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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:

The Book that Blazed to Best-Seller Fame! 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

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$5,086,000
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

According to Lana Turner, James M. Cain, author of the novel, invited her to lunch at Romanoff's and confessed he often imagined her as the perfect Cora. See more »

Goofs

The way Cora hugs Frank changes after the cop and DA look at the dead cat. 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...
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

Featured in The Best of Film Noir (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
books v. movies
7 May 2005 | by zygimantasSee all my reviews

Funny, the comment there about the title - it's the strangest part of the adaptation because at least it IS mentioned in the film, but nowhere in the book. It's an absolute mystery to me how this title made it through intact when great titles like "Farewell My Lovely" were dumbed down to "Murder My Sweet" for the sake of Hollywood audiences. James M. Cain originally submitted the story to Alfred Knopf with the title "BBQ" (which makes sense in context) and was asked to change it; he considered "Black Puma" and "The Devil's Checkbook" before settling on the mystifying title by which the novel and both adaptations are well known.

Anyway, I like the film and think it's a great straight adaptation of the book, though the dialogue in the beginning seems a bit hurried (for the sake of the quick establishment of character and story) - the book does a better job of painting the hobo/gypsy lifestyle Frank embraces, and I think it's pretty central to the eventual conflict between him and Cora, so it's a shame it wasn't better depicted in the film.

Lana Turner is good, but probably just a bit mis-cast - she's a little too "glamorous" for Cora, which is also established immediately in the famous opening shot of her legs and lipstick (in contrast to the book, where she was introduced in an apron, working hard for the business like she always says she wants to.)

One note for femme-fatale buffs: Cora and Nick in the film are surnamed "Smith," which in the book was Cora's maiden name. (Nick in the book was Greek - "Papadakis") Is this a statement on marriage in general, or perhaps a desire to eliminate the racial implications in what happens? Seems unlikely; it is what it is, for smarter people than me to unravel.

"So long mister, thanks for the ride!"


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