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The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)

aka The Postman Always Rings Twice

"You Will Feel The Heat."

Directed By: 
Details: 122 mins · English · R (USA)


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Small Frank Chambers
Small Cora Papadakis
Small Nick Papadakis
No_movie_poster Mr. Katz
Small Madge
No_movie_poster Motorcycle Cop
No_movie_poster Kennedy
No_movie_poster Barlow
No_movie_poster Sackett


Small David Mamet Screenplay
No_movie_poster Charles Mulvehill Producer
No_movie_poster Michael Small Original Music Composer
No_movie_poster Sven Nykvist Director of Photography
No_movie_poster Graeme Clifford Editor
No_movie_poster James M. Cain Novel
Small Bob Rafelson Director
No_movie_poster Andrew Braunsberg Executive Producer
Small Bob Rafelson Production
No_movie_poster James M. Cain Story Contributor
No_movie_poster Graeme Clifford Editing


"You Will Feel The Heat."

"If there was an Eleventh Commandment, they would have broken that too."

"In the heat of passion two things can happen. The second is murder."


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.

Release Dates:

Theatrical : 1981-03-20 : United States of America

DVD : 1997-08-20