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The Double McGuffin

The Double McGuffin is a 1979 American mystery film written and directed by Joe Camp.[2][3] The film starred Ernest Borgnine and George Kennedy,[3] alongside a group of young actors, some of whom later became well-known names in the U.S., including Lisa Whelchel, who would go on to star in the sitcom The Facts of Life.

The Double McGuffin
Poster of the movie The Double McGuffin.jpg
Directed byJoe Camp
Produced byJoe Camp
Written byJoe Camp (screenplay, story)
Richard Baker (story)
StarringErnest Borgnine
George Kennedy
Elke Sommer
Lisa Whelchel
Dion Pride
Greg Hodges
Music byEuel Box
CinematographyDon Reddy
Edited bySteve R. Moore
Leon Seith
Mulberry Square Productions
Distributed byMulberry Square Releasing
American Broadcasting Company (ABC)
Best Film & Video Corp.
Release date
  • June 1, 1979 (1979-06-01)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budgetmore than $3 million[1]

Elke Sommer and NFL stars Ed 'Too Tall' Jones and Lyle Alzado also appear in smaller roles. The film also included a young Vincent Spano as well as Dion Pride (son of country singer Charley Pride). An opening narration is provided by Orson Welles. The cast included Chicago native Michael Gerard, and Dallas area child actors Greg Hodges and Jeff Nicholson.

Film titleEdit

At the beginning of the film, the narrator, Orson Welles, informs the audience that a McGuffin is an object that serves as the focal point of a plot and this film has two.[3]


A group of boarding school students discover, in succession, a suitcase full of money, a dead body, and a dismembered hand. They are unable to convince the local police to take them seriously, because they have not secured any evidence and because the police chief (played by Kennedy) is suspicious of them due to their past misbehavior. They follow the evidence themselves and realize that a political assassination is planned at a school event. They foil the plot themselves.



Joe Camp had a huge financial success with the film Benji, which made over $30 million on a budget of $545,000. In 1975 he announced he wanted to make The Double MacGuffin as his second feature.[4] The following year he said he would make it after Hawmps! (1976) and For the Love of Benji (1977). Camp called it a "combination of Hitchcock, The Sting and Mission Impossible set in a boarding school."[5]

The film was shot in Charleston in January 1978.[6]


  1. ^ Regional Filmmakers: Mavericks of the Movies By KIRK HONEYCUTT. New York Times 9 Nov 1980: D19.
  2. ^ "The Double McGuffiny". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved March 1, 2016.
  3. ^ a b c "The Double McGuffin". The New York Times.
  4. ^ New era in family films? Canine star points the way By Mary Sue Best. The Christian Science Monitor 2 Apr 1975: 25.
  5. ^ If You Thought Benji' Was Camp... By BARRY SIEGEL. New York Times 14 Mar 1976: D13.
  6. ^ No Percy-Lance love match Daly, Maggie. Chicago Tribune 8 Dec 1977: b20.

External linksEdit