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The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

Trailer
2:28 | Trailer
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

Drifter Frank Chambers arrives at a quiet California roadside restaurant where he meets and falls for drop-dead gorgeous Cora, the wife of restaurant owner Nick Smith. After weaseling his way into a job, the two begin a deadly love affair and cook up plans to end her marriage and start a new life together. After a few botched attempts at a clean break, they are forced to put their honeymoon on hold after being rerouted into the arms of a D.A. hot to convict and a corrupt lawyer with designs on Cora. Frank and Cora thought they packed just enough luck to avoid what should be unavoidable but the duo failed to account for the possible intervention of a formidable force that doesn't need a badge. Written by Mae Moreno

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

He had to have her love - if he hung for it! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Nick (Cecil Kellaway) drives a 1937 Plymouth; District Attorney Kyle Sackett drives a 1942 De Soto; the car Frank and Cora return from the beach in at the end of the film is a 1941 Ford. See more »

Goofs

The shadow of a jail bar falls on Frank's face differently between takes, showing that he had changed position. See more »

Quotes

Frank Chambers: You know, there's something about this that's like, well it's like you're expecting a letter that you're just crazy to get, and you're hanging around the front door for fear you might not hear him ring. You never realize that he always rings twice...
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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

Featured in Best! Movies! Ever!: Sex Scenes (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

There is a Tavern in the Town
(pub. 1883) (uncredited)
Traditional
Sung a cappella by Cecil Kellaway and John Garfield
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User Reviews

 
It Will Ring In A Sour View Of The Female Of The Species
27 July 2008 | by bkoganbingSee all my reviews

After looking at The Postman Always Rings Twice and comparing it with other works of James M. Cain, I'm walking away with the thought that the man must have been a misogynist. Though at this point in time Cain certainly was at the high point of his career. Imagine having back to back film successes with Double Indemnity, Mildred Pierce, and The Postman Always Rings Twice.

But what a view of women these films portray. The comparison with Double Indemnity and Postman is really almost too obvious. A weak and opportunistic man and a tramp of a wife drift into an affair and then they decide to kill the husband. And neither of them can live with the terrible secret of it all. They've even got the same kind of dogged gumshoe after them for Lana Turner and John Garfield it's District Attorney Leon Ames and Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray have Edward G. Robinson.

With Pierce though it's a little more difficult, but think of Ann Blyth's character as a Turner/Stanwyck in training. No doubt had she not done her foul deed early on in life she would have grown up to be the same kind of ice dame as these other two.

Lana Turner on a loan out from MGM plays for the first time a really bad girl, later on she would play more. Usually up to this time she played wholesome beauties kind of at variance with her private life. Maybe that's where the real acting came in for her. But you'd do just about anything to possess this one, even murder.

John Garfield was two films away from ending his long term Warner Brothers contract and certainly they gave him a good role to go out on. Originally the part was offered to Bogart, but it wouldn't have been good for the older Bogey who most would have seen as too street smart and not so hormone driven as Garfield.

Hume Cronyn has a neat role as a sleazy, but very effective defense attorney. One of the best roles of his early career.

The Postman Always Rings Twice is one great and sordid tale of murder and betrayal. Even operating within the Code it still conveys a really twisted view of humanity.

Courtesy of James M. Cain who probably didn't think too much of women in his view of the world.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

6 September 1946 (Australia) 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)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Western Electric Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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