The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  20 March 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 15,818 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 33 critic

The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband.



(novel), (screenplay)
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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
William Traylor ...
Thomas Hill ...
Barlow (as Tom Hill)
Motorcycle Cop
Brian Farrell ...
Raleigh Bond ...
Insurance Salesman
William Newman ...
Man from Home Town
Albert Henderson ...
Art Beeman
Ken Magee ...
Eugene Peterson ...


This remake of the 1946 movie of the same name accounts an affair between a seedy drifter and a seductive wife of a roadside café owner. This begins a chain of events that culminates in murder. Written by Craig Clarke <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


If there was an Eleventh Commandment, they would have broken that too. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

20 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El cartero siempre llama dos veces  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$12,000,000 (estimated)


SEK 3,841,156 (Sweden)

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


Elia Kazan was screen tested for Cora's husband. See more »


When Frank confronts Cora with the money after returning from the bus depot, he is standing in front of a clothesline where a sheet alternates between being tightly pinned and sagging between shots. See more »


Cora: All I know is, it went dark... If he'd have turned around, Frank, they'd have hanged us for it... and something... something put that cop there... It's an act of God those lights went out!
See more »

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User Reviews

With pleasant performances, but a bit uneven
13 December 2013 | by (Estonia) – See all my reviews

I have not seen the "original" from 1946 but anyway - I am not into black-and-white movies, with the exception of those with Chaplin and Lloyd perhaps. Thus, I decided to watch the one in question, besides, Jack Nicholson (as Frank Chambers) and Jessica Lange (as Cora Smith/Papadakis) are much more known and admired by me than John Garfield and Lana Turner... Their performances were really good (although not among their best), they had sizzling mutual chemistry, but it seems that the topic/script has become timeworn, seen at present as a rather trivial crime thriller, as the main theme - lovers trying to get rid of (rich) husband - has been exploited a lot. The plot does not run smoothly and the inclusion of e.g. Anjelica Huston as Madge Gorland did not provide any additional value; on the other hand, bigger inclusion of past history of the protagonists could have been interesting. The ending was also too abrupt and when the end credits appeared, one could feel confusion about the meaning of the title.

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Intense sexual scene between Jack and Jessica! elizalisa
exactly, what's the title about? Leopold-4
The ending Lucky_C
Question - Insurance policy runman4
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