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A nameless drifter dons a postman's uniform and bag of mail as he begins a quest to inspire hope to the survivors living in post-apocalyptic America.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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7 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:


In the year 2013 civilization has all but destroyed itself. After a war that decimated the government and most of the population of the United States (possibly the world) people struggle to survive against starvation and rogue groups of armed men. One such group is called the Wholeness. This group is bigger than any other and their leader, General Bethlehem, has delusions of ruling the country. A drifter is captured by the group and forced to join. He escapes at the first chance and happens on a mail jeep with a skeleton in it. The skeleton is wearing a postal uniform and the drifter takes it to keep him warm. He also finds a mailbag and starts conning people with old letters. The hope he sees in the people he delivers to changes his plans and he decides that he must help bring the Holnists down. Written by <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

drifter | hope | escape | postman | usa | See All (144) »


The year is 2013. One man walked in off the horizon and hope came with him. See more »

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

25 December 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Postman  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,260,324 (USA) (26 December 1997)


$17,593,391 (USA) (13 February 1998)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Visual effects supervisor Tricia Henry Ashford was fired several weeks before the end of production and replaced by storyboard artist David J. Negron Jr.. This was reportedly due to various "creative differences" between her and Kevin Costner; she wanted most of the effects to be done in post-production, while Costner wanted them to be done in-camera and on-location. See more »


As The Postman and General Bethlehem are starting their parley in the climactic scene, a cameraman and camera are visible on the rock face behind the General. See more »


The Postman: Once more into the breach, my friends, once more. We'll close the wall with our dead. In peace, nothing so becomes a man as modesty and humility, but when the blast of war blows in our ears, then imitate the action of the tiger, summon up the blood, disguise fair nature with rage and lend the eye a terrible aspect.
See more »


This Perfect World
Written by John Coinman and Glenn Burke
Produced by Jono Manson
Performed by John Coinman
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Bum Rap
10 August 1998 | by (Miami, FL) – See all my reviews

I found the movie to be better than anticipated (perhaps because I feared the worst, thanks to all the "anti"hype). Costner did a great job transforming a hokey script into an attractive film. It's use of symbolism and Shakespearian references were well placed, though seemingly not accepted. This only strengthens the fact that movies "wax too philosophical" for the general audience, especially an American audience which usually can't handle any movie beyond 1 and a half hours. This is why the Action genre is so popular while the Epic genre sees a rare release. Also, Great scenery and camera work help the story along, not to mention good acting. In its roots, Postman is an old fashioned movie without the heavy, overdone special effects we badly crave(Armaggedon, Starship Troopers). The Postman is merely a metaphor for strength, courage and conviction. The movie could have been about "The Cook" and still work as well. Shame on Hollywood for trashing such a great star!! (lest we forget the references to "Kevin's Gate" during DANCES WITH WOLVES, The negative buzz surrounding ROBIN HOOD, and even WATER WORLD.) Movies that went on to become hits!!

81 of 122 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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