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The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)

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The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband.

Director:

Bob Rafelson

Writers:

James M. Cain (novel), David Mamet (screenplay)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jack Nicholson ... Frank Chambers
Jessica Lange ... Cora Papadakis
John Colicos ... Nick Papadakis
Michael Lerner ... Mr. Katz
John P. Ryan ... Kennedy
Anjelica Huston ... Madge
William Traylor William Traylor ... Sackett
Thomas Hill ... Barlow (as Tom Hill)
Jon Van Ness ... Motorcycle Cop
Brian Farrell Brian Farrell ... Mortenson
Raleigh Bond Raleigh Bond ... Insurance Salesman
William Newman ... Man from Home Town
Albert Henderson Albert Henderson ... Art Beeman
Ken Magee Ken Magee ... Scoutmaster
Eugene Peterson Eugene Peterson ... Doctor
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Storyline

This remake of the 1946 movie of the same name accounts an affair between a seedy drifter and a seductive wife of a roadside café owner. This begins a chain of events that culminates in murder. Written by Craig Clarke <clarkec@topaz.cqu.edu.au>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In the heat of passion two things can happen. The second is murder. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

West Germany | USA

Language:

English | Greek

Release Date:

20 March 1981 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El cartero llama dos veces See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$12,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$12,376,625

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$44,376,625
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This is one of two film versions of Cain's novel that is now owned by Warner Brothers Entertainment, which acquired the film through its 1989 purchase of Lorimar. Warner Brothers also owns the 1946 MGM version, which was part of the pre-1986 MGM library acquired by Turner Entertainment in 1986 (which merged with Warner Brothers in 1996). MGM was responsible for the first video release of the 1981 version, through its joint venture with CBS, MGM/CBS Home Video, which held the video rights to Lorimar's library at the time. When CBS left the MGM joint venture (reorganized as MGM/UA Home Video) to team up with 20th Century Fox, it took the Lorimar video rights with them. See more »

Goofs

In the ending scene, as Frank is caressing Cora's hand, Franks left foot is in between the rock and the hat, and Cora's hand is about a foot away from both. In the next shot, her hand, the rock, and the hat are right next to each other and Franks foot is gone. See more »

Quotes

Sackett: Spit on the sidewalk and you'll die in jail!
See more »

Alternate Versions

CBS edited 30 minutes from this film for its 1986 network television premiere. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Postman is right, the second time around
23 January 2004 | by jeffcoatSee all my reviews

Twice is nice. Hollywood had to try twice to get this story right. Lana Turner was beautiful in the 1946 version, but Jessica Lange was something to kill for opposite Jack Nicholson.

Such raw sensuality would easily persuade a man to lose his very soul. Nicholson's part is certainly unscrupulous to begin with, but in Jessica Lange he finds a confederate with even less scruples. The legal loose ends that dangled in the earlier version are avoided this time with a more plausible chain of events... and the story ends when the story ought to end, instead of being dragged on.

Wonderful character and situation development, intriguing and engaging, even when you know the story. Nice twists of the story from the Lana Turner and Italian ("Ossessione" 1943) versions.


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