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:

Lana Turner. John Garfield. M-G-Marvelous! 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

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

The strain of waiting for the fog to lift caused Tay Garnett, who had suffered from drinking problems in the past, to fall off the wagon. Garnett holed himself up in his hotel room, where nobody could get him to stop drinking. Concerned about rumours that he was going to be replaced, John Garfield and Lana Turner decided to visit him on their own. Garfield could get nowhere with him, but Turner managed to convince him to go back to Los Angeles for treatment. When he returned a week later, the fog lifted, and they all went back to work. See more »

Goofs

In the first scene in the new beer garden after the trial, Frank is shown holding a tray with 3 glasses on it, except he is holding the tray at such an angle that the glasses would obviously slide off if they weren't glued in place. See more »

Quotes

Cora Smith: It's my wedding present to him, but the way he wears it, you'd think it was a noose around his neck.
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

Referenced in Sandy Wexler (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

She's Funny That Way
(1928) (uncredited)
Music by Neil Moret
Lyrics by Richard A. Whiting
Played on guitar and Sung by Cecil Kellaway
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Good Atmospheric Film-Noir With A Memorable Role For Lana Turner
20 December 2004 | by Snow LeopardSee all my reviews

The good atmosphere and Lana Turner's memorable role make this a film-noir classic worth seeing. The story starts out to be relatively simple, allowing the cast and the atmosphere to carry it, and then heads through a series of twists and turns, picking up the pace as it goes along.

John Garfield and the supporting cast are solid, but it is Turner who really stands out and grabs the attention anytime she is on-screen. It's nothing against Garfield to say that in comparison he is almost just along for the ride, yet he does a creditable job and makes his character believable. The supporting cast helps out as well, with Cecil Kellaway on-target as Turner's oblivious husband, and Hume Cronyn likewise in good form as a conscience-free lawyer.

The story pulls you in slowly, and then has some good turns as it picks up steam towards the middle. There may be a couple of too-convenient plot developments, but otherwise it is well-written.

This classic version is quite a bit better than the early 1980s remake, which required little imagination to make or to watch. Turner's character and performance, in particular (aided by good camera work), demonstrate that the suggestive can be quite a bit more effective and memorable than the explicit.

"The Postman Always Rings Twice" has just about everything you could ask for in a film-noir. It's probably just a cut below the best of the genre, and still one of the movies that most fans of film-noir would not want to miss.


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