The Double McGuffin (1979) Poster

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I was an extra in this movie
mtittle-125 February 2005
I was an extra in the Double McGuffin, which was filmed mostly in Charleston, SC (and some in Savannah, GA). Fond memories of watching the filming and seeing the stars. I still remember watching Ernest Borgnine eating a gross cup of chili early one morning while waiting for his scene. Some friends and I took one of the kids ("Billy Ray") bowling. Of course, I was in high school at the time, and Lisa Welchel was the one we all wanted to meet, because she had been on the Mickey Mouse Club. We did meet her and the other kids. Watching the trailer on IMDb was a trip down memory lane. I'll have to rent the movie again sometime. I remember I was paid $40 for one day and another $25 for my car, and thought I had hit the big time. It beat what I was making at Denny's!
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Okay thriller for families
Wizard-829 January 1999
Seen today, "The Double McGuffin" will seem a little dated even to kids. The movie, though dealing with a planned assassination, has an almost naive tone to it. You never really feel that the kids in the movie are in any real danger.

However, the movie does manage to generate some interest, and it's never boring. The kids, plotting to stop the assassination attempt, are smart and resourceful. And their actions are reasonable for their age; a little too smart maybe, but more realistic than a Disney movie during that year would have made them. Some parents may be shocked by an unusual amount of (mostly mild) swearing by the kids. Kids, on the other hand, won't see anything unusual - they DO use these words behind your back, mom and dad. However, I'm not sure a real 9 year old boy would have a great interest in Playboy as the 9 year old here does. Boys will look at dirty pictures, but usually in quick curious glances, and not as a long term interest. Though this scene, and some other sexual humor is treated lightly and as background gags. There are several other humorous scenes in the movie which add to the fun.

The story is easy enough to follow, though it's never explained about who the dead body is, and a few other minor plot details. The climax may be disappointing for adults as well as kids; if this movie were to be remade, I'd bet that whatever studio or producer funding this movie would insist on an action-packed ending or something, as well as removing the too sweet and assuring tone. Though there's the danger that the movie would be TOO rough. See Cloak and Dagger (1984) for an example; though it is a good movie, there were some scenes that, though I wasn't scared by, even as a kid I felt were inappropriate for a family movie.

Be sure to keep your eyes and ears open for some in-jokes. Listen carefully to the radio in one scene, and look at the books in the hotel carefully. Joe Camp (the director, and creator of BENJI) has a cameo as a store clerk.

What happened to Joe Camp, anyway?
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Innocent Adventure
satyamcn30 June 2006
For me, this movie defines nostalgia, having watched almost daily as a kid. Apart from bringing back childhood memories, it also reminds us of a certain kind of naivety that kids today don't have. The story is based on a motley group of kids that stumble accidentally on a murder plot which they try to thwart. Showing determination and seriousness they are not known to have, they foil the attempt with the help of a nerd(Arthur) and a police officer, pulling all their resources together.

The build-up to the climax is good, even if its not all too dramatic as you would expect a movie to have. Quite definitely a good family movie, with a 'boys will be boys' theme.
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twaddbi26 July 2005
It's been years since I saw this movie, but as a kid I loved it. Does anyone else remember the cool gadgets those kids had and how everything in their room was hidden? If I remember, there was a TV underneath the pop up tray of a footlocker, a radio hidden in the bookcase and a dartboard hidden behind a painting. There are probably more, but these are the few I remember. Anyone else? Also, one of the kids DID read Playboy and let me tell you, kids that age will stare at a Playboy for hours in great interest if there is no parental/adult presence! I'll have to rent this movie and watch it again, but I do remember George Kennedy being in it, so it can't be that bad. Can it?
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Brings back memories!
peacefuljeffrey30 April 2018
I was about 8 years old when this came out. My sister (who was 9) and I loved watching this whenever it was on cable (back when we were at the mercy of a cable movie schedule).

I do remember (as some of you do, also) the cool hidden gadgets and stuff that the obviously wealthy boarding school kids had. I remember especially the amazing Swiss Army Knife that "Homer" had. It supposedly had lock picks and stuff on it. This was around the time when I got my first Swiss Army Knife, myself - and I was driven by coveting the super deluxe one in the movie!
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Brings back memories
Perkunas16 September 1999
Just saw this movie again, and it brings back lots of memories. Lots of the scenes were filmed in Charleston, SC, where I went to high school. I remember while they were filming it, and even got to watch. In fact, I think I'm even in one of the crowd scenes!

Twenty years ago, it seemed a lot better, but it was still very enjoyable. And yes, I do carry a Swiss Army Knife (actually, a Leatherman tool now... kids do grow up, and so do the toys!).
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One of my favorites as a youngster!!!
MJ9200812 November 1998
I really enjoyed this movie as a young boy. Ever since I have wanted to learn to pick ocks, and carry a huge Swiss Army Knife.....
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One of the best movies of the 70's, one of my favorites.
whitelightning-ard16 March 2020
Great mystery movie with great acting from all in the movie.
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