True movie fans have probably heard the term MacGuffin before. But what does that really mean? We explain the origins of the word.
The term MacGuffin may be familiar to die-hard movie fans, especially the crime genre. In particular, in connection with the famous director Alfred Hitchcock, he also appears frequently. But what is a MacGuffin and what does the term mean? We’ll explain the origins and show you some famous examples.
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McGuffin: That’s where the term comes from
The term MacGuffin originally came from the English language Screenwriter Angus McPhail engraved. But the legend of director Alfred Hitchcock made the term popular. In the 1930s, he adapted the term for himself and his films and made them world famous. Hitchcock explained the term by Passenger story in a train. A package from a fellow traveler is referred to as a MacGuffin without really explaining what it is intended for.
For Hitchcock, the term symbolizes the mysterious allure possessed by an object unknown to the public. The audience anticipates the decision and therefore continues to do so, even if MacGuffin turns out to be irrelevant to the actual movie in the end. So a MacGuffin is an object, an event, or even a character in a movie that pushes the plot forward without having any special significance in and of itself.
MacGuffin: These are the most famous examples of films
One of the most famous examples of MacGuffin films comes from director George Lucas. According to Lucas, the MacGuffin from the original Star Wars movies is R2D2. The little robot leads the action, but plays a minor role in the movie as a whole.
The famous MacGuffin is made of gold and surprisingly small: the only “Lord of the Rings” ring. The ring itself has little meaning. But it motivates the heroes, pushes the plot forward and always creates new arcs of tension in the movies. Then a real MacGuffin.
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