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 13,295 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


Their Love was a Flame that Destroyed! 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:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

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 »


The shadow of a jail bar falls on Frank's face differently between takes, showing that he had changed position. 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 Sea Hunt: Roustabout (1961) 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

books v. movies
7 May 2005 | by (Lithuania) – See all my reviews

Funny, the comment there about the title - it's the strangest part of the adaptation because at least it IS mentioned in the film, but nowhere in the book. It's an absolute mystery to me how this title made it through intact when great titles like "Farewell My Lovely" were dumbed down to "Murder My Sweet" for the sake of Hollywood audiences. James M. Cain originally submitted the story to Alfred Knopf with the title "BBQ" (which makes sense in context) and was asked to change it; he considered "Black Puma" and "The Devil's Checkbook" before settling on the mystifying title by which the novel and both adaptations are well known.

Anyway, I like the film and think it's a great straight adaptation of the book, though the dialogue in the beginning seems a bit hurried (for the sake of the quick establishment of character and story) - the book does a better job of painting the hobo/gypsy lifestyle Frank embraces, and I think it's pretty central to the eventual conflict between him and Cora, so it's a shame it wasn't better depicted in the film.

Lana Turner is good, but probably just a bit mis-cast - she's a little too "glamorous" for Cora, which is also established immediately in the famous opening shot of her legs and lipstick (in contrast to the book, where she was introduced in an apron, working hard for the business like she always says she wants to.)

One note for femme-fatale buffs: Cora and Nick in the film are surnamed "Smith," which in the book was Cora's maiden name. (Nick in the book was Greek - "Papadakis") Is this a statement on marriage in general, or perhaps a desire to eliminate the racial implications in what happens? Seems unlikely; it is what it is, for smarter people than me to unravel.

"So long mister, thanks for the ride!"

17 of 25 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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