The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981 film)

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The Postman Always Rings Twice
Postman always rings twice.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Bob Rafelson
Produced by Bob Rafelson
Charles Mulvehill
Screenplay by David Mamet
Based on The Postman Always Rings Twice 
by James M. Cain
Starring Jack Nicholson
Jessica Lange
Music by Michael Small
Cinematography Sven Nykvist
Editing by Graeme Clifford
Studio Lorimar Productions
Distributed by Paramount Pictures
Release dates
  • March 20, 1981 (1981-03-20)
Running time 122 minutes
Country United States
West Germany
Language English
Box office $12,200,000

The Postman Always Rings Twice is a 1981 film adaptation of the 1934 novel by the same name by James M. Cain. The film was produced by Lorimar 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.

Plot[edit]

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. Frank and Cora start to have an affair soon after they meet. Cora (a femme fatale figure) 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 in order 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 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. Although they do turn against each other, a clever ploy from Cora's lawyer 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 plea bargain in which she pleads guilty to manslaughter and receives probation. Frank and Cora eventually patch together their tumultuous relationship, and now plan for a future together. But as they seem to be prepared finally to live "happily ever after", Cora dies in a car accident, while Frank is driving.

Cast[edit]

In an uncredited role, Chuck Liddell, who later became a champion mixed martial arts fighter, played a boy scout in the film.[2]

Soundtrack[edit]

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

Track-list:

01. Main Title (02:50)
02. Frank In Room (01:12)
03. Kitchen Love (03:21)
04. Going To Chicago (02:21)
05. Got To Have You, Frank (01:36)
06. Fuse Box (04:41)
07. Please Don't Leave Me (02:22)
08. Murder And Push Car (03:35)
09. Doing It In The Dirt (02:14)
10. We Do It (02:18)
11. They Leave Courthouse (03:41)
12. Thinking Of Cora (01:46)
13. You Know What I Learned (01:20)
14. Suspense On Stairs (01:08)
15. They Marry (02:20)
16. Last Drive (02:05)
17. Elegy For Cora (01:16)
18. End Credits (02:15)

BONUS TRACKS:
19. Kitchen Love (Alternate Version) (03:21)
20. Got To Have You, Frank (Long Version) (01:50)
21. Beat Each Other Up (Alternate Version) (01:40)
22. Cora Spits (Alternate Version) (00:40)
23. Thinking Of Cora (Album Version) (01:48)
24. They Marry (Album Version) (01:28)
25. Last Drive (Album Version) (02:19)
26. La Donna E Mobile (01:07)
composed by Verdi / arranged by Michael Small
27. La Ci Darem La Mano (02:26)
composed by Mozart / arranged by Michael Small

Release and reception[edit]

The film was screened out of competition at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival.[3] The film got mostly negative reviews from most 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.

Difference from novel[edit]

The main difference between this adaptation and the original novel is the ending. In the novel, Frank is convicted of killing Cora, ironically, since her death truly is an accident.

See also[edit]

Other versions of the story/film

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Christopher Lloyd Filmography". All Media Guide via The New York Times. Retrieved July 38, 2012. 
  2. ^ www.sherdog.com/news/articles.asp?n_id=6622&my_page=2
  3. ^ "Festival de Cannes: The Postman Always Rings Twice". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-06-07. 

External links[edit]