6.6/10
18,291
50 user 37 critic

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)

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

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(novel), (screenplay)
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4,226 ( 193)

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Cast

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

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 <clarkec@topaz.cqu.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

20 March 1981 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El cartero llama dos veces  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,376,625

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$44,376,625
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Apparently, James M. Cain's publishers kept Ossessione (1943), the second version of "The Postman Always Rings Twice", off American screens until 1976, which was only five years before this movie was released. See more »

Goofs

Modern-day paper currency is used in craps game set during Great Depression, instead of silver certificate dollar bills then in use. See more »

Quotes

Cora: You're scum, Frank!
[laughs]
Cora: I knew that when I met you... You'll never change.
See more »

Connections

Version of Puissance de la parole (1988) See more »

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User Reviews

 
My big fat Greek murder
4 July 2011 | by See all my reviews

A travesty of a fiasco of a disaster. A simply awful 80's remake of one of the toughest, sexiest and above all best acted noir thrillers. Yes, I know Garfield and Turner would be hard to beat but Nicholson and Lange aren't even in the race. You can see old lumbering Jack thinking his lines before he speaks them, while Ms Lange's acting goes right off the scale, rarely to return.

The film has no pacing to speak of and no dramatic arc at any point in the story. It also makes unaccountable narrative jumps which if I hadn't seen the original would have made little or no sense at all. Then there's the downbeat epilogue the point of which I'm still trying to fathom, right alongside Angelica Huston's appearance (I won't elevate it to cameo status) as, get this, a circus lion-tamer who promptly beds the errant Jack before depositing her pet puma on Lange (no, I don't know why either).

As for the infamous sex-scene on the kitchen table, it comes out of nowhere with no hint of sexual chemistry between the couple beforehand and I found the fact that Nicholson pretty much half-rapes Lange to make his point, as offensive as it was gratuitous. As for Lange's dimwitted husband, Nick, he leaves no impression at all so that you don't care when he meets his end at the lovers' hands.

I've rarely seen such a poorly edited, acted and scripted so-called major Hollywood movie. Without trying to be too much the Minister for The Bleeding Obvious, by-pass this mess in favour of the black and white original every time.


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