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The Postman (1997)

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.

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

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Cast

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Storyline

2013,Post-Apocalyptic America. An unnamed wanderer retrieves a Postman's uniform and undelivered bag of mail. He decides to pose as a postman and deliver the mail to a nearby town, bluffing that the United States government has been reinstated and tricking the town into feeding him. However, he reluctantly becomes a symbol of hope to the townspeople there who begin to remember the world that once was and giving them the courage to stand up to a tyrannical warlord and his army.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

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

Taglines:

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 »

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Details

Official Sites:

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Release Date:

25 December 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El mensajero  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$5,260,324 (USA) (28 December 1997)

Gross:

$17,626,234 (USA)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

On his personal website, author David Brin reveals that while studios were bidding for the book, his wife decided during a screening of Field of Dreams (1989) that Kevin Costner should portray The Postman. Brin agreed that the emotions evoked by that film matched the message he intended to deliver with his novel. A decade later, after learning Costner would be cast as the lead, Brin said he was "thrilled". See more »

Goofs

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 »

Quotes

Irene March: [to the Postman] You're a godsend. A savior!
The Postman: No, I'm... I'm just the Postman.
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Soundtracks

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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Well... I am glad to see that I am not the only person who liked this film
19 February 2000 | by (Storrs, CT) – See all my reviews

I truly do NOT understand why The Postman was attacked as viscously as it was by the film media (there films much more worthy of the Golden Raspberry Awards in 1997). I loved this film and was very impressed with the loving amount of dedication that it demonstrates on the part of the actors, writers and director. This was a GOOD movie: it had a strong and intelligent story; excellent and interesting characters; and real feel for the post-Apocalypse genre. I felt that Kevin Costner's everyman act worked beautifully in this film and created a sense of reality for the character and of his situation.

As far as the sci-fi novel by David Brin, this film exceeded it in every way possible. Where Brin had to rely on cheezy sci-fi standards (like supersoldiers) to resolve his story, this film does using only two men, both frauds, and both with radically different understandings of what constitutes a proper society. That is what made this film great (and I rarely use the term great), that this film was essentially an examination of America and what America means. It was a parable of sorts about the types of men Americans are and what they are capable of (notice that the head bad-guy had a traditional, classical education, while Costner did not; he appreciated these things but they were not at the center of his belief system... I wonder why).

While I do not agree with every aspect of this film (I am a Medievalist and a Platonist, so I don't necessarily feel the same way about the Western Canon that the film-maker may have), I still find it to be a beautiful reflection on the psyche of the American everyman. America has a tradition of rejecting the absolutist ideals of the past in favor of the pragmatic relativism of today, and I think that this film is a parable of the divorce of America from the traditions of Europe.

Overall, this is a complex and entertaining film and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in examinations of American culture and tradition, perhaps as a double feature with Citizen Cane (I am not, however, claiming that the Postman was as good a film as Citizen Cane, only that they have a similar theme... what does it mean to be an American?).


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