Screen Two: Season 2, Episode 1

The McGuffin (12 Jan. 1986)

TV Episode  | 
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.0/10 from 43 users  
Reviews: 2 user

Add a Plot



0Check in

IMDb Picks: June

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in June, brought to you by Swiffer.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 247 titles
created 25 Feb 2013
list image
a list of 141 titles
created 14 Nov 2013

Related Items

Search for "The McGuffin" on

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: The McGuffin (12 Jan 1986)

The McGuffin (12 Jan 1986) on IMDb 6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Screen Two.
« Previous Episode | 11 of 123 Episodes | Next Episode »


Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Hatcher
Ann Todd ...
Mrs. Forbes-Duthie
Bill Shine ...
From The Rear Window
Neville Phillips ...
From The Rear Window
Paul McKenzie ...
From The Rear Window
Ray Shell ...
From The Rear Window
Francis Matthews ...
Silver-Haired Gent
Stephen Ruff ...
David Power (as Roger Lloyd-Pack)
Sue Peacock ...
Brian Glover ...
Man in Brown


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis


From Voyeur To Victim....





Release Date:

12 January 1986 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


See  »

Did You Know?


In his 1966 interview with director-film critic, François Truffaut, Alfred Hitchcock said: It might be a Scottish name, taken from a story about two man in a train. One man says "What's that package up there in the baggage rack?" And the other answers, "O that's a McGuffin." The first one asks "What's a McGuffin?" "Well" the other man says, "Its an apparatus for trapping lions in the Scottish Highlands." The first man says, "But there are no lions in the Scottish Highlands," and the other one answers "Well then that's no McGuffin!" A McGuffin is nothing at all. Hitchcock used the term to describe a device or plot element that catches the viewer's attention or drives the logic of the plot, especially in suspense films. According to Hitchcock, the McGuffin can be ignored as soon as it has served its purpose. Examples are the mistaken identity at the beginning of North by Northwest (1959) and the entire Janet Leigh subplot of Psycho (1960). See more »


References Strangers on a Train (1951) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

An Odd Film; Apparently So Odd Few Have Seen It
20 February 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm shocked that 23 years after this movie was released, I am the first person to review it. How can that be? It isn't that the film has nobody in it that anyone has ever heard of, since Charles Dance has acted in a number of movies and is face is fairly well known.

Whatever, this is a strange film. Maybe it was too strange for people in the mid '80s and, as I recall, it was a BBC film so maybe it got just limited exposure and mainly in England.......yet.....I bought a used VHS copy here in the States. ( I'm just trying to figure out what there are no reviews on this.)

Some of the stuff I liked and didn't like, in no particular order: the film has a lot of style to it, but the lead character - Dance playing "Paul Hatcher" - is just too unappealing. The main character is a transvestite and begins to really act weird in spots. The script also is a bit talky for a suspense thriller. It need more action. It had an interesting premise: a movie critic who spies on his neighbors. He gets caught, and look out! Then, Hatcher, who isn't real stable to begin with, starts confusing reality with movie fiction. Without giving anything away, he winds up on the hit list of mobsters.

As I said, it's a strange film. Frankly, I'd like to see it again, this time with a good DVD transfer.

By the way, the definition of McGuffin - as used in film - is "a plot device that has no specific meaning or purpose other than to advance the story; any situation that motivates the action of a film either artificially or substantively. It's also written 'MacGuffin.'"

Does that clarify anything? Probably not, any more than the film does, which is another reason I would like to read others' opinions of this odd movie.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
'Contact' 1985 golf_tango_foxtrot
Discuss The McGuffin (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: