All we’ve got is that maybe you love me and maybe I love you.

Brigid:  You’ve been playing with me. Just pretending you care to trap me like this. You didn’t care at all. You don’t love me!

Spade:  I won’t play the sap for you!

Brigid:  Oh you know it’s not like that. You can’t say that.

Spade:  You never played square with me for half an hour at a stretch since I’ve known you!

Brigid:  You know down deep in your heart and in spite of anything I’ve done, I love you.

Spade:  I don’t care who loves who!!  I won’t play the sap for you.


I won’t because all of me wants to, regardless of consequences, and because you counted on that with me the same as you counted on that with all the others.


I’ve watched this scene unfold countless times, but I rewind it anyway, watching as again the masks come off, as again the facts become clear, as again The Pretenders realize that the reality they’ve woven around themselves is an illusion.  The truth will out.  There are no good guys here, only graduated degrees of doctoral liars.

The hard set of Bogie’s jaw gets firmer with every tear Astor cries.  The film’s lack of color is the perfect foil:  In life there is no such thing as black and white.

I watch, always in horrified fascination, as he steels his resolve and she finally comprehends that there is a difference between a criminal and a not-so-good guy.

At last, the facade falls away.

She is the diamond, sharp-edged and hard.

He is the rough.  The stuff that dreams are made of.

I’ve seen this scene before, innumerous times, but still I hold my breath until he makes the call.  Until he finalizes his decision.  Until he does the right thing.

The right thing.

Do the right thing.

The air escapes my lungs on a whoosh, and I press rewind, my faith in humanity temporarily restored.

I smile at the memories this movie conjures, and with a nostalgic sigh I press the button on the remote and think…

Play it again, Sam.

0 thoughts on “All we’ve got is that maybe you love me and maybe I love you.

  1. wildoats1962

    The only Bogart movie I’ve watched is “The African Queen”. Art imitates life or life imitates art, there is a lot that gets absorbed into the culture. “Of Human Bondage” is a particularly depressing movie because it is spot on. I know people that are exactly like the characters.

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      I love The African Queen. Hepburn is awesome in that film. “Nature, Mister Olnutt,” she says with prim Episcopalian disdain, “is what we are put on this earth to rise.above.”

      Ah, Bogie… Next time you’re surfing through late-night viewing options, see what you can find in the way of Old Hollywood, Wild. I think you may be pleasantly surprised. 🙂

    1. Mrs Fever Post author

      Thank you. 🙂 I have a fondness for the Hollywood classics.

      The complexity of the characters in The Maltese Falcon is astounding. There is so much to see beyond the obvious, and Bogart’s portrayal of Sam Spade is nothing short of brilliant.

      The movie is a masterpiece.

      They just don’t make ’em like they used to…

      1. the muscleheaded blog

        Yes, that’s very true. I’ve always held Dashiell Hammett’s work in high esteem, and Hollywood really did a fine job on the movie version. Bogart was at the top of his game, and Mary Astor steamed up the screen. 🙂

        1. Mrs Fever Post author

          Fun Fact(s): Astor was John Huston’s lover at the time of filming. Bogart was one of Huston’s good friends.

          Those relationships had more than just a one-professional-to-another depth to them, and it shows. I’d say that fact had a huge impact on the success of Huston’s directorial debut. Another thing that makes the movie so superb is that Huston didn’t mess with Hammett’s dialogue. The words in the script match the words in the book. (Minus a few choice bits. Spade has O’Shaughnessy strip for him in the book, for example, to make sure she’s not hiding $1,000 on her person. 😉 )

          And to think… Jack Warner basically patted Huston – who was a screenwriter at the time – on the head, rolled his eyes, and said, “Sure, John, sure… You can direct.” The Big Boss placating The Little Guy, assuming it wouldn’t ever amount to anything. I would say It never pays to underestimate someone, but in this case, it paid big.

          1. the muscleheaded blog

            Wow– that is stuff I didn’t know.
            Very cool , and I guess I forgot about that strip scene in the book.
            Hey, it was a thousand bucks ,right? 😀
            Thank you for that fascinating background info — I enjoyed it !!!

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