Sam Spade

[© 2017]

Explain Dominant Color Explain Auxiliary Color

The Yellow in this spiritual portrait represents Sam Spade's dominant trait, a preference for seeing facts rather than ideas. In Extraverts, the dominant trait is directed outwardly, and spiritual portraits use a long vertical line to represent this, because it is the side of their personality that is most evident. Private Investigators demonstrate this trait by their attention to detail when looking for clues.

The Green in this spiritual portrait represents Sam Spade's auxiliary trait, a preference for using logic to make decisions. In Extraverts, the auxiliary trait is directed inwardly, and spiritual portraits use a horizontal line to represent this. Private Investigators demonstrate this trait when they use logic to piece together the clues they find to deduce 'who dunnit.'

PI in the Film The Maltese Falcon

This spiritual portrait is based on the Sam Spade who appears in John Huston's 1941 film version of The Maltese Falcon by ....

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Sam Spade:
The Story

This spiritual portrait is based on the Sam Spade who appears in John Huston's 1941 film version of The Maltese Falcon by Dashiell Hammett.

There is a wonderful 3 DVD boxed set of the Maltese Falcon, that includes all three movie versions of the novel plus several radio versions. Almost all of these are entertaining — the exception being the 1936 film Satan Met a Lady.

And of all these versions, the 1941 film is by far the best one. For example,

Wilmer Cook: Keep on riding me and they're gonna be picking iron out of your liver.
Sam Spade: The cheaper the crook, the gaudier the patter.

These lines might appear in one or more of the other versions, but despite watching and listening to all of the various versions, I can't remember whether they do. And it's impossible to imagine any pair of actors delivering these lines better than Elisha Cook, Jr. and Humphrey Bogart do in the 1941 film version.

Sam is definitely a realist:

Brigid O'Shaughnessy: Mr. Archer was so alive yesterday, so solid and hearty...
Sam Spade: Stop it. He knew what he was doing. Those are the chances we take.
Brigid O'Shaughnessy: Was he married?
Sam Spade: Yeah, with ten thousand insurance, no children, and a wife that didn't like him.

And hard-boiled:

Sam to Wilmer: When you're slapped, you'll take it and like it.

But like Philip Marlowe, he has a soft spot for the ladies:

Sam Spade: All we've got is that maybe you love me and maybe I love you.
Brigid O'Shaughnessy: You know whether you love me or not.
Sam Spade: Maybe I do. I'll have some rotten nights after I've sent you over, but that'll pass.

So I'd say he's not quite as hard-boiled as Mike Hammer — and I believe his spiritual portrait reflects that!


About This Portrait

This portrait is based on the awesome film noir The Maltese Falcon. I highly recommend this film to everyone!