Screen Two: Season 2, Episode 1

The McGuffin (12 Jan. 1986)

TV Episode  - 
6.0
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Title: The McGuffin (12 Jan 1986)

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

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Paul Hatcher
Ann Todd ...
Mrs. Forbes-Duthie
...
Gavin
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 ...
Newscaster
Brian Glover ...
Man in Brown
...
Detective
...
Anne
...
Nina
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From Voyeur To Victim....

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12 January 1986 (UK)  »

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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 »

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References Spellbound (1945) See more »

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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.


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