When the postman rings twice (film)

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German title When the postman rings twice
Original title The Postman Always Rings Twice
Country of production United States
original language English
Publishing year 1981
length 121 minutes / 111 (video) minutes
Director Bob Rafelson
script David Mamet
production Andrew Braunsberg
Charles Mulvehill
Bob Rafelson
music Michael Small
camera Sven Nykvist
cut Graeme Clifford

When the Postman Rings Twice (OT: The Postman Always Rings Twice) is an American drama directed by Bob Rafelson from 1981 . The script by David Mamet is based on the novel of the same name by James M. Cain .


The stray crook Frank Chambers is hired as a laborer by the gas station and restaurant owner Nick Papadakis. He is married to the young, attractive Cora. She's the main reason Chambers sticks to his job. When Papadakis drove into town to do some shopping, Chambers harassed Cora, who got involved in an affair . Chambers can finally persuade Cora to leave Papadakis; but already at a transfer station she returns to her husband when Frank makes her wait and tries to win money by gambling.

Back at the gas station, however, they can't leave each other. Cora suggests that there is only one solution, namely to kill her husband, which they succeed after a first unsuccessful attempt. The drunk Papadakis is slain and thrown down a cliff in his car. Chambers and Cora are charged with joint murder, but acquitted with the help of a clever lawyer.

Then they continue to operate together, because Cora is initially not allowed to leave the state. Cora becomes pregnant by Frank, who proposes marriage to her. On the day of the wedding, the two go on a trip. When they kiss on the way back, Cora is thrown out of the car after an evasive maneuver. She lies motionless, apparently dead, by the roadside. Frank kneels down next to her and mourns.


Roger Ebert wrote in the Chicago Sun-Times that the film was technically “masterful” and that the representations and the atmosphere would “dazzle” the audience. However, the film says nothing about the characters.

The lexicon of international films judged: "A well-played melodramatic crime film that combines the story of a fateful passion with careful milieu drawing and slight socially critical accents that show America during the Depression as determined by violence and hopelessness."


Jessica Lange was nominated for the Spanish Fotogramas de Plata award in 1982 as best foreign actress .


The film, in Santa Barbara ( California was filmed), played in US cinemas around a 12.2 million US dollars.


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Review by Roger Ebert
  2. When the postman rings twice. In: Lexicon of International Films . Film service , accessed March 2, 2017 .Template: LdiF / Maintenance / Access used 
  3. ^ Filming locations for The Postman Always Rings Twice
  4. Box office / business for The Postman Always Rings Twice