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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.



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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:

El mensajero  »

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:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

| |


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the sequence where Kevin Costner's character names Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) as President, he continues with another reference to The Beatles by telling the assembly "It's getting better. Getting better all the time" from the band's song "Getting Better". 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 »


Luke: The General is a great man!
Postman: [incredulous] The General is a fucking lunatic!
See more »


Referenced in Movie Stars: Mothers & Brothers (1999) See more »


Almost Home
Written, Produced and Performed by Jono Manson
Courtesy of Paradigm Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Don't listen to it's critics, see the movie for yourself and come to your own conclusions.
20 September 2003 | by (Brooklyn NY USA) – See all my reviews

A Far better movie then it's critics make it out to be. "The Postman" is a good solid film about the end of the world and the chaos and confusion that follows with the unwitting soul that destiny choose to bring those who survived the apocalypse back to a better life and promising future.

Corny yes but in a positive and constructive sort of way. With the cast of Kevin Costner on down giving the film the sort of believability that you just don't see in most of the "End of he World" movies that have been projected on the silver screen since "Things to Come" back in 1936.

"The Postman" unlike most "End of the world" movies carries through the entire movie, which is almost three hours long, a positive and uplifting theme that you rarely get to see in these type of films. The ending of the film, call it corny it you will, was really moving without being obnoxious like it could have been had it been made by a lesser talent then Kevin Costner.

181 of 229 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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