The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  20 March 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 15,825 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?


Fourth teaming of actor Jack Nicholson and director Bob Rafelson. The earlier films were Head (1968), Five Easy Pieces (1970) and The King of Marvin Gardens (1972). The fifth Man Trouble (1992) and sixth Blood and Wine (1996) would follow. 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: I'm getting tired of what's right and wrong.
Frank Chambers: They hang people for that, Cora!
See more »


Referenced in This Life: The Plumber Always Rings Twice (1997) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

sometimes jarring and disjointed relationship careening between love and hate
17 July 2015 | by See all my reviews

Drifter Frank Chambers (Jack Nicholson) decides to stay and get a job from gas station owner Nick Papadakis (John Colicos) when he sees Nick's wife Cora (Jessica Lange). Cora is tired of her marriage and convinces Frank to kill Nick. After some failures and hesitations, they finally succeed. The prosecutor tries Cora and use tricks to pit her against Frank. Defense attorney Mr. Katz (Michael Lerner) is able to use tricks to get an acquittal.

I find their relationship careening between love and hate too jarring. While I like the two leads, they have trouble maintaining the chemistry. The movie is trying to stuff a lot in. I can't blame it all on the movie for trying to cram the novel into the two hour movie. At times, the movie feels too abrupt. There is one major change for the ending that actually makes it less poetic.

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Intense sexual scene between Jack and Jessica! elizalisa
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