The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama, Film-Noir  |  2 May 1946 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.6/10 from 13,300 users  
Reviews: 129 user | 59 critic

A married woman and a drifter fall in love, then plot to murder her husband... but even once the deed is done, they must live with the consequences of their actions.



(screen play), (screen play), 1 more credit »
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Complete credited cast:
Audrey Totter ...
Jeff York ...


Nick Smith, the middle-aged proprietor of a roadside restaurant, hires drifter Frank Chambers as a handyman. Frank eventually begins an affair with Nick's beautiful wife Cora, who talks Frank into helping her kill Nick, by "accident." But the best laid plans...... Written by Jim Beaver <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Book that Blazed to Best-Seller Fame! See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

2 May 1946 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El cartero llama dos veces  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Sound System) (5.0) (L-R)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


Audrey Totter's scenes were salvaged in re-takes which removed the trained cats footage and changed her character to a hash-house waitress. See more »


Frank takes off his tie after getting married, but it is back on at the train station. See more »


Cora Smith: That note I left Nick, if he gets back before we do and finds it...
Frank Chambers: Where'd you leave it?
Cora Smith: In the cash register!
Frank Chambers: That's terrific, that's the first place he'll look.
See more »


Referenced in Castle: The Mistress Always Spanks Twice (2010) See more »


There is a Tavern in the Town
(pub. 1883) (uncredited)
Sung a cappella by Cecil Kellaway and John Garfield
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Atmospheric story of lust, desire and murder
18 February 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Drifter Frank Chambers applies for a job at a road side café belonging to Nick Smith, only to fall under the spell of Nick's wife Cora. He falls into desire which leads to deceit and eventually murder. Too late he falls in love but by then things have gone too far. He tells his story to us with the hindsight of a condemned man.

A classic bit of noir light. Based on Cain's sexual novel this underplays the explicit references but turns the subtle stuff way up - the film opens with a `Man Wanted' sign, while Cora is so well played that there's no doubt what she's offering. Without the explicit sex of the remake this story is a lot freer to be interesting rather than explicit. The court case and the mistrust between the lovers is as good as the early desire giving rise to murder.

Lana Turner is excellent as the femme fatale, she is smouldering and very, very desirable. Garfield is also excellent as the man trapped in her web. The two are the very center of the film and are both superb. If the film has any weakness then it may be that modern audiences need more than very subtle stuff, but that's probably our problem rather than the film's.

Overall this is very enjoyable, it has a great sense of mood and builds well to the inevitable conclusion.

37 of 48 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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