20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and thrilling
This is a good film not a great film. The direction at points is lazy and the dialogue not as quick and witty as in some of the hollywood greats (Double Indemnity, His Girl Friday) but that is made up for by the enjoyable ride that the director and writers take you on. The sexual tension between Cora and Frank is explicit and even more tense for the reason that it isn't...
Published on 27 Mar 2006 by Henry Ireton
1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars a postman too confused
This film is very famous but I think very irregular and partially failed. I suppose that's because the original novel is very complicate and for me, the movie shows irregularities, blank spaces and little explainable scenes.
Firstly we see: Cora the female protagonist, Lana Turner is beautiful, but too hieratic, too well hair dressed and very cool, she doesn't...
Published on 3 Sep 2009 by Carlos Vazquez Quintana
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and thrilling,
This review is from: The Postman Always Rings Twice  [DVD] (DVD)This is a good film not a great film. The direction at points is lazy and the dialogue not as quick and witty as in some of the hollywood greats (Double Indemnity, His Girl Friday) but that is made up for by the enjoyable ride that the director and writers take you on. The sexual tension between Cora and Frank is explicit and even more tense for the reason that it isn't betrayed- the fact that this film was made during the era when Hollywood was restricted in its ability to film sex gives it an interesting tension. A modern version might be tempted to show Cora and Frank having sex. But because this version can't, we are in the position of the characters, we can see a relationship brim with sexuality but we don't see it articulated on screen. Hence our frustration like theirs advances through the picture- until the inevitable resolution. The scenes in court are wonderful- between the two lawyers with the cynicism of the system laid bare- possibly the point where the script rises to heights of humour seen in other films of the period. The culmination of the film rather lets it down with schmaltz but overall this is an excellent good film- it won't make you ponder any great questions that it raises, it won't infatuate you with its world but it will entertain you, amuse you and interest you for the time you view it. Its definitely a film that can become a family friend if not a teacher of great truths.
22 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars One of the sexiest films ever,
This review is from: The Postman Always Rings Twice  [DVD] (DVD)An unusual product of 1940s MGM, more known then for their musicals and melodramas, this is one of the quintessential film noirs, along with "The Maltese Falcon" and "Double Indemnity". John Garfield is a drifter who ends up in road side dinner and falls for the sexy, seductive wife of the boss (Lana Turner). Together they decide to kill her husband.
Lana Turner, a platinum blonde almost always in a virginal white (only changes to black in three key scenes) is sexier than ever, and has an amazing chemistry with Garfield. Her introduction alone is worth the price of the DVD. The plot is very good and the performances, not only from the leads but also the supporting cast are great.
The print is very good, although not perfect, but one hardly expects that from a 60 year old film. The DVD also includes a documentary on Garfield, the trailer and an introduction to the film.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Torrid Romance.,
This review is from: The Postman Always Rings Twice  [DVD] (DVD)Frank Chambers (John Garfield) stops at a rural diner for a bite to eat, and after noticing the "Man Wanted" sign-ends up working there. The diner is run by beautiful Cora Smith (Lana Turner), and her much older husband, Nick (Cecil Kellaway). The animal attraction is evident from the off and the pair soon enter into an affair. It's an affair that will have far reaching consequences for all three parties.
Forget any remake and go straight to this, the best adaptation of James M. Cain's hard hitting novel. Out of MGM, it's nice to say that the studio, in spite of 1940s censors, let director Tay Garnett put vitality into Cain's novel and more crucially,! let Turner fan the flames of smouldering passion. From the moment the camera pans from her shapely foot to the silky blonde mop that sits above her beautiful face, we know that Frank Chambers, and us the audience, are about to be taken in hook line and sinker.
Much has been made of the over-use of lighting with Turner in the film, that complaint is something I just can't truck with in any shape or form. It's not for nothing that Turner's Cora is virginal white for 98% of the picture, surely a sign that Cora is in need of some dark to lighten her dark existence. Sounds weird I'm sure, but there it is, and the lighting only emphasises that virginal quality about to be steered down a troubled road. It should also be noted that the only time she's out of white is for the particularly dark moments in her life. It's a confliction with the Noir ethic to utilise whiteness, but this is a very different femme fatale, more vulnerable and searching for love, even if ultimately it's car crash love. John Garfield matches Turner in performance. A performance that gathers momentum at every quarter. So it's no surprise to find that both actors got a positive response from critics and public alike. But the support is also very strong, particularly Hume Cronyn & Leon Ames. While Kellaway absolutely nails that good old harmless old boy seriously in denial-out of his depth character-with some aplomb.
I personally was delighted with a different sort of film-noir viewing here. And I have to say that I avoided this film on account of having watched the Jack Nicholson remake first, years ago; and found it immeasurably dull. This is a different animal, much like the female protagonist funnily enough. Perhaps the final word should come from James M. Cain himself? Who after seeing what Turner did with the role of Cora gave her a gift of a leather bound first edition of the book, the inscription said "For my dear Lana, thank you for giving a performance that was finer than I expected."
Tis true that, lighting be damned! 8/10
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Kisses With Dreams in Them....,
This review is from: The Postman Always Rings Twice  [DVD] (DVD)Lana Turner and John Garfield hunger for something more in Tay Garnett's glossy soap opera noir, The Postman Always Rings Twice. Based on James M. Cain's lusty potboiler, Turner is fantastic as the manipulative yet vulnerable Cora Smith and Garfield excellent as the drifter who can't get Cora or her dreams out of his blood. Turner is like a white creme, icy cold on the surface but burning hot and deep with desire underneath.
Cora is a girl aware of her looks and effect on men. Since she was 14 she's had to argue with men about it. But she didn't have to argue with Nick Smith (Cecil Kellaway), a much older man Cora marries for security, not love. When drifter Frank Chambers (Grafield) shows up to fill the help wanted sign at the Twin Oaks Diner Nick and Cora run, she discovers she can't live without love or passion.
Cora is a smouldering vision in white when Frank first sees her, a room full of gas that only needs a spark to ignite. Frank knows he can sell anything to anybody and begins to fan the flames when he talks Nick into getting a neon sign for the diner Cora wants. Cora has big dreams for the diner and wants to be somebody. She tries in her own way to resist what is going to happen between she and Frank but deep down knows that all the things she married Nick for and clings to are the things she really wants with Frank.
Cora lets him kiss her once then stays away, working Frank into an internal frenzy of desire. After a midnight swim in the ocean they get a week alone and their fate is sealed, the gas ignited and burning out of control. It is Cora who lets Frank's lust simmer until he loves her and wants her so much nothing matters, not even what stands in the way of them and Cora's dreams.
Garfield is excellent as a guy who knows he's signed on for a one way ride to nowhere but can't help himself, because the mere thought of sharing the ride with Cora tips the scales. There is a tricky D.A. (Leon Ames) onto them after a botched first attempt to live out Cora's dreams fails and only a crafty defense attorney, portrayed with zeal by Hume Cronyn, gets Cora off when they finally succeed. But an insurance policy Frank didn't know about causes distrust and the results are Cora and Frank on the outs again.
But they are chained to each other. Jealousy and a blackmail attempt gone awry bring them back to the beach where they were happy. A dangerous swim to prove their trust in each other restores their love and they are happy and dreaming once again. They may be able to atone for their sins even, unless fate has other plans....
Turner gives an icy hot performance here, with many long takes between she and Garfield as they are drawn to each other like moths to a flame. Much is made of director Tay Garnett framing Turner in sexy white outfits throughout the film. Her best scene, however, and the one in which she is the most strikinginly beautiful, she is dressed in a black bathrobe. Cora is in the kitchen caressing a knife and agonizing over her dreams and what needs to be done to make them come true. When Frank walks in on her, her voice catches, her reluctance to follow through real. She tells Garfield in a quivering voice, "If you really loved me."
Wheras Wilder's Double Indemnity was a dark noir of twisted passion and greed set in Claifornia, Garnett's The Postman Always Rings Twice uses the bright sunshine and beaches of L.A. County in the 1940's to create a soap opera noir, a shining blonde Turner and a reluctant drifter Garfield at its center. A must for Turner fans and good pick for fans of this genre who want to watch a glossy noir.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Postman Always Rings Twice-Classic film noir!,
This review is from: The Postman Always Rings Twice  [DVD] (DVD)Brilliant film-they don't make them like this anymore! This is an absolute classic with great actors and storyline and now I have the DVD I can watch it as often as I like. Would recommend to buffs especially those who like films shot in black and white.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Talk about cleft sticks,
This review is from: The Postman Always Rings Twice  [DVD] (DVD)This tale of adultery and murder makes you guess at the passions involved. Sexuality is hinted (we are in 1946, after all) but the desperation of the lead couple's feelings is adeptly portrayed. The language of film and the formula for plot does indeed date this movie: I doubt it could go over really big with modern audiences. But if you're a movie fan, you'll dial in to the times and fall into the plot. I did.
5.0 out of 5 stars A great film noir,
This review is from: Postman Always Rings Twice [Blu-ray]  [US Import] (Blu-ray)one of the great movies of Grafield, and Lana Turner is also at the top. The third version of the James Cain novel is for me the better
5.0 out of 5 stars DV,
This review is from: The Postman Always Rings Twice  [DVD] (DVD)A OLD BLACK AND WHITE FILM,ITS A GOOD FILM ,A BIT SLOW BUT IF YOU LIKE OLD FILMS THIS IS ONE TO WATCH, VALUE FOR MONEY
4.0 out of 5 stars Smouldering noir movie of a stark, erotic book,
This review is from: The Postman Always Rings Twice  [DVD] (DVD)This classic 40s thriller (from an unlikely source, MGM) is based closely on a novel by James M Cain. Drifter/chump Frank Chambers finds work at roadside diner, run by Nick Smith, a middle-aged man with a stunning younger wife called Cora (played to maximum effect by Lana Turner). Cora is bored, murderous and sees Frank as the man to change her life.
Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler are the kings of hardoiled crime fiction that became so influential in terms of America's 40s and 50s film noir cycle. James M Cain, though, is a writer whose twisted, perverted sensibilities and feverish prose, rightly offended the aesthetic sense of Chandler. His work also included Double Indemnity and Mildred Pierce. Cain's success lies in his shameless assault on our base instincts, and The Postman Always Rings Twice is a perfect example.
Sex and noir go hand in hand; in Chandler it was an undertone, beautifully played out in the sexual sparring of Marlowe and a variety of women (who mostly turned out to be bad). In Cain, it drips from every page. It taints the atmosphere, and goads the reader to seek whatever release Cain has in mind (typically unbridled/forbidden sex closely followed by absolute destruction).
As a sexually charged film noir, this version has two issues. First, MGM was totally wrong for something this sordid. Meet Me in St Louis? I don't think so. Second, the strictly enforced production code, which forbade open displays of sexual behaviour, severely restricted all efforts to convey the raw passion at the heart of this tale. Still, despite those problems, this remains not only the best version of the story, but a highly memorable film noir. Perhaps even because of the ban placed on sexual behaviour/nudity, the erotic tension is heightened. No one who ever sees Lana Turner's sultry introduction as Cora will ever forget it. For the film's duration you could believe that in Nick's godforsaken diner on that hot and dusty highway, Cora could tempt you into almost anything.
Worth noting is that this DVD also contains the trailer, and a 55 minute documentary on John Garfield, a great actor whose every performance was imbued with a sense of doom. Garfield died, aged just 39, in 1952, following career-damaging attention from the U.S. Congressional House Committee on Un-American Activities.
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding film,
This review is from: The Postman Always Rings Twice  [DVD] (DVD)Sparks ignite when drifter Frank (John Garfield) meets bombshell Cora (Lana Turner). There's no denying the attraction between them but she's married, so they begin to think of ways they can get rid of her husband and live happily ever after.
This is a memorable movie thanks to the earthy and charismatic Garfield. He's tough and vulnerable and sees Cora as his one chance to turn his life around. Turner is perfectly cast as the sultry wife; dressed almost entirely in crisp, pure white, she exudes desperation and desire. They make a sensuous couple without showing more than a kiss.
The acting is superb as is the direction. This is definitely a must-see for film history fans; it's just as effective today as it was in 1946.
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The Postman Always Rings Twice  [DVD] by Tay Garnett (DVD - 2006)