The Postman Always Rings Twice

( 7 )

Overview

James M. Cain's novel received its first authorized screen treatment in this MGM production. Drifter Frank Chambers John Garfield takes a job at a roadhouse run by slovenly but likeable Nick Smith Cecil Kellaway. Nick's sexy young wife Cora Lana Turner takes an immediate liking to Frank, but he senses that she's trouble and he keeps his distance--for a while, anyway. Inevitably succumbing to Cora's tawdry charms, Frank enters into her scheme to murder Nick and claim the old boy's insurance money. Not long after ...
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Overview

James M. Cain's novel received its first authorized screen treatment in this MGM production. Drifter Frank Chambers John Garfield takes a job at a roadhouse run by slovenly but likeable Nick Smith Cecil Kellaway. Nick's sexy young wife Cora Lana Turner takes an immediate liking to Frank, but he senses that she's trouble and he keeps his distance--for a while, anyway. Inevitably succumbing to Cora's tawdry charms, Frank enters into her scheme to murder Nick and claim the old boy's insurance money. Not long after committing the foul deed, Frank and Cora are arrested. Thanks to the conniving of slimy attorney Arthur Keats Hume Cronyn, the illicit lovers are able to beat the murder rap--but, as the film's title symbolically indicates, they eventually pay for their misdeeds in an unexpected manner. Fans of the James M. Cain original--not to mention Cain himself--were aghast at the changes made in the novel by screenwriters Harry Ruskin and Niven Busch; many of the alterations were made to conform with censorship standards of the era, while others simply existed to massage the egos of the stars. Even so, the 1946 version of The Postman Always Rings Twice is infinitely more satisfying than the no-holds-barred 1981 remake, directed by Bob Rafelson with Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange.
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Special Features

Introduction by Richard Jewell; Lana Turner...A Daughter's Memoir; The John Garfield Story; Phantoms, Inc.; Red Hot Riding Hood; Screen Guild Theater Broadcast; Theatrical Trailer
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Dan Jardine
A classic 1940s film noir, The Postman Always Rings Twice is shot through with an overwhelming sense of the inevitability of fate. In the tradition of Greek tragedy, characters who appear to be in control of their fates turn out to be trapped and compelled by urges beyond their control. They are attractive but flawed, and corrupt at a level so basic that no amount of absolution can cleanse them of their sins. Lana Turner is so magnetically attractive that it is easy to see why John Garfield's character is so quick to fall under her charms and into her arms. Garfield does a capable job of portraying his character's basic moral neutrality: he will do what has to be done, not because it is right or wrong, but simply because it is what must be done. The Macbeth-like plotting of the lovers leads to the predictable recriminations and double-crosses. Even in noir, evil is punished. Eventually. Sort of. The passions that drive the couple to murder are the same fates that manipulated Macbeth, but, in both cases, the characters must pay a price for their weaknesses. The relentless intensity of the Turner-Garfield relationship has rarely been matched on screen. The taut script by Harry Ruskin was based on the novel by noir-meister James M. Cain (Double Indemnity Mildred Pierce), and director Tay Garnett carefully evokes all the conventions of the genre without expanding them.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/13/2012
  • UPC: 883929261956
  • Original Release: 1946
  • Rating:

  • Source: Warner Home Video
  • Language: English
  • Time: 1:53:00
  • Format: Blu-ray
  • Sales rank: 9,455

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Lana Turner Cora Smith
John Garfield Frank Chambers
Cecil Kellaway Nick Smith
Hume Cronyn Arthur Keats
Audrey Totter Madge Gorland
Alan Reed Sr. Ezra Liam Kennedy
Leon Ames Kyle Sackett
Jeff York Blair
Philip Ahlm
John Alban
Morris Ankrum Judge
Betty Blythe Customer
Paul Bradley Man
Wally Cassell Ben
Jack Chefe Headwaiter
Dick Crockett Reporter
Oliver Cross Man
James Darrell Reporter
Tom Dillon Father McConnell
Edward Earle Doctor
James Farley Warden
Byron Foulger Picnic Manager
Joel Friedkin John X. MacHugh
Cameron Grant Willie
William Halligan Judge
Paul Kruger Officer
Frank Mayo Bailiff
Harold Miller Photographer
Howard Mitchell Doctor
George Noisom Telegraph Messenger
Garry Owen Truck Driver
Dorothy Phillips Nurse
Dan Quigg
Virginia Randolph Snooty Woman
Paula Ray Woman
Walter Ridge
Jeffrey Sayre Reporter
Edgar Sherrod
Reginald Simpson Photographer
John Maurice Sullivan Doctor
Brick Sullivan Officer
Charles Williams Doctor
Technical Credits
Tay Garnett Director
George Bassman Score Composer
Niven Busch Screenwriter
Jack Dawn Makeup
Randall Duell Art Director
Cedric Gibbons Art Director
Irene Costumes/Costume Designer
Marion Herwood Keyes Costumes/Costume Designer
Neil Moret Songwriter
Harry Ruskin Screenwriter
Douglas Shearer Sound/Sound Designer
Sidney Wagner Cinematographer
George White Editor
Richard A. Whiting Songwriter
Edwin B. Willis Set Decoration/Design
Carey Wilson Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 7 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(3)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(0)

2 Star

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1 Star

(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Ignore the rings!

    This movie is dreadful. MGM should have stuck to musicals and epics and not tried to cash in on the success of film noir.
    The performances are terrible, the departures from the plot are stupid, and the factual errors are horrifying. Watch Double Indemnity for a good adaptation of a Cain novel.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    This Postman is so good you want to see it twice!

    Lana shines, Garfield excels in this film that is without doubt a classic!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Brooding Film Noir Classic In Near Pristine Transfer!

    'The Postman Always Rings Twice'(1946) is a film noir classic about two misguided lovers, Cora Smith (Lana Turner) and Frank Chambers (John Garfield). Frank is a drifter who accidentally stumbles onto a roadside diner run by Cora¿s middle-aged hubby, Nick (Cecil Kellaway). At first Frank is determined to keep everything on the square. He¿s cool to Cora in a flirtatious sort of way and she reciprocates that coolness with all the frozen assets of an ice princess. But before long the two are bumping and grinding behind the counter and taking off for their nightly midnight swims. Cora soon decides to run away with Frank while Nick is away on business. But her threshold for the creature comforts of life - comforts that Nick has provided but Frank cannot - lead the two to schlep back to the diner in a flurry of sexual frustration before Nick gets home. A plan to electrocute Nick in the bath tube gets bungled and Nick survives. But by now, District Attorney Kyle Sackett (Leon Ames) is suspicious. Cora and Frank liquor up Nick and take him for a drive. The plan now is to drive the car over a cliff. However, this too backfires as the car with Nick¿s unconscious body inside does not plunge down the precipice. Instead, when Frank climbs to where the car has become entangled in some underbrush, he accidentally forces it over the edge with him inside. Cora is apprehended by Sackett for the murder of her husband and attempted murder of Frank. Though she is exonerated of the charges the illicit lovers continue to live under the constant and microscopic scrutiny of Sackett. Based on the novel by James M. Cain, this version (for the sake of censorship), alters a few of Cain's original concepts, but is considerably more thrilling than the Jack Nicholson remake from the 1980's. Lana Turner - as always - is a vision. John Garfield gives yet another solid performance in his all too brief acting canon. Warner Brothers gives us a beautiful looking DVD. The gray scale is superb with rich blacks, excellent contrast levels and minimal film grain throughout. There is a hint of fine detail shimmering. There are no aliasing or edge enhancement effects for an image that is smooth, crisp and fully realized in fine details. The audio is mono and nicely presented. Extras include the fantastic documentary, ¿The John Garfield Story¿ narrated by his daughter, Julie and an informative audio commentary. This is about as good as vintage Hollywood film making gets. With a gorgeous transfer to boot this postman does indeed ring twice!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Excellent

    I really enjoyed this film. I thought that is was suspensful, well acted, and romantic. I really liked how through every thing they always paid for what they did and never got away with anything. I think that this film had a good message and everybody shoud see it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 9, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews