The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  20 March 1981 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 15,819 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?


David Mamet's first screenplay. See more »


When Frank and Cora attempt to leave for Chicago, a portion of a modern skyscraper is clearly visible at the top of the frame as they cross the street. 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 »


Referenced in Bones: The Gamer in the Grease (2009) See more »

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User Reviews

She's tired of what's right and what's wrong...
27 April 2006 | by (Boston, MA) – See all my reviews

Immensely watchable, this remake of the 1940s classic is sexed up by writer David Mamet and director Bob Rafelson. Jack Nicholson is a drifter who ingratiates himself into the lives of roadside diner/gas station owner John Colicos and his impossibly sexy wife Jessica Lange. Soon Lange and Nicholson are having sex EVERYWHERE...and plotting to bump off Colicos. Aided by great cinematography by Sven Nykvist and very evocative production design by George Jenkins, Rafelson manages to capture James M. Cain's ironic novel and all it's sordidness. Nicholson is terrific but Lange gives a career making performance...this is the movie that put her on the map after the KING KONG debacle. There are times when she acts Nicholson off the screen. Colicos is fine, if a bit old for his role and Michael Lerner is in it too. Anjelica Huston has a really odd cameo as a lion tamer!

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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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