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The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981 film)

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Director  Bob Rafelson
Initial DVD release  August 20, 1997
Language  English
6.6/10 IMDb

Genre  Crime, Drama, Thriller
Music director  Michael Small
Country  United StatesWest Germany
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981 film) movie poster

Release date  March 20, 1981 (1981-03-20)
Based on  The Postman Always Rings Twice by James M. Cain
Writer  James M. Cain (novel), David Mamet (screenplay)
Cast  Jack Nicholson (Frank Chambers), Jessica Lange (Cora Papadakis), John Colicos (Nick Papadakis), Michael Lerner (Mr. Katz), Anjelica Huston (Madge), John P. Ryan (Kennedy)
Similar movies  Unlawful Entry, Mad Max: Fury Road, Jamon Jamon, Sea of Love, The Voyeur, Blackhat
Tagline  You Will Feel The Heat

The postman always rings twice 1981 say you won t leave available now

The Postman Always Rings Twice is a 1981 American-German film adaptation of the 1934 novel of the same name by James M. Cain. The film was produced by Lorimar in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and originally released theatrically in North America by Paramount Pictures. This version, based on a screenplay by David Mamet and directed by Bob Rafelson, starred Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange. The film was shot in Santa Barbara, California.


The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981 film) movie scenes


The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981 film) movie scenes

Frank Chambers (Jack Nicholson) a drifter, stops at a rural California diner for a meal and ends up working there. The diner is operated by a young, beautiful woman, Cora Smith (Jessica Lange), and her much older husband, Nick Papadakis (John Colicos), who is an immigrant from Greece.

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981 film) movie scenes

Frank and Cora start to have an affair soon after they meet. Cora is tired of her situation, married to a man she does not love, and working at a diner that she wishes to own and improve. She and Frank scheme to murder Nick to start a new life together without her losing the diner. Their first attempt at the murder is a failure, but they eventually succeed.

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981 film) movie scenes

The local prosecutor suspects what has actually occurred but does not have enough evidence to prove it. As a tactic intended to get Cora and Frank to turn on one another, he tries only Cora for the crime.

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981 film) movie scenes

Although they turn against each other, a clever ploy from Cora's lawyer, Katz (Michael Lerner), prevents Cora's full confession from coming into the hands of the prosecutor. With the tactic having failed to generate any new evidence for the prosecution, Cora benefits from a deal in which she pleads guilty to manslaughter and is sentenced to probation.

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981 film) movie scenes

Months later, Frank has an affair with Madge Gorland (Anjelica Huston) while Cora is out of town. When Cora returns, she announces she is pregnant. That night, Katz's assistant, Kennedy (John P. Ryan), appears at their door and threatens to expose them unless they give him $10,000. Enraged, Frank beats Kennedy up and strong-arms him into giving up the evidence against them.

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981 film) movie scenes

When Frank returns, he finds that Madge has been to see Cora, who threatens to turn him in. They eventually patch together their tumultuous relationship and now plan for a future together. However, just as they seem to be prepared for a new life together, Cora dies in a car accident while Frank is driving. Frank weeps over Cora's body.


The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981 film) movie scenes

  • Jack Nicholson – Frank Chambers
  • Jessica Lange – Cora Smith/Papadakis
  • John Colicos – Nick Papadakis
  • Michael Lerner – Mr. Katz
  • John P. Ryan – Ezra Liam Kennedy
  • Anjelica Huston – Madge Gorland
  • William Traylor – Kyle Sackett
  • Ron Flagge – Shoeshine Man
  • William Newman – Man from Home Town
  • Chuck Liddell – Boy Scout
  • Albert Henderson – Art Beeman
  • Christopher Lloyd – Salesman
  • Soundtrack

    On May 14, 2012 Intrada Records released Michael Small's complete score for the first time.

    Release and reception

    The film was screened out of competition at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival. Upon release, the film was poorly received by many critics, who felt that the remake was wasted. They also believed the ending was "very weak" compared to the original film. They also criticized the fact that the meaning of the title is not explained in the remake, which can lead to confusion among viewers. Jack Nicholson later said "If you ran a question through this industry about The Postman Always Rings Twice, most people would surmise that it wasn’t successful. That is not true. I know it made money, because I received overages, so it must’ve grossed about as much as Chinatown and much more than Carnal Knowledge. But people are anxious to disqualify it."

    The film has since been received more favorably; it scores an 83% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with 10 positive reviews and two negative. Kerry Segrave and Linda Martin praised the "charged chemistry" between Nicholson and Lange, and stated that Nicholson admitted that he was smitten with his co-star, remarking that she was a "big consensus movie sex bomb". The film was nominated by the American Film Institute in 2002 for the AFI's 100 Years...100 Passions list.


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