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The Postman Always Rings Twice

The movie The Postman Always Rings Twice was based on the book The Postman Always Rings Twice.

Which one did you like better, the movie or the book?  Right now there are 4 votes for the book, and 2 votes for the movie.

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Movie details for The Postman Always Rings Twice

The movie was released in 1981 and directed by Tay Garnett and David Heeley. The Postman Always Rings Twice was produced by Warner Home Video. More information on the movie is available on Amazon.com and also IMDb.

Actors on this movie include Lana Turner, John Garfield, Cecil Kellaway, Hume Cronyn, Leon Ames, Audrey Totter, Alan Reed, Jeff York, Brick Sullivan, Edward Sherrod, Paul Bradley, Walter Ridge, John Alban, Howard M. Mitchell, Jeffrey Sayre, Bud Harrison, Wally Cassell, Helen McLeod, William Halligan and Virginia L. Randolph (II).

 

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Even under the heavy censorship of 1946 Hollywood, Lana Turner and John Garfield's libidinous desires burn up the screen in Tay Garnett's adaptation of James M. Cain's torrid crime melodrama. Platinum blond Turner is Cora, a restless sexpot stuck in a roa... Read More
Even under the heavy censorship of 1946 Hollywood, Lana Turner and John Garfield's libidinous desires burn up the screen in Tay Garnett's adaptation of James M. Cain's torrid crime melodrama. Platinum blond Turner is Cora, a restless sexpot stuck in a roadside diner married to mundane middle-aged fry cook Nick Smith (Cecil Kellaway) when handsome drifter Frank (Garfield) blows her way. It's lust at first sight, a rapacious desire that neither can break off, and before long they're plotting his demise--but in the wicked world of Cain nothing is that easy. Garnett's visual approach is subdued compared to the more expressionistic film noir of the period, but he's at no loss when he films the luminous Turner in her milky-white wardrobe. She radiates repressed sexuality and uncontrollable passion while Garfield's smart-talking loner Frank mixes street-smart swagger and scrappy toughness with vulnerability and sincere intensity. Costar Hume Cronyn cuts a cold, calculating figure as their conniving lawyer, a chilly character that only increases our feelings for the murderous couple, victims of an all consuming amour fou that drives their passions to extremes. --Sean Axmaker

Book details for The Postman Always Rings Twice

The Postman Always Rings Twice was written by James M. Cain. The book was published in 1934 by Grosset & Dunlap. More information on the book is available on Amazon.com.

James M. Cain also wrote Butterfly (1946) and The Enchanted Isle (1985).

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Penzler Pick, April 2000: It is sometimes easy to trace a literary genre to its source, and James M. Cain's first novel, The Postman Always Rings Twice, is the noir novel that paved the way for all the noir fiction that followed. The famous film starring ... Read More
Penzler Pick, April 2000: It is sometimes easy to trace a literary genre to its source, and James M. Cain's first novel, The Postman Always Rings Twice, is the noir novel that paved the way for all the noir fiction that followed. The famous film starring Lana Turner and John Garfield is notoriously dark, but the novel is even more full of despair and devoid of hope. It is a short book--little more than a novella--but its searing characterization and depiction of tawdry greed and lust is branded into every reader's memory.

Frank Chambers, a drifter, is dropped from the back of a truck at a rundown rural diner. When he spots Cora, the owner's wife, he instantly decides to stay. The sexy young woman, married to Nick, a violent and thuggish boor, is equally attracted to the younger man and sees him as her way out of her hopeless, boring life. They begin a clandestine affair and plot to kill Nick, beginning their own journey toward destruction.

Horace McCoy, David Goodis, Jim Thompson, and the other notable noir writers never achieved Cain's spare brilliance. Virtually all of his major works have been filmed, though several Hollywood studios refused to make the films, directors refused to be involved, and actors turned down roles because of their repugnance at the lack of morality inherent in all Cain's characters. Reading him may not be fit for a Sunday school class, but once you begin you will be unable to resist continuing, like picking at a painful scab or watching a tarantula inside a glass dome. --Otto Penzler