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Author Topic: The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946)  (Read 1847 times)
drinkanddestroy
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« on: September 19, 2012, 09:13:59 PM »

The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) 9/10

plot synopsis and cast, courtesy of imdb

A married woman and a drifter fall in love, then plot to murder her husband... but even once the deed is done, they must live with the consequences of their actions.


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

« Last Edit: September 20, 2012, 03:10:16 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: April 11, 2013, 05:10:31 AM »

Recently released on Blu-ray and I've watched the 1946 version and the 1981 remake back to back.  On IMDb the 1946 version scores 7.5 and the 1981 remake 6.5.

For me the 1946 version has quite a few flaws and implausibilities.  I can't imagine a hot-looking Lana Turner washing dishes in a run-down diner and her good-natured buffoon of a husband cooking meals.  John Garfield is a bit too suave to be a drifter and the relationship between Turner and Garfield seems to develop too quickly.  One moment she is indifferent to him and the next they are madly in love.

The District Attorney giving a lift to Garfield and turning up at opportune moments is a bit unrealistic as is the policeman arriving at the diner at exactly the same moment as the cat climbs the step ladder.  Garfield beats up an ex-cop who is twice his size and is carrying a gun.

The circumstances surrounding the insurance policy are unclear and, as I understand it, Lana Turner pleads guilty to the manslaughter of her husband but gets off scot free.  Possibly the movie was hampered by the requirements of the Hays code and there is an unexpected but contrived twist at the end.

The casting of the 1981 remake is more realistic - I can imagine a slightly overweight but still attractive Jessica Lange washing dishes whilst her greasy greek husband cooks meals.  Jack Nicholson is more believable as a devious unshaven drifter and has some quite explicit sex scenes with Jessica Lange which some say is more in keeping with the book.  The remake addresses most of the implausibilities of the 1946 version but for me the ending is a bit abrupt with no twist or explanation for the title of the movie.

  

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« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2013, 06:45:30 AM »

For me the 1946 version has quite a few flaws and implausibilities.  I can't imagine a hot-looking Lana Turner washing dishes in a run-down diner and her good-natured buffoon of a husband cooking meals.  John Garfield is a bit too suave to be a drifter and the relationship between Turner and Garfield seems to develop too quickly.  One moment she is indifferent to him and the next they are madly in love.
Your complaint seems not to be with this specific film but with all of Hollywood's 40s product.

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« Reply #3 on: April 11, 2013, 10:02:42 AM »

Why even make those criticisms when you can just say that the 46 version has four acts?

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« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2013, 05:03:00 PM »

Picked this up for 1/2 price today and gave it a re-watch in the 9/10 ballpark.

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« Reply #5 on: January 09, 2014, 01:41:37 PM »

'81 on blu: http://www.dvdbeaver.com/film4/blu-ray_reviews_60/the_postman_always_rings_twice_blu-ray.htm

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« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2014, 02:46:05 PM »

is the re-make any good?

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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2014, 03:08:10 PM »

It's OK. The ending is, if I remember right, truer to Cain's original.

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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2014, 02:42:26 AM »

Doesn't the 1981 version (I won't call it a remake) skip the novel ending? So that in Raffelson's film the postman does not ring twice.

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« Reply #9 on: January 10, 2014, 10:59:01 AM »

I've forgotten. Maybe it does end right after Lang gets killed.

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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2017, 01:43:08 AM »

I just watched this movie (I believe it's the third time). My opinion of it has dropped significantly. It gets no more than a 7/10 at the absolute best.

The story is good, Lana Turner is hot, and Hume Cronyn is great in his small supporting role. That's all.

--- Lana Turner gives an absolutely awful performance. Awful. She is cold as ice. Says her lines and that is all; there is zero emotion there. It does not feel for one moment like she gives a damn about Garfield. For a film that is supposed to be about how a hot romance/passion led to murder, this is the most unromantic/unpassionate film ever. She is TERRIBLE. Garfield I absolutely believe is crazy about her. She is hot, he has a cock, he wants her. But she is just atrocious. Maybe the director is to blame here for not getting a good performamce or instructing her on how to play the role.

I once read somewhere that when Turner heard that Garfield was going to co-star with her in this movie, she exclaimed something like, "Couldn't they at least get someone good-looking?!" Maybe she was unattracted to him or just didn't like him or maybe she was just a jerk; and maybe it spilled over onto the screen. I don't know why; but bottom line is that she is horrendous.



--- John Garfield, in the 1940's, was a major star, and beloved to nostalgic people of a certain age who gree up watching him (like Martin Scorsese and the late Richard Schickel). But I really don't find him to be a great actor. I once started watching a movie of his (with, I believe, Ann Sheridan) called CASTLE ON THE HUDSON, he plays a gangster who thinks he is a tough guy. Really annoyed me -  I could not help thinking how much better Cagney would have been - and I shut it off after a while. I have seen him in plenty of other movies; he's good or decent in some movies. But IMO he was overrated; I do not think he is good enough to warrant having been a major star. But as for this movie, as I said, Turner was so bad that the whole love story doesn't work.

--- The screenplay does not have any of the snappy dialogue that you often get in noir (this movie's has similarities with DOUBLE INDEMNITY in plot, but ONLY in plot; this movie does not have one memorable line of dialogue.

--- Hume Cronyn is terrific in his brief role.

--- Lana Turner being married to that old idiot is just way beyond my suspension of disbelief. Sure, she tries to give some dumb excuse - basically,  men were always  trying to get in her pants, so she decided to just get married and stay out of trouble, or some crap like that - but that is bullshit. Yeah, sometimes younger women marry older men - for money or whatever - but a woman as hot as Lana Turner marrying a man who is easily twice her age, not wealthy, weird and cheap and has nothing appealing about him at all, and she is there married to him, that's horseshit. It would have been more believable if he had actually had some money or been a guy with a good personality, instead of a jolly, smiling but stupid drunk who spends his day pinching pennies.

So, after spending all this time bashing this movie, how do I possibly say it can get a 7/10? Well, it is a good story, and the first time I watched it, I liked it very much. I would recommend that anyone who has not seen it yet, watch it; they'll probably enjoy it. But subsequent watchings of this movie for me are just not enjoyable.

(I should point out that once I discovered the joys of DOUBLE INDEMNITY, it made this movie drop a few notches in my book; there is just no comparison.)

So .... to me, THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE is good material that can be made into a good movie with the right cast and director. Maybe I should watch the 1981 version after all?

BTW, I have seen Ossessione, a few years ago; as I recall, I thought that movie was basically around the same rating as THE POSTMAN ALWAYS RINGS TWICE. I remember also thinking woth OSSESSIONE that they made the old guy fat and gross, you  never really think that she could like him at all. Also, the whole other angle with OSSESSIONE, with the Garfield character in that movie also having a boyfriend, was dumb. (Also, the OSSESSIONE dvd is poor quality.)


I do think  that this material has the potential to be made into a very good movie, so maybe I should see the 1981 version ...

« Last Edit: March 31, 2017, 02:05:24 AM by drinkanddestroy » Logged

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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2017, 03:49:35 AM »

Yea, see the 81 version.

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« Reply #12 on: March 31, 2017, 06:28:48 AM »

I discovered the joys of DOUBLE INDEMNITY
Really? Last time you opined on the subject, you didn't understand the plot. And that in spite of the fact Wilder put the silhouetted man advancing on crutches in the title sequence. Movies are wasted on you ADHD types.

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« Reply #13 on: April 02, 2017, 01:50:46 AM »

I didn't care too much for this film. I prefer an earlier version of this story: the early 1940s Italian film called Ossessione. I haven't seen the 1981 version (probably never will).

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« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2017, 03:13:42 AM »

Really? Last time you opined on the subject, you didn't understand the plot. And that in spite of the fact Wilder put the silhouetted man advancing on crutches in the title sequence. Movies are wasted on you ADHD types.

I understand the plot of DOUBLE INDEMNITY? What the hell exactly are you talking about?

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