Angus MacPhail

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Angus MacPhail
BornApril 8, 1903
London, England, United Kingdom
DiedApril 22, 1962(1962-04-22) (aged 59)
Sussex, England, United Kingdom
Alma materWestminster School
Trinity Hall, Cambridge
GenreScreenwriting, film

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". Screenonline.
  2. ^ Montagu, Ivor (1980). "Working with Hitchcock". BFI. Sight & Sound. Archived from the original on 2013-10-27.

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