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  • noun

Synonyms for McGuffin

(film) a plot element that catches the viewers' attention or drives the plot

References in periodicals archive ?
"The whole project started as a research project to find the sites where the Group of Seven painted in their formative years," said Joanie McGuffin.
Furthermore, the permutation of multiple identities in both novels is a narrative device to advance the plot, akin to the Hitchcockian McGuffin.
The idea of this kind of narrative device has cinematic roots; the McGuffin, the narrative device used in many of Alfred Hitchcock's films, is what propels the plot forward or acts as the impetus of events, although it is not important to the storyline in and of itself.
What propels the narrative of Q forward are the changing identities of its protagonist; the object around which many of 54's stories revolve is an American luxury television, the model of which is aptly named McGuffin. (33) The television never actually functions as such, since its main purpose within the story is as a hiding place for Lucky Luciano's heroin.
McGuffin aveva trasmesso cartoon di gatti che inseguivano topi.
Topi e gatti si aggiravano intorno a McGuffin, in cima alla collina di rifiuti.
All'alba, lo schermo rotto di McGuffin rifletteva il sorgere del sole.
McGuffin non poteva saperlo, ma l'odore era terribile.
Avesse avuto una bocca, un volto, McGuffin avrebbe sorriso.
The McGuffin television, which is behind the impetus of much of the narrative events of 54, remains an empty container at the end of the novel, the embodiment of Zizek's description of it as 'an indifferent void' (1992: 7).
(35) Q, on the other hand, has an open ending that alludes not only to a lucrative future for the protagonist but to yet another beginning, one explored in Altai (36) Finally, the narrative devices of the McGuffin and similar objects either laden with or devoid of meaning in both novels illustrate the process of History through its narrativization, and then point out that History itself has been sent to the dump.
(31.) Hitchcock offers his interpretation of the McGuffin as 'actually nothing at all' in Francois Truffaut's interview (1983: 138) with the director.
(32.) I'm simplifying Zizek's argument (1992: 6-7), which culminates in a theory of Lacanian sexuality through the objects correlating to the different stages of Hitchcock's career, for example the wine bottles of uranium in Notorious (McGuffin), the lighter in Strangers on a Train (object of exchange) and the enormous ship outside Mamie's mother's home in Mamie (hulking mass).