What's George Lucas Got In Common With The Late Alfred Hitchcock?
George Lucas is perhaps best known as the co-writer and executive producer of Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark, directed by Steven Spielberg.
It is interesting to observe when watching such movies by George Lucas they bear a resemblance to some of the earlier movies generated by that great British movie maker Alfred Hitchcock, but not perhaps in a way that is immediately obvious, even to the most ardent movie fan who may have even seen all of the 50 movies that Hitchcock made in an illustrious 60 golden year era.
It's all down to a little known quirk of the movie business, that although one can watch a movie, they're not aware of something that's sometimes mysterious and its tie in as to how the plot unravels, this is called by movie insiders the MacGuffin.
So what is the MacGuffin and from where did it originate. Well true enough, it does sound Scottish and in Donald Spoto's book, he refers to it being a phrase coined by a screenwriter with whom Alfred was well associated with.
Anyways, he went on to say that it was an object or yet better still point of focus that would appear in countless different plays, films and stories that was a device to motivate the characters of the story at the same time having little meaning to what the real story was actually all about.
Sound's a bit confusing for sure, but take a movie with a beautiful girl and handsome stranger, sitting opposite in an empty carriage train. He carries a distinguished classic brown suitcase with gold initials embossed on the front, holding it close to his chest as if his life depended upon it.
Everyone knows in a movie the guy always gets his gal or vice versa, even in a George Lucas movie, but the ever present red briefcase in this case ( pardon the pun!) is the Macguffin. A simplistic example agreed, but still cleaver stuff, wouldn't one agree? Who would have guessed that!