14 Great (Human) Movie MacGuffins

7. Dylan in Children Of Men

Now, one could argue that Kee, the lady who housed the last hope for mankind is the one who starts off being the MacGuffin – but that person would be wrong. The moment they got that thing out of her it was all “baby this” and “baby that” – that’s how it always is. Stupid babies, they hog all our milk and blankets while we’re forced to dip cookies in orange juice while wearing tarps over our heads.

Anyway, baby Dylan is pretty much the ultimate MacGruffin here. Mankind’s MacGruffin, like Jesus or Harrison Ford, they are here to change us forever.


6. John Connor in The Terminator


This is another one where it would have been so much easier just to have to keep the head and nothing else. You bet your ass that a terminator can book it like a champion if all they had to do is keep John Connor’s head like some kind of twisted football game. Can you imagine it: two terminators playing a super game of football with a severed head? Someone call Megan Ellison; I think I have the plot for Terminator 5.

Anyway, Connor gets to be a MacGuffin as a fetus, annoying child, and wimpy adult. It’s not until the fourth film that he suddenly turn into Christian Bale and passes MacGuffin duties to the Kyle Reese character, but even then the machines still inexplicably want him (seriously guys, just kill Kyle and it’s over).


5. Leeloo in The Fifth Element


Now this MacGuffin can take care of herself, just don’t tell her about war n’ shit. Come on Leeloo, really? You kill like a room full of dudes and then suddenly you’re all “I can’t work anymore! War is bad!” What did you think that big evil planet was going to do once it got to Earth, tickle everyone? Grow up, gold-pants.

I will say one thing about Leeloo: if her character has done anything, it’s inspired a whole generation of attractive young women to cosplay on a limited budget. Thank god for that.


4. Julie Dwyer in Clerks & Mallrats


We’ve never actually seen Julie Dwyer in the Kevin Smith Viewaskewniverse, but she’s played a huge role in advancing the plot both on and off screen. I won’t obsess the details, but the films Clerks, Mallrats, & Chasing Amy happen to have an even bigger interweaving backstory than Star Wars – all of it surrounding this one lady who died in a swimming pool.

It’s the inciting incident in Mallrats when the love interest has to go on her father’s game show of Julie (the original contestant) dies trying to keep fit for her appearance. That same Julie is the funeral that the boys in Clerks end up going to, which means that Clerks actually happens AFTER Mallrats. She’s even later brought up in Chasing Amy as well. For such a dead chick, she really gets around.


3. Colonel Walter E. Kurtz in Apocalypse Now


Brando is so scarce and comatose in this that he might as well be a dead girl in a swimming pool. That said, it’s not a film without him – as the entire reason for this epic journey is to find and tactfully execute this man. Or, you know, hack him up with a machete… whatever’s easier.

Once again – this REALLY seems like the time where you could just grab a severed head and go. After all, his superiors would feel better holding the proof in their hands, right?


2. Private Ryan in Saving Private Ryan


Man, if I were Ryan I would start boning the moment I got out of that war. Think about it – if you saw how many people died just to save your white ass, you’d want to make sure your white ass had worth.

Sure, you could try to invent a cure for disease or, if you want to go the other way with it, a really terrible new disease, but chances are you’re going to fail. The best plan then is to screw like the day is long – that way you’ll at least be producing a lush bloodline that wouldn’t have existed without those brave fallen men, right? You’d have to create at least as many kids as those men would have made to make it count – that’s just math.


1. Harry Lime in The Third Man


To be honest, I’m a little obsessed with this film because of how well it worked on me. What I mean is, I didn’t see the revelation coming at all.

I know that by writing about this film, I am possibly snuffing out such an experience for those who might be reading this – but whatever; you should have watched the film first, dummy.

I know for a fact that I missed tons of examples – so let’s hear them!

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David is a video editor, writer, and movie fanatic. After graduating from Full Sail University he now spends his days in Western Massachusetts working as a freelance article and sketch writer, as well as a comedy workshop moderator for Cracked.com. (Click Here to View David's work on Cracked.com) He enjoys over-analyzing movies, punk rock, and referring to himself in the third person.

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