How MacGuffins Can Ruin Movies

by Just Write

Coined by Alfred Hitchcock, the ‘MacGuffin’ is, “the goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist pursues, often with little or no narrative explanation.” In other words, it’s the thing that sets the plot in motion, especially common in sci-fi, fantasy and spy movies, such as a vault of diamonds in a heist movie. In this video essay Just Write argues that, while the MacGuffin is an easy way to introduce conflict into a story, it’s overused and often in the long often ends up hurting a story.


video essay by Just Write

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