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The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

Not Rated | | Crime, Drama, Film-Noir | 14 October 1946 (Sweden)
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A married woman and a drifter fall in love, then plot to murder her husband.

Director:

Tay Garnett

Writers:

Harry Ruskin (screen play), Niven Busch (screen play) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Lana Turner ... Cora Smith
John Garfield ... Frank Chambers
Cecil Kellaway ... Nick Smith
Hume Cronyn ... Arthur Keats
Leon Ames ... Kyle Sackett
Audrey Totter ... Madge Gorland
Alan Reed ... Ezra Liam Kennedy
Jeff York ... Blair
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Storyline

Nick Smith, the middle-aged proprietor of a roadside restaurant, hires drifter Frank Chambers as a handyman. Frank eventually begins an affair with Nick's beautiful wife Cora, who talks Frank into helping her kill Nick, by "accident." But the best laid plans...... Written by Jim Beaver <jumblejim@prodigy.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He had to have your love...even if he hung for it! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 October 1946 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Bar-B-Q See more »

Filming Locations:

Laguna Beach, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,683,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$8,330,000, 31 December 1946

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,086,000, 31 December 1946
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Various treatments and scripts were submitted by M-G-M to the PCA between 1940 and 1945, and in May 1945, the PCA approved a revised temporary script. In an April 1946 New York Times article, James M. Cain notes that while some "details about sex were omitted," nothing else was changed in the story's adaptation to the screen to win the approval of the PCA. See more »

Goofs

Frank is twice positioned in the courtroom in the wheelchair. See more »

Quotes

Cora Smith: It's my wedding present to him, but the way he wears it, you'd think it was a noose around his neck.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Ending credits are shown over the hardcover book of the same name. See more »

Alternate Versions

Also available in a computer colorized version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bless This House: The Postman Always Moves Twice (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

She's Funny That Way
(1928) (uncredited)
Music by Neil Moret
Lyrics by Richard A. Whiting
Played on guitar and Sung by Cecil Kellaway
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Good Atmospheric Film-Noir With A Memorable Role For Lana Turner
20 December 2004 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

The good atmosphere and Lana Turner's memorable role make this a film-noir classic worth seeing. The story starts out to be relatively simple, allowing the cast and the atmosphere to carry it, and then heads through a series of twists and turns, picking up the pace as it goes along.

John Garfield and the supporting cast are solid, but it is Turner who really stands out and grabs the attention anytime she is on-screen. It's nothing against Garfield to say that in comparison he is almost just along for the ride, yet he does a creditable job and makes his character believable. The supporting cast helps out as well, with Cecil Kellaway on-target as Turner's oblivious husband, and Hume Cronyn likewise in good form as a conscience-free lawyer.

The story pulls you in slowly, and then has some good turns as it picks up steam towards the middle. There may be a couple of too-convenient plot developments, but otherwise it is well-written.

This classic version is quite a bit better than the early 1980s remake, which required little imagination to make or to watch. Turner's character and performance, in particular (aided by good camera work), demonstrate that the suggestive can be quite a bit more effective and memorable than the explicit.

"The Postman Always Rings Twice" has just about everything you could ask for in a film-noir. It's probably just a cut below the best of the genre, and still one of the movies that most fans of film-noir would not want to miss.


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