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The Postman (1997)

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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 »
2,797 ( 79)
7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Bandit 20
Colonel Getty


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) »


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 USA:

$5,260,324, 28 December 1997, Wide Release

Gross USA:

See more on IMDbPro »

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 »


When Ford-Lincoln-Mercury and the postal carrier from California (Clark) are about to be executed, and Ford introduces himself, we flash to a distance shot, in which we see Clark remove his hat. We then flash to a closeup, and Clark removes his hat again. See more »


Old George: [while talking with the Postman] I was an aerospace engineer. I helped design the Galileo space station. I dream it's orbiting Earth forever, with a dozen human skeletons all grinning at each other. Laughing at us down here.
See more »


Referenced in Saturday Night Live: Jon Lovitz/Jane's Addiction (1997) See more »


It Will Happen Naturally
Written by Maria Machado and Jono Manson
Produced and Performed by Jono Manson
Courtesy of Paradigm Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Very unfairly treated movie
17 February 2003 | by See all my reviews

I know a lot of people hated this movie. I know why. It is a little saccharine in places and yes, it is not always believeable. But this is one of the few time a screenplay is better than the book it was based on. This film always fills me with such positive energy and hope. it is funny in places, sad in places, tragic and action-packed in places. Costner plays Eric with such a fresh attitude, and you can almost hear the voices in the characters head pulling his loyalties. The cast is perfect and in many places the cinamatography is sublime. The cross cuts are so clever it made my eyes ache with envy that i didnt think of them and the action sequences are fast and timed to perfection. this remains one of my favourite films and in all honesty people should give it a little more respect. no matter what you think of the script and characterisation technicly this film is top draw. Sets, locations, effects and design grab you by the hand and take you someplace you actually want to go. i would much rather make and see films like this than dross like 'chaicago' and 'moulin rouge'. this is a film for grownups with a bit of imagination and respect for the film makers art.

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