Angus MacPhail

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Angus MacPhail (8 April 1903 – 22 April 1962) was an English screenwriter, active from the late 1920s, who is best remembered for his work with Alfred Hitchcock.[1]

He was born in London and educated at Westminster School and Trinity Hall, Cambridge where he studied English and edited Granta. He first worked in the film business in 1926 writing subtitles for silent films. He then began writing his own scenarios for Gaumont British Studios and later Ealing Studios under Sir Michael Balcon. During World War II he made films for the Ministry of Information.

One of Alfred Hitchcock’s favourite devices for driving the plots of his stories and creating suspense was what he called the 'MacGuffin'. Ivor Montagu, who worked with Hitchcock on several of his British films, attributes the coining of the term to MacPhail.[2]



  1. ^ Angus McPhail at Screenonline. Retrieved 14 September 2013
  2. ^ "Working with Hitchcock" by Ivor Montagu (Sight & Sound, volume 49, 1980)

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