McGuffin

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McGuffin

(məˈɡʌfɪn) or

MacGuffin

n
1. (Film) an object or event in a book or a film that serves as the impetus for the plot
2. (Literary & Literary Critical Terms) an object or event in a book or a film that serves as the impetus for the plot
[C20: coined (c. 1935) by Sir Alfred Hitchcock]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.McGuffin - (film) a plot element that catches the viewers' attention or drives the plot; "the McGuffin was a key element of Alfred Hitchcock's films"
plot element - a component or element of the plot of a story
cinema, film, celluloid - a medium that disseminates moving pictures; "theater pieces transferred to celluloid"; "this story would be good cinema"; "film coverage of sporting events"
References in periodicals archive ?
The McGuffins and Burtch, a retired director of the Art Gallery of Algoma, began collaborating on the project in 2008, researching the artists' painting sites and then travelling around Algoma and the North Shore to locate and photograph those sites, matching the photographs with the paintings.
The goal isn't mass tourism, the McGuffins said, but high-value experiences that protect the natural surroundings and build up cultural value, creating employment and boosting economic development along the way.
Real cats and mice 'si aggiravano intorno a McGuffin,' in much the same way as Hitchcock's characters race around their cinematic McGuffins, the wine bottles filled with uranium in Notorious (1946), for example.
All the same, Blissett and Wu Ming do not simply engage in the conventional idea of the McGuffin; whereas Hitchcock's McGuffins were fixed throughout his films, Q's objects of desire (the protagonist's identities) are multiple and changing, and 54's McGuffin television set lays bare the novel's narrative device in calling it by name and, in revealing the McGuffin's emptiness, it reveals its own emptiness.
The show avoids cliche sci-fi McGuffins and tells rich stories in which such issues come up naturally.
The mother of all McGuffins has to be the CD-ROM that Iraq must hand over by December 8 carrying what UN hands call the "FFD.
As often occurs in short stories, certain McGuffins take on symbolic significance.
If you're going to have a McGuffin, said Hitchcock, you'd better do something with it before the story's finished.
Kathleen and Rocco McGuffin of Woodland Hills, with the ashes from an Ash Wednesday Mass still fresh on their foreheads, described the film as ``very powerful.
Kathleen said she was expecting to cry, but it was too powerful for tears,'' Rocco McGuffin, 77, said outside the Mann Valley West Theater in Tarzana.
and Jan and Wayne McGuffin of Dallas be stopped from using FPI's trademarks and name.