The Postman Always Rings Twice

The Postman Always Rings Twice Information

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.


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 is ultimately acquitted. 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.


  • Jack Nicholson " Frank Chambers
  • Jessica Lange " Cora Smith
  • John Colicos " Nick Papadakis
  • Michael Lerner " Mr. Katz
  • John P. Ryan " Ezra Liam Kennedy
  • Anjelica Huston " Madge Gorland
  • William Traylor " Kyle Sackett
  • Ron Flagge " Shoeshine Man
  • William Newman " Man from Home Town
  • Albert Henderson " Art Beeman
  • Christopher Lloyd
The film is most famous for the love scene on a kitchen table, which was so intense that many believed that Lange and Nicholson were really having sex on screen. However, this was vigorously denied by all those involved.

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


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


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)

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

The film was screened out of competition at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival. 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

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

Other versions of the story/film
  • Le Dernier Tournant (1939 French film)
  • Ossessione (Obsession) (1943 Italian film)
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946 film)
  • The Postman Always Rings Twice (1982 opera)
  • Jerichow (2008 German film)

This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "The_Postman_Always_Rings_Twice_%281981_film%29" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.



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