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Top 10 Secret Passages in Movies

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Script written by Derick Mcduff. Trap doors, secret staircases, and ancient tombs – these films have it all! Just make sure you pull the right lever. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 secret passages in movies. For this list, we’re broadening the definition of secret passages to include those that act as portals. Whether it’s hidden behind a painting, it hides the Wizarding World from Muggle view or it leads into the mind of an actor, these are the movie passageways we most want to travel down – for the most part. Special thanks to our user kenn1987 for submitting the idea on our Suggestions Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Transcript
Script written by Derick Mcduff.

Top 10 Secret Passages in Movies


Trap doors, secret staircases, and ancient tombs – these films have it all! Just make sure you pull the right lever. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 secret passages in movies.

For this list, we’re broadening the definition of secret passages to include those that act as portals.

#10: The Rabbit Hole
“Alice in Wonderland” (1951)

In Disney’s classic interpretation of Lewis Carroll’s novel, Alice chases a white rabbit down a hidden entrance in the ground into a magical world where nothing is what it seems. While this was hardly the first or the last film imagining of the trip down the rabbit hole, this one still remains by far the most iconic, largely due to its impressive visuals. The rabbit hole, which acted as a portal between the boring everyday world, and Wonderland, has gone on to inspire countless fantasy films – and maybe a few drug trips.

#9: The Mines of Moria
“The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” (2001)

When the Fellowship runs into trouble getting across the Misty Mountains in the first “Lord of the Rings” film, they decide to take a shortcut through the Dwarven Mines of Moria. However, the entry to the mines can only be found in the clear moonlight and the group needs to solve a riddle to obtain the password. To make matters worse, the entrance is guarded by “The Watcher in the Water,” a squid-like monster that nearly kills them. Only once they’re inside do they realize that they should never have come in the first place.

#8: Hidden Doors
“Clue” (1985)

One of the most memorable things about the board game Clue is that it contains secret passages that allow players to travel between specific rooms. The movie version incorporated a number of elements from the game, including the hidden corridors connecting rooms and wall exits. In fact, the corridors in the film actually link up the same rooms as the ones in the board game; the secret door in the kitchen leads to the fireplace in the lounge, while the conservatory leads to a portrait in the study – the perfect getaway channels for a mysterious murderer.

#7: Up and At ‘Em Machine
“Casper” (1995)

The Up and At ‘Em, designed by Casper’s father, gets its name from the fact that it was built as a transport to his secret lab, while also providing some help with the morning wakeup call. After pulling a secret chord on a lamp, the machine takes a vintage armchair along a track, which descends through a secret compartment below a staircase into the basement. On its way, it provides a tooth brushing, shower, shave and everything else needed to start the day off right, all of which we witness through Kat, who is sent down the passage by her friendly ghost.

#6: Passage to the Vault
“The Addams Family” (1991)

The villains of this fantasy comedy spend a majority of the movie trying to break into the Addams family vault, which is filled with gold and riches. Of course getting there isn’t easy, although it looks like a lot of fun if you know what you’re doing. The vault’s entrance is filled with all the secret passageway clichés we know and love, including; a secret book acting as a trigger for a revolving bookcase, a trap door, and a slide, and it’s all capped off by a boat ride across a river.

#5: The Batcave
“Batman Begins” (2005)

Over the years there have been a number of different ways Bruce Wayne has accessed his underground lair, and of special note is the entrance found in the first of Tim Burton’s “Batman” movies, but our favorite is this one from Christopher Nolan’s initial reboot. In this version, Bruce converts tunnels beneath his mansion, which were originally used by the Underground Railroad, into his crime-fighting headquarters. This iteration has an elevator leading to the Batcave hidden behind a bookshelf, revealed by playing specific notes on a piano. Of course no Batcave is complete without an entrance for the Batmobile, and this one is hidden beautifully behind a waterfall.

#4: Tunnel into Malkovich’s Mind
“Being John Malkovich” (1999)

In this bizarre fantasy comedy, struggling puppeteer Craig Schwartz discovers a tunnel behind a tiny door that leads directly into the mind of John Malkovich. The portal is located in the Mertin-Flemmer office building in NYC and he enters it by going down a muddy tunnel that allows for a fifteen minute ride through the eyes of the famous actor before being thrown out onto the New Jersey turnpike. Things really get strange when Malkovich confronts Schwartz and demands to go through the portal to enter his own mind.

#3: The Wardrobe
“The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” (2005)

While playing a game of hide and seek, four siblings living in Britain at the height of World War II accidentally discover a doorway to the fantasy realm of Narnia. Much to the kids’ dismay, the mysterious gateway is only open to certain people at certain times, and routinely turns back into a regular closet. While they later revisited Narnia through other means in the sequels, nothing could quite recapture the magic we felt when we saw them walk into that wardrobe and out into the forest in the first of “The Chronicles of Narnia” series.

#2: Temple of Doom
“Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom” (1984)

Indiana Jones has come across a lot of secret passages, but none as quite like this. In “Temple of Doom,” Indy and company make their way through the booby trap-filled temple, giving us some of the franchise’s most iconic moments - including the spike chamber and a cult that could tear your heart out. Literally. Indy finally finds a secret exit after a tense mine cart chase; unfortunately, it’s on the side of a cliff over crocodile-infested water. Yikes.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are some honorable mentions:
- Pit of Despair
“The Princess Bride” (1987)
- Frankenstein’s Laboratory
“Young Frankenstein” (1974)
- Secret White House Corridors
“Olympus Has Fallen” (2013)
- Green Goblin’s Lair
“Spider-Man 2” (2004)
- Mount Rushmore
“National Treasure: Book of Secrets” (2007)

#1: Room of Requirement
“Harry Potter” franchise (2001-11)

The Wizarding World is full of secret passageways so those imbued with magic can travel without detection by Muggles – and everything from Platform-9¾ and the Chamber of Secrets, to the multiple pathways leading in and out of Hogwarts concealed behind portraits, statues and the Whomping Willow is hidden. But perhaps the most valuable is the Room of Requirement: located on Hogwarts’ seventh floor, this room only appears to those who urgently need it and adapts to fit that person’s needs. Whether it’s acting as a passage directly to Hogsmeade, or whether its hidden Vanishing Cabinet is allowing Death Eaters entry to the school, the Room of Requirement is an important passage – for the good guys and the bad.

Do you agree with our list? Which secret passage do you wish we had found? For more mysterious top 10s published daily be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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