Thursday, April 22, 2010

Bacon Egg Maguffin

I got a new idea the other day so I'm compiling the necessary ingredients for the story so I can start a new script soon. It's a chase movie, one of those stories where the protagonist has a maguffin the bad guys want.

So I've been thinking a lot about maguffins. In case you're new on the scene, maguffins are objects that serve as a catalyst for action and it doesn't really matter what the object is, just that someone wants it.

It's getting tough to think of one that hasn't been done. There's only so many video tapes and flash drives and incriminating photos and ledgers available for use in screenplays. I think I've come up with something interesting, but I'm a little concerned it's too complicated for a maguffin. At the same time I think I can use it as a weapon during a key scene in the story so that would be cool.

I think my favorite maguffin is the briefcase in Pulp Fiction which may or may not contain Marcellus Wallace's soul. What's yours? Let's make a list of maguffins.


  1. The one ring's an interesting Macguffin of sorts. It has a lot of power but using it comes with a host of consequences.

  2. Anonymous9:42 PM

    gotta go with the maltese falcon, the grandaddy of maguffins.

  3. The tune Mrs. Fry's whistles in THE LADY VANISHES which is actually a code.

    The glass hand that contains computer DNA info for an entire world - millions and millions of people - in DEMON WITH A GLASS HAND.

    The brain of Mr. Memory in THE 39 STEPS - he has memorized top secret fighter plane plans.

    The egg salad sandwich recipe in WHAT'S UP TIGER LILY?

  4. I've got half a script that has been that way for over a year. It even has a couple people willing to suffer through reading it upon completion. It's got a sweet, unique and historically relevant Sausage Maguffin w/Egg, but there's something missing other than the chase part.

    What I've had a tough time including is the mystery of my protagonist figuring out who double-crossed him and/or some other mystery that my protagonist has to figure out to resolve his predicament. Otherwise, it's just a chase flick & won't be engaging enough.

  5. Anonymous10:54 AM

    I thought the MacGuffin was the guy who you portray as having done the crime/you're suspicious about, and that takes the audience off the scent of the real criminal until it's discovered who really did the crime.

  6. @anony That's a Red Herring.

    Don't most of the guy ritchie movies involve a macguffin?

    Wow... I can't think of too many recent macguffin movies that blew me away. Guess I'd have to say Maltese Falcon, was quite memorable when I finally sat down and watched it.

  7. The Double McGuffin.

    If you've missed it, then you've missed some of Lisa Whelchel's (The Facts of Life) best work.

    PS: still reading.

  8. I kept reading it as "McMuffin"

    So by the end of your post I was STARVING.

    ...Even though I'd never really eat a McMuffin.


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