By ROZALIND DINEEN
There is a suitcase in Pulp Fiction about which there is much ado, the contents of which we never discover. This is a MacGuffin – a plot device, an object or a person, that drives the action so completely that the thing itself becomes meaningless. The black statuette in The Maltese Faction; the plans for the airplane engine in The 39 Steps; and (I am so very sure you won’t know this one) Doug in The Hangover, these are all MacGuffins. It doesn’t matter what’s in the suitcase; the statuette isn’t that interesting, who cares what happened to Doug – the point, the film, the story is in the search they engender.