7.5/10
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146 user 71 critic

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)

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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:

James M. Cain's sultry novel of love and violence! See more »


Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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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)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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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

The $10,000 life insurance is equal to about $131,000 in 2019. See more »

Goofs

Frank takes off his tie after getting married, but it is back on at the train station. See more »

Quotes

Frank Chambers: I can sell anything to anybody.
Cora Smith: That's what you think.
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 A Slight Case of Murder (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

Garfield and Turner are terrific...steamy version of the James M. Cain novel is still the best...
16 April 2001 | by DoylenfSee all my reviews

Someone previously questioned the meaning of the title. In my view, it refers to the double twist imposed on the story's ending by the author--especially once the legal wrangling between opposing lawyers (near the conclusion) is exposed. Then, finally, after winning a victory of sorts, the unexpected happens--thus, the irony of the title. Anyway, this is as good as it gets--you won't find a better version of this story than this 1946 film. I'm always amused to read that someone on these posts "never looks at black-and-white films", a total putdown of all the great classics that came before color was even possible. How dumb can you get? For fans of complex, hard-bitten murder yarns with gritty background and suspense that tightens slowly like a knot, this is for you. Watch as the two leads get more and more entangled in their own web of deception and lies. Turner established herself as a strong actress who could play a role to the hilt when she identified with it. Garfield, of course, was always at his best in tough guy roles. Watch for my article on Lana Turner in an upcoming issue of FILMS OF THE GOLDEN AGE--much of the inspiration for it came from this particular film noir.


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