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The Postman (1997)

R  |   |  Action, Adventure, Drama  |  25 December 1997 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 53,208 users   Metascore: 29/100
Reviews: 372 user | 77 critic | 14 from Metacritic.com

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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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 Holnists. 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 <KingVegeta8@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

drifter | hope | escape | postman | revolt | See All (138) »


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)


£198,021 (UK) (20 February 1998)

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


One of the films playing on the movie screen at the Army Camp is "She Wore a Yellow Ribbon". See more »


The main character assumes his role because he found an old abandoned mail truck containing the remains of a long dead mailman and pilfered the uniform from the skeleton. The problem here is the condition of the clothing he takes. When a person dies, the body goes through many stages of decomposition on its way to being merely a skeleton. As the tissues break down, many chemicals and enzymes are released, including the hydrochloric acid of the digestive system. In the final stages of decomposition, this is referred to as liquefacation or liquiescence. Given enough time and a suitable environment this combination of byproducts, with the addition of the bacteria that will inevitably emerge, would make any cloth or fabric (with the exception of treated leather products) not only disgustingly filthy, but also so weakened from exposure to what amounts to a corrosive liquid, that the fibers would tear apart from any stresses put on them. Even the act of taking the jacket off of the remains (and certainly that of putting the jacket on himself) would have pulled the fabric apart. See more »


[Hours after The Postman arrived in town, a woman has asked to have his child]
The Postman: It's gotta be the uniform.
See more »


Referenced in Brooklyn Nine-Nine: USPIS (2014) See more »


You Didn't Have To Be So Nice
Written by John Sebastian and Steve Boone
Produced and Performed by Jono Manson
Courtesy of Paradigm Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

First of all...I liked it...I really did!
13 February 2000 | by (Milwaukee Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

First of all...I liked it...I really did! It is a film by Kevin Costner, starring Kevin Costner, surrounds Kevin Costner's character, and a movie that is simply...Kevin Costner. But if you liked Kevin Costner in such films as "Dances With Wolves", "Robin Hood", "The Bodyguard", and even slightly in "Waterworld", then you will like this film. I know it is three hours long (I got refills on both the popcorn and super-size soda and still ran out), but I didn't find it as unbearable as those less-than-perfect-movie-critics have claimed. I found the time to go by quite like you would expect three hours to go by and didn't find myself being bored or dozing off. Yes, the story line was a bit predictable and Kevin played the reluctant hero that he is known for...but I liked it. Bottom line...if you want to do something nice for your postman, tell them you are going to go see the film in their honor...because like their motto says...not rain, nor shine, nor sleet, nor nothing...not even the lack of being a country will stop the mail from getting through.

60 of 80 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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