We have seen duty win out over romance (Roman Holiday). Then there was the classic, we are better off friends scenario (Adventures in Babysitting). Last we covered the trope where the guy's true love was his truck and the open road (Big Trouble in Little China). For our last installment in this series, I present you with: "the guy doesn't get girl, plus he sends her to jail because she is not a very nice person after all."
Most people instantly go to Casablanca (as mentioned in the first post of this series) when you think of the theme "He Doesn't Get The Girl" in conjunction with Humphrey Bogart. It is a classic and it is perfect, but of course, it is not the only Bogart/Doesn't Get the Girl film. Today, we focus on another one. I present to you:
The Maltese Falcon (1941)
San Francisco, 1941. Sam Spade (Humphrey Bogart as a private investigator is always a win in my book) and his partner Miles Archer (Jerome Cowan) take on the client Miss Ruth Wonderly (Mary Astor). She claims to be looking for her sister and the man she is involved with named Floyd Thursby. Archer agrees to take on the case that night, which sadly does not end very well for him. Archer is killed, along with Thursby (who you never actually see).... as you can imagine it was never about a missing girl, but a long lost golden falcon statuette.
What do you expect, with a woman like this? Miss Ruth Wonderly. Yes, she is beautiful, but when a relationship starts out with a lie, nothing good can come from it. Proven fact.
Sam Spade, though dashing, clever, with a sharp tongue and not afraid to throw the first punch (or slap), proves he might not be the until-death-do-us-part guy either. He is one of the first suspects in the death of his partner. Why? Well...he was having an affair with Archer's wife Ivy (Gladys George).
When the truth is revealed. You realize Spade might have cheated with his Archer's wife (one must remember Archer was hoping to strike something up with Miss Wonderly), but his loyalty to his partner (even in death) outweighs the dames. There was only one way for this film to end. Not only does the guy not get the girl. The girl gets sent to prison. Miss Wonderly really thought she had Spade wrapped around her finger, but it turns out he is a man with honor after all.
And all because of a falcon that turned out to be a fake. But hey, it's really "the stuff that dreams are made of."