Watch: What Role Does a MacGuffin Serve?

This video explains what the briefcase in 'Pulp Fiction,' the rabbit's foot in 'Mission Impossible III,' and the titular statue from 'The Maltese Falcon' have in common.

Every story needs a starting point, a thing for our characters to want, a goal to pursue. These wants can be as varied as true love, fame and fortune, the identity of the myysterious killer, and on and on. In some stories, however, the thing the characters seek, is well...nothing at all.

Well, it exists, but its existence is, in the words of Alfred Hitchcock, "nonexistent." If this sounds confusing, it's because the thing we are seeking is the elusive MacGuffin, a term coined by the master of suspense and explained in the below video from Fandor. Check it out, and read more about the MacGuffin below.

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