking white rabbit with a pocket watch run past.

Alice follows the white rabbit down a rabbit hole, and finds herself falling into a strange hall with several locked doors of all sizes. She finds a tiny key to a very small door, through which she cannot fit. She then finds a bottle labelled 'Drink Me', when she does so she shrinks to a small enough size to pass through the small door.


A small and strange door features in the whimsical film comedy Being John Malkovic of 1999. Starring John Cusack, Cameron Diaz, and John Malkovic, the film has become a cult classic. Craig Schwartz (John Cusack) is working as a filing clerk in New York firm which occupies a floor in a New York skyscraper which, due to an error in construction, has a very low ceiling - so low that everyone has to bend down all the time. He discovers behind a filing cabinet a small door leading to a secret passage. Crawling down this, he finds that it leads to the mind of actor John Malkovic. He encourages his co-workers to share this experience. 


The American author Ogden Nash (1902-1971) specialised in pithy short poems and quotations. One of his most famous poems was: 'Candy/Is dandy/But liquor/Is quicker'. Ogden Nash had two memorable things to say about doors:

'The door of a bigoted mind opens outwards so that the only result of the pressure of facts upon it is to close it more snugly'.

'A door is what a dog is perpetually on the wrong side of'.


Sliding doors is a 1998 romantic comedy film written and directed by Peter Howitt, and starring Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah. Helen Qulley (Gwyneth Paltrow), who has been fired from her PR job, just misses a London underground train as the sliding doors close in front of her. Or does she just catch it?

The plot splits into these two alternative universes, which are interleaved for the rest of the film. This leads to considerable complications in Helen's love life.


A pair of wardrobe doors feature prominently in the fantastical novel The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, which was written by C.S.Lewis in 1950. It tells the story of the four Pevensey children who are evacuated to a country house during the London blitz of 1940. Bored on a rainy day, they explore the house and find an empty room containing only a large wardrobe. Opening the doors of the wardrobe, they find it leads to the magical kingdom of Narnia, in which they have many adventures. In Narnia, which is ruled over by a ruthless Wicket White Witch, it is always winter but Christmas never comes.


Publisher: Archinet UK is published by Extonet Ltd, which also publishes the Britain's Best Architects, Beesker, Reviews Index UK, and Wikigiving websites. It is financed only by Google advertising; no payment is received from websites included in our product guides.


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