The Postman Always Rings Twice

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“The Postman Always Rings Twice” it’s a thriller film of 1946 directed by Tay Garnett. The film is one of the earliest and most influential film adaptations of James M. Cain’s novel. It is considered a classic of the noir genre and had a significant impact on subsequent cinematography. The film starred John Garfield and Lana Turner in the lead roles.

The plot of”The Postman Always Rings Twice” follows the story of Frank Chambers (played by John Garfield), a drifter who stops at a gas station along a desolate road. There he meets Cora Smith (played by Lana Turner), the young and attractive wife of the gas station owner. An intense passion arises between Frank and Cora and the two decide to embark on a love affair and their love story pushes them to concoct a plan to kill Cora’s husband and try to escape together.

The plot of the film is characterized by a dark atmosphere and intense sexual tension. The motivations of the characters are dark and their love connection is full of betrayal and violence.”The Postman Always Rings Twice” is known for its depiction of mad and destructive love, in which the protagonists find themselves trapped in a spiral of desire and crime.

“The Postman Always Rings Twice” has become a benchmark of the noir genre and has inspired numerous subsequent film adaptations and works that have been inspired by it. It is considered one of the great classics of cinema and an example of how a tense atmosphere and a cursed love story can be staged in an engaging and fascinating way.

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Plot

the-postman-always-rings-twice

The plot of “The Postman Always Rings Twice” (1946) revolves around the story of Frank Chambers (played by John Garfield) and Cora Smith (played by Lana Turner). Frank is a drifter who arrives at a gas station run by Cora’s husband Nick Smith.

As Frank sees Cora, an attractive woman dissatisfied with her marriage, a strong mutual attraction arises between the two. They soon begin a secret and passionate relationship. Cora is unhappy with Nick and dreams of getting rid of him.

Together, Frank and Cora devise a plan to kill Nick and escape with the insurance money. However, their plans don’t go as planned. The first assassination attempt fails and Nick realizes Cora’s intentions. The situation is further complicated when Nick is accidentally killed in a car accident caused by a third individual.

Frank and Cora try to make the incident look like a tragic car accident, but insurance investigator Arthur Keats begins to suspect something shady was behind Nick’s death. Evidence begins to pile up against Frank and Cora, and tensions build when Arthur Keats begins questioning them.

The plot of “The Postman Always Rings Twice” it is characterized by intrigue, passion, betrayal and violence. The film explores the themes of greed, fatal attraction and the consequences of forbidden desires. Frank and Cora’s relationship is marked by a spiral of self-destruction, which leads them to commit acts of violence and to be trapped in a cycle of guilt and remorse.

Movie Characters

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Here are the main characters of the film “The Postman Always Rings Twice” (1946):

Frank Chambers (played by John Garfield): Frank is the film’s protagonist, a drifter who arrives at Nick Smith’s gas station. He is a charming man, but cynical and unscrupulous. He falls in love with Cora and joins her in a plan to kill Nick.

Cora Smith (played by Lana Turner): Cora is the young and attractive wife of Nick Smith. She is dissatisfied with her marriage and wishes to get rid of Nick. She becomes involved in a passionate affair with Frank and becomes an accomplice in the plan to kill her husband.

Nick Smith (portrayed by Cecil Kellaway): Nick is Cora’s husband and the owner of the gas station. He’s an older, naive man. He is unaware of Cora and Frank’s scheming, but begins to suspect their intentions.

Arthur Keats (portrayed by Hume Cronyn): Arthur Keats is the insurance investigator assigned to look into Nick’s death. He suspects something shady behind the incident and begins questioning Frank and Cora. Try to collect evidence to frame them.

These are the main characters of the film “The Postman Always Rings Twice” from 1946. There are also other supporting characters who contribute to the plot and atmosphere of the film.

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Production

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The film “The Postman Always Rings Twice” of 1946 was produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM), one of the most important Hollywood film studios of the time. Below are some details about the production of the film:

Director: The director of the film is Tay Garnett, an American director with a career spanning from the 1920s to the 1950s. Garnett helped define the style of film noir with his direction of “The Postman Always Rings Twice”.

Screenplay: The screenplay for the film was written by Harry Ruskin and Niven Busch, based on the novel by James M. Cain. They made some changes from the source material to fit the restrictions of the Hays Code, which regulated film censorship in the United States.

Cast: The film boasts a cast of talented actors of the era. John Garfield plays the role of Frank Chambers, while Lana Turner plays that of Cora Smith. Cecil Kellaway plays the character Nick Smith, and Hume Cronyn plays detective Arthur Keats.

Cinematography: The cinematography of the film was handled by Sidney Wagner, a well-known cinematographer who helped create the dark and suggestive atmosphere of film noir through the use of light and shadow.

Setting: The film is set in an isolated gas station along a desolate road. The decadent and claustrophobic atmosphere of the setting contributes to the tension and oppression that permeate the film.

“The Postman Always Rings Twice” was a successful film, both critically and commercially. It solidified the noir genre as an important element of American cinema and influenced many subsequent films. Its quality production, gripping story, and memorable performances have helped make it a film noir classic.

Distribution and Reception

“The Postman Always Rings Twice” was distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) in the United States. The film premiered on May 2, 1946 in Los Angeles and was later released nationwide. It was also released in several foreign countries, gaining international popularity.

The film “The Postman Always Rings Twice” received a positive response from both critics and audiences.

Critically, the film was praised for its intense and engaging depiction of a doomed love story. John Garfield and Lana Turner’s performances were widely praised, as was Tay Garnett’s direction. The film was regarded as an important addition to the noir genre, with its dark atmosphere, atmospheric cinematography and gripping storyline.

From a commercial point of view,”The Postman Always Rings Twice” has achieved good success. It was one of the highest-grossing films of the year and attracted large audiences. The combination of an intriguing storyline, charming characters, and intense chemistry between the leads contributed to its box office success.

The film left a lasting imprint on the history of cinema. It is considered one of the classics of the noir genre and has influenced many subsequent films. Its positive reception from both critics and audiences helped secure it a prominent place in American cinematography.

Style

The style of “The Postman Always Rings Twice” (1946) reflects the distinctive characteristics of the noir genre and contributes to its dark and intense atmosphere. Here are some stylistic elements present in the film:

Photography: The cinematography of the film is characterized by a masterful use of light and shadow. Lighting often focuses on partially obscured faces, creating a sense of mystery and ambiguity. Night scenes are often illuminated by flashes of light, adding drama to the atmosphere.

Setting: The film has a decadent and claustrophobic setting. The isolated gas station along a desolate road becomes a place that represents the alienation and oppression of the characters. The use of setting helps create a sense of tension and isolation.

Dialogues: The dialogues in the film are often sharp, fast and full of double meanings. The jokes are direct and incisive, characterized by subtle cynicism and bitter irony. The characters exchange close replies that reveal their desires, ambitions and intrigues.

Dark Themes: The film explores dark themes such as passion, lust, betrayal and violence. The love story between Frank and Cora is characterized by a spiral of self-destruction, in which forbidden desires lead to immoral acts and the downfall of the characters. These lewd and taboo themes are central to the noir genre.

Non-Linear Narrative: The film uses a non-linear narrative, jumping back and forth in time to provide insight into previous and subsequent events. This helps build suspense and keep the viewer interested as the story gradually unfolds.

The set of these stylistic elements gives a”The Postman Always Rings Twice” its distinctive look and contributes to its reputation as a classic of the noir genre. The dark atmosphere and intense portrayal of the characters create an immersive and unforgettable cinematic experience.

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Director

Tay-Garnett

The director of “The Postman Always Rings Twice” from 1946 is Tay Garnett. Born June 13, 1894, Garnett was an American film director, screenwriter, and producer.

Garnett began his film career in the 1920s and directed several successful films spanning various film genres. He is known for his directing prowess action movie, adventure and noir. Beyond”The Postman Always Rings Twice”, directed other notable films such as ‘Her Man’ (1930), ‘One Way Passage’ (1932) and ‘China Seas’ (1935).

With”The Postman Always Rings Twice”, Garnett helped define the style of the noir genre. He was able to capture the dark and intense atmosphere of James M. Cain’s novel, creating an engaging and memorable cinematic representation. His directing style emphasized the emotions and complex relationships of the characters, drawing intense performances from the main actors, such as John Garfield and Lana Turner.

Directed by Garnett in”The Postman Always Rings Twice” she was praised for her mastery of creating tension, using suggestive light and shadow and skillfully directing the actors in emotionally charged scenes. He captured the essence of the noir novel, bringing to the screen a story of forbidden passions, betrayals and fatal consequences.

Tay Garnett left a significant footprint on the cinematic landscape of his time, and his contributions to”The Postman Always Rings Twice” made it one of his most celebrated and influential works.

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