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What to do with Love Triangle Losers?


skimpole
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There are movies with love triangles.  Usually one side wins and the other loses.  What does one do with the loser?  Often the loser clearly is supposed to lose:  why would anyone prefer Ralph Bellamy to Cary Grant.  Often some thing very unpleasant happens to the loser, such as Claude Rains in Notorious.  But what about in movies where we are supposed to clearly care for both suitors?  Sometimes both lose, one thinks of Three Comrades.  Sometimes we can just assume that the loser will find someone some other day:  there's no particularly pressing need for him to find someone immediately.  One things of James Stewart in The Philadelphia Story.  But can anyone think of movies where the loser gets a consolation prize, so to speak?  How would that work exactly?

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The Tender Trap:  Celeste Holm wants Frank Sinatra but Frank meets Debbie Reynolds who he really falls for.  Celeste is dumped, finds someone else, actually marries the new guy at the end, Frank and Debbie get hitched, everybody lives happily ever after.

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There are movies with love triangles.  Usually one side wins and the other loses.  What does one do with the loser?  Often the loser clearly is supposed to lose:  why would anyone prefer Ralph Bellamy to Cary Grant.  Often some thing very unpleasant happens to the loser, such as Claude Rains in Notorious.  But what about in movies where we are supposed to clearly care for both suitors?  Sometimes both lose, one thinks of Three Comrades.  Sometimes we can just assume that the loser will find someone some other day:  there's no particularly pressing need for him to find someone immediately.  One things of James Stewart in The Philadelphia Story.  But can anyone think of movies where the loser gets a consolation prize, so to speak?  How would that work exactly?

Well, in THE PHILADELPHIA STORY, Stewart did get Ruth Hussey, not a bad consolation prize methinks.

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But can anyone think of movies where the loser gets a consolation prize, so to speak? How would that work exactly?

In The Palm Beach Story, Rudy Vallee and Mary Astor get Claudette Colbert and Joel McCrea's twin siblings, respectively.
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So, skimpole asks, "What to do with love triangle losers?"

 

And then slaytonf replied:

 

Shoot 'em.

 

Yep, well, that's pretty much what happens to Robert Preston here in THE MACOMBER AFFAIR, isn't it...

 

the-macomber-affair21.jpg

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I recall once hearing some splashing in a small creek nearby and look a quick look to see two male ducks, their wings flapping wildly, skimming over the water, one aggressively chasing the other.

 

Back where they had just come from in the creek a brown female duck sat passively in the water, watching them. The male who had successfully chased the other one down stream then swam back to the female. Side by side, they turned and paddled up stream.

 

I remember watching the "loser" duck's reaction. For about fifteen or twenty seconds he sat in the water watching them. He then turned around and started to slowly paddle in the opposite direction. Call him the Ralph Bellamy of ducks, if you want, but I recall feeling a pang of sympathy for him at that moment.

 

Hopefully there was another little brown duck in his future.

 

 

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I recall once hearing some splashing in a small creek nearby and look a quick look to see two male ducks, their wings flapping wildly, skimming over the water, one aggressively chasing the other.

 

Back where they had just come from in the creek a brown female duck sat passively in the water, watching them. The male who had successfully chased the other one down stream then swam back to the female. Side by side, they turned and paddled up stream.

 

I remember watching the "loser" duck's reaction. For about fifteen or twenty seconds he sat in the water watching them. He then turned around and started to slowly paddle in the opposite direction. Call him the Ralph Bellamy of ducks, if you want, but I recall feeling a pang of sympathy for him at that moment.

 

Hopefully there was another little brown duck in his future.

 

Some might(or might not) recall my tale of watching two Toms fighting over a female cat in heat in the alley behind the apartment building I once lived.  If you do, then you'll also recall that I mentioned that a third Tom came along and took care of the distressed female while the first two were still engaged in a fight.

 

But now, it makes me wonder....

 

IS there a movie in which a woman, in the middle of a "Lover's Triangle" finds a THIRD alternative and leaves the FIRST TWO behind?

 

 

Sepiatone

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Or sometimes the loser nobly bows out by performing some self-sacrificing deed that will lead to his own death, as in Charge of the Light Brigade.  Of course, that Olivia would choose Patrick Knowles over Errol Flynn is the height of incredibility, but that movie is filled with so many incredible plot elements, what's one more?

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Or sometimes the loser nobly bows out by performing some self-sacrificing deed that will lead to his own death, as in Charge of the Light Brigade.  Of course, that Olivia would choose Patrick Knowles over Errol Flynn is the height of incredibility, but that movie is filled with so many incredible plot elements, what's one more?

 

Imagine Errol being the loser in a love triangle!

 

Maybe the loser bowing out by performing some noble self-sacrificial deed is the ultimate expression of passive aggressive behavior.  Okay. The two of you are together now, but it's only because I allowed myself to be sacrificed so that you could be together.  Now you can live with that guilt.

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Or sometimes the loser nobly bows out by performing some self-sacrificing deed that will lead to his own death, as in Charge of the Light Brigade.  Of course, that Olivia would choose Patrick Knowles over Errol Flynn is the height of incredibility, but that movie is filled with so many incredible plot elements, what's one more?

In FOUR'S A CROWD, both Patric Knowles and Errol Flynn end up with ths right spouse, even though they seem to be swapping Olivia DeHavilland and Rosalind Russell until the very end.

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Hey! Speaking of one of the participants in a love triangle buyin' the farm here...

 

I can think of a movie where TWO of the participants die at the end.

 

DESTRY RIDES AGAIN

 

I mean at the beginning and when Jimmy here first moseys into the town of Bottleneck, Dietrich IS Donlevy's "main squeeze", now isn't she?!...

 

27918_Sep2013_ctek_ImageSuites_destryrid

 

(...or whatever they would've called that sort'a thing back in the old west, anyway)

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