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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.

Director:

Kevin Costner

Writers:

David Brin (novel), Eric Roth (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Popularity
3,628 ( 109)
7 wins & 7 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Kevin Costner ... The Postman
Will Patton ... General Bethlehem
Larenz Tate ... Ford Lincoln Mercury
Olivia Williams ... Abby
James Russo ... Idaho
Daniel von Bargen ... Pineview Sheriff Briscoe
Tom Petty ... Bridge City Mayor
Scott Bairstow ... Luke
Giovanni Ribisi ... Bandit 20
Roberta Maxwell ... Irene March
Joe Santos ... Colonel Getty
Ron McLarty ... Old George
Peggy Lipton ... Ellen March
Brian Anthony Wilson ... Woody
Todd Allen ... Gibbs
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

It is 2013. War has crippled the Earth. Technology has been erased. Our only hope is an unlikely hero. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and some sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros.

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 December 1997 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El mensajero See more »

Filming Locations:

Amado, Arizona, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$80,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

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

Gross USA:

$17,626,234
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Tom Petty was born in 1950 and was 47 when he filmed his scenes in the film. In 2013 (The year the film is set in) Tom Petty is 63 years old. See more »

Goofs

As The Postman and General Bethlehem are starting their parley in the climactic scene, a cameraman and camera are visible on the rock face behind the General. See more »

Quotes

General Bethlehem: Great men were made by other great men. Patton had Rommel. Grant had Lee!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Hard Knuckle (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

It Will Happen Naturally
Written by Maria Machado and Jono Manson
Produced and Performed by Jono Manson
Courtesy of Paradigm Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Well... I am glad to see that I am not the only person who liked this film
19 February 2000 | by A-Ron-2See all my reviews

I truly do NOT understand why The Postman was attacked as viscously as it was by the film media (there films much more worthy of the Golden Raspberry Awards in 1997). I loved this film and was very impressed with the loving amount of dedication that it demonstrates on the part of the actors, writers and director. This was a GOOD movie: it had a strong and intelligent story; excellent and interesting characters; and real feel for the post-Apocalypse genre. I felt that Kevin Costner's everyman act worked beautifully in this film and created a sense of reality for the character and of his situation.

As far as the sci-fi novel by David Brin, this film exceeded it in every way possible. Where Brin had to rely on cheezy sci-fi standards (like supersoldiers) to resolve his story, this film does using only two men, both frauds, and both with radically different understandings of what constitutes a proper society. That is what made this film great (and I rarely use the term great), that this film was essentially an examination of America and what America means. It was a parable of sorts about the types of men Americans are and what they are capable of (notice that the head bad-guy had a traditional, classical education, while Costner did not; he appreciated these things but they were not at the center of his belief system... I wonder why).

While I do not agree with every aspect of this film (I am a Medievalist and a Platonist, so I don't necessarily feel the same way about the Western Canon that the film-maker may have), I still find it to be a beautiful reflection on the psyche of the American everyman. America has a tradition of rejecting the absolutist ideals of the past in favor of the pragmatic relativism of today, and I think that this film is a parable of the divorce of America from the traditions of Europe.

Overall, this is a complex and entertaining film and I highly recommend it to anyone interested in examinations of American culture and tradition, perhaps as a double feature with Citizen Cane (I am not, however, claiming that the Postman was as good a film as Citizen Cane, only that they have a similar theme... what does it mean to be an American?).


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