Rebecca's blogathon mandate: "MacGuffin's. Red herrings. Dangling carrots. Bait and switch. Whatever. We all know how movies mess with our heads."
My contribution to the blogathon includes both a distraction and a MacGuffin.
Putting the distraction in The Distraction Blogathon is Basil's "do" as Sherlock Holmes. It is not the first time he has startled us in this way but, thankfully, it will be the last.
Meet John Grayson, an unassuming law clerk who is in actuality Alfred Pettibone, secret agent. He is transporting vital information from the U.K. to the American government. He and the document are in danger.
MacGuffin: "The thing that the spies are after but the audience don't care about."
- Alfred Hitchcock
Mr. Ahrens from the Home Office: "Grayson was carrying a document of a very confidential nature. Its contents are of such grave international importance that I am not at liberty to reveal them. But if that document falls into the hands of the --- I can only say that it would be absolutely disastrous for this government and our allies." If that doesn't spell "MacGuffin", I don't know what does!
When the kidnapped socialite Nancy Partridge clues into the importance of the matchbook, she bravely keeps silent in spite of threats and violence. Will rescue come in time?
Holmes, through cleverness and disguise, confronts international spy (since the days of the Kaiser) Heinrich Hinkle, known for many years in Washington as antique dealer Richard Stanley.
The gags and makeshift handcuffs indicate that Holmes' rescue attempt goes awry. However, he had the forethought to send Watson for the FBI and a dramatic shootout ensues during which Hinkle escapes with Holmes in pursuit.
Hinkle faces the ignominy of capture - and that's not all.
Sherlock Holmes serves up the microfilm as a coup de grace. He's allowed the brag. After all, he broke the case.
Holmes quotes Winston Church to conclude this picture. After all, it is 1942 and a little "hands across the sea" bonding keeps up morale when you are fighting Nazis.