7.7/10
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109 user 42 critic

Il Postino: The Postman (1994)

Il postino (original title)
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Simple Italian postman learns to love poetry while delivering mail to a famous poet; he uses this to woo local beauty Beatrice.

Writers:

Antonio Skármeta (novel), Furio Scarpelli (story) | 6 more credits »
Won 1 Oscar. Another 30 wins & 17 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Philippe Noiret ... Pablo Neruda
Massimo Troisi ... Mario Ruoppolo
Maria Grazia Cucinotta ... Beatrice Russo
Renato Scarpa ... Telegrapher
Linda Moretti Linda Moretti ... Donna Rosa
Sergio Solli Sergio Solli
Carlo Di Maio Carlo Di Maio
Nando Neri Nando Neri
Vincenzo Di Sauro Vincenzo Di Sauro
Orazio Stracuzzi
Alfredo Cozzolino Alfredo Cozzolino
Mariano Rigillo Mariano Rigillo ... Di Cosimo
Anna Bonaiuto ... Matilde
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Storyline

Pablo Neruda, the famous Chilean poet, is exiled to a small island for political reasons. On the island, the unemployed son of a poor fisherman is hired as an extra postman due to the huge increase in mail that this causes. Il Postino is to hand-deliver the celebrity's mail to him. Though poorly educated, the postman learns to love poetry and eventually befriends Neruda. Struggling to grow and express himself more fully, he suddenly falls in love and needs Neruda's help and guidance more than ever. Written by Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

postman | poetry | island | poet | bicycle | See All (23) »

Taglines:

An irresistable treat about love, letters, and laughter! See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for mild thematic elements | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site

Country:

Italy | France | Belgium

Language:

Italian | Spanish

Release Date:

22 March 1996 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Il Postino See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$234,643, 20 September 1996

Gross USA:

$21,848,932

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$54,900,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby | Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Massimo Troisi was so weak that it was only possible for him to work for about an hour each day. Most of his scenes were shot in one or two takes. A shooting schedule was designed to allow the film to be shot around him. This was aided greatly by the fact his stand-in bore such a striking resemblance to Troisi. He was used for all back to camera, long/medium shots and most of the bicycle riding sequences. Director Michael Radford has said that watching the film after it was cut together even he was unable to tell the difference between the two men. See more »

Quotes

Pablo Neruda: We poets are all fat.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Mafia! (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Madreselva
Written by Francisco Canaro (as F. Canaro) and Luis César Amadori (as L.C. Amadori)
Performed by Carlos Gardel
Courtesy of E. Musical Pirovano
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Ah, Love!
19 March 2001 | by jhcluesSee all my reviews

With the possible exception of Shakespeare, perhaps, who can explain matters of the heart? For love can be that most elusive of butterflies, as a smitten young man discovers in 'Il Postino,' directed by Michael Radford. There's a bit of 'Cyrano' in this tale of Mario Ruoppolo (Massimo Troisi), a somewhat unprepossessing part time mailman (he has but one customer) who falls for a local beauty, Beatrice (Maria Grazia Cucinotta), but has no idea how to pursue the longings of his heart. But as luck would have it, Mario's customer just happens to be Pablo Neruda (Philippe Noiret), a South American expatriate who is also a world renown poet recently exiled to this small island off the coast of Italy. Not wanting to make a pest of himself, Mario only very gradually strikes up an acquaintance with Neruda, while his love for Beatrice goes unrequited. Once Neruda is apprised of Mario's situation however, he begins to instruct him in the art of regarding the world around him in terms of metaphor, as well as how to thus express himself. Soon Mario is composing poetry of his own, with hopes of not only attracting Beatrice's attention, but of winning her heart.

It's a warm and touching story that plays to the heart, rather than the intellect, and will capture you with it's humanity. There is nothing singular about Mario; he is nondescript, just an average guy, and it illustrates that common bond among us all, that of having wants and needs to be expressed and fulfilled-- especially with regards to matters of the heart-- for as Mario discovers, love knows no boundaries.

Troisi gives a strong performance as Mario, but is almost too retiring to be effective, though his character contrasts well with that of Noiret's Neruda, whose zest for life is more readily apparent. Still, it's that underplayed sense of the 'Everyman' that Troisi conveys so well that allows the audience to relate to him. Anyone who has ever yearned for the affections of that special someone will be able to identify with Mario. Ironically, it's his benign manner that makes him-- as contradictory as it may seem-- so memorable and forgettable at the same time, perhaps depending upon the emotional investment the individual viewer is disposed to make. As the poet Neruda, Noiret gives a notable performance, lending the character the sense of one who has known celebrity, yet is nonetheless still somewhat accessible. And in him you can readily perceive a true poetic nature-- though somewhat self-centered-- which gives the character credibility and makes him real.

The supporting cast includes Linda Moretti (Donna Rosa), Renato Scarpa (Telegrapher), Mariano Rigillo (Di Cosimo) and Anna Bonaiuto (Matilde). A romantic film in every sense of the word, 'Il Postino' nevertheless transcends the romantic and takes a somewhat anticlimactic turn that encompasses loyalty and passion to a cause, as well as love. In the end, it's a lyrical, pacific film that seeks to discern the beauty in all things, and certainly makes a statement about the nature of life and love. I rate this one 7/10.


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