The Postman Always Rings Twice - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Postman Always Rings Twice Reviews

Page 1 of 14
Super Reviewer
February 27, 2016
Nicholson plays a drifter closely rooted to his basic animalistic tendencies. Lange plays a similar type of woman, currently pretending otherwise. When they meet there's never a question, not for a moment, about their hooking up. That she's a married woman seems only the slightest of distractions. But what to make of these two? Rafelson doesn't seem to know, and neither does Mamet. The Greed angle of this morality play is downplayed (if not totally forgotten) and that exclusion hamstrings this effort. The two leads are magnetic enough, revelling in the Lust angle, but they simply aren't going anywhere past that. In retrospect, and if I were a gossip columnist, I'd guess that this film was put together simply legitimize Nicholson banging Lange and Huston. The effort feels as sordid as all that.
hunterjt13
Super Reviewer
January 18, 2011
What is most striking about this film are the performances by the leads. I've grown up taking for granted the fact that Jack Nicholson is a great actor with only a few of his contemporary performances serving as meaningful evidence, but here, in his younger days, Nicholson proves to be a master of smarmy, sleazy subtlety. Jessica Lange is at times vulnerable and at others succeeding in her attempt to be blisteringly alluring. The film's "love" - or should I say animalistic fucking - scenes also serve as the film's appeal, but I found myself more repulsed than aroused. Finally, David Mamet's script is quite strong, but this is not the Mamet of Oleanna and Wag the Dog. Rather, this is the Mamet of The Verdict, a Mamet who relies on subtext more than acerbic dialogue. For example, he writes, "I'm tired of doing the right thing." Pause. "They hang people for that, Cora." It's up to the actors to imbue these lines with meaning, and these actors are up to the task.
The film's flaw is the storyline. At the end, we wonder what the film is saying about these characters. It seems that they reach their conclusions out of moralistic fatalism, not out of any authorial or directorial intent. Compare this film to There Will Be Blood, which deals with many of the same themes sans sexuality, and you'll find that Paul Thomas Anderson has a clear vision and feeling about Daniel Plainview, but the same can't be said of these characters. What is more, there is a short subplot with Anjelica Huston, and in the words of Roger Ebert, she seems "to be visiting from another movie."
Overall, if you can look at this film as a collection of scenes from an acting class and divorce yourself from the need of a consistent story, The Postman Always Rings Twice is a good film.
Super Reviewer
March 30, 2010
When you‚??re trying to find a true Neo-Noir, this is hard to beat. Not only does it keep the safe feel and raunchy plotline as most Film Noirs of the late 30s and 40s, but it‚??s also a very well composed re-imagining of one. David Mamet beautifully adapts a decent script into a complete masterwork. It has all the great ingredients that make people love the movies. The look of the film is amazing as well, with a lot of great period sets, costumes and cars. You also get a real sense that you‚??re there with these characters. Bob Rafelson does another great job at directing flawless performances and capturing humans at their best and at their worst.

I don‚??t think you can get better than Jack Nicholson when it comes to shady characters, he captures Frank Chambers perfectly. While you ultimately side with him and relate to his views, he truly is a vile person. What makes it great is Jack Nicholson‚??s deranged sense of charm, which surprisingly works every time. Jessica Lange also gives quite possibly her best performance, definitely the most natural she‚??s ever been.

What I love most about this movie is the fact that the story is so incredibly fun and you become so invested with these two characters who want nothing but trouble. I think it‚??s great when a film can make you side with the villains, most of the time they‚??re the most interesting ones anyway. Even through all their bad deeds, they still manage to engage you and make you fall in love with them.
MeetMeinMontauk
Super Reviewer
½ September 14, 2009
Redeeming quality: Jack Nicholson.
jjnxn
Super Reviewer
½ April 5, 2007
a real disappointment, stick with the lana turner/john garfield original. even with the 40's restrictions that one is so much more sensual and entertaining.
½ October 12, 2015
This remake suffers the primary fault plaguing the original: it's stars. Nicholson has played these type of drifter characters before, but in most of the films they had been a bit quirky,not unlike his style of acting. He doesn't capture the ordinary-maness of Chambers whose hots for Lange playing Cora, are heated further by working over a hot stove in a hot kitchen. Similarly,
Lange is too glitzy for Cora. To sell movies like this Hollywood needs big stars, apparently, the novel was very big in its time and had big stars in its movie rendition too. I would think John Colicos would be a perfect fit for Nick, what with Colicos' ability to make supporting roles satiable,but no, he seems a little too overwrought and not nearly oblivious enough for the Nick role.
Further hampering the movie is Mamet's screenplay. He definitely took the original down a notch, and the remake is even more pulpy than the original.
½ January 18, 2014
Sleazy, erotic and Jessica Lange is tired of what's right and wrong! Beautifully shot by the great Sven Nykvist and unbridled passion from Lange and Nicholson. While the 1940's film has many fans, this film offers a much more realistic take with more than a little subversion flowing beneath the surface. Far from perfect, but certainly quite good.
July 31, 2013
I think the biggest problem with this remake is Jack Nicholson's character he remains a mystery. I also didn't get involved with the love between the two, everything is just too mean. The score, and production design hold it together.
½ October 14, 2007
Between a 6/10 and 7/10, it's almost certainly not as good as the original, but not entirely dismissable either.
January 21, 2011
This remake of the classic film noir is given the deep character treatment made famous in the late 1960s by revolutionary filmmakers. So the acting is pretty superb. The story, however, is sacrificed as a result.
April 18, 2010
Although watching this made me cringe sporadically with train wreck horror in spots throughout, only to resolve every moment of tension with unexpected solutions, repeatedly until the end...then WHAM, like: you knew this was coming, you knew this was a tragedy waiting to happen. Good gosh, what suspense, what a brain game. The acting was dead-on, the seamlessness of the film was remarkably impressive, the heat between moments of physical and psychological sexual violence, all of it, the con man, the mail order bride, even the circus detour with drugged lions--and everyone was doomed from the start.
August 1, 2009
for a PG movie, wow the whole thing for the most part was about sex and they had scene's throughout.
½ April 16, 2009
I liked the acting by nickolson and I loved the 1930's nostalgic feel but I feel this movie went on too long for what took place and the ending was kinda lame. Other than those too things I really like the movie.
Super Reviewer
½ March 4, 2007
I haven't seen it all. From what I saw I gathered the following:
The acting is excellent. The story is sleazy. Not sure I want to subject myself to it all the way through.
January 19, 2008
This remake of the 1946 movie of the same name accounts an affair between a seedy drifter and a seductive wife of a roadside cafe owner. This begins a chain of events that culminates in murder.
June 26, 2007
This movie really shouldn't be called a "Thriller." The tagline for this movie reads "You will feel the heat." That's a lie. Unless their definition of heat is lukewarm.

This movie just kind of dragged on...and on...and on to the point that with about 15 minutes left I was yelling "Just end already!" at the television screen. There were maybe 2 or 3 parts of the movie where I was "thrilled" but all in all this was very disappointing.

This is the 4th version of this story. I'd like to see the others because I've heard very good things about the book and this just doesn't do anything justice.

Jack Nicholson couldn't even save this one. He just didn't really add much to this poorly put together film. The characters were just not interesting and I have no idea where any of their motivations came from.
½ April 3, 2007
I thought this was a very twisted and suspenseful film. I liked it, it's not the best, it isn't very predictable but ok. I hated the ending, I cried. Jack is the best, great for Nicholson fans.
Super Reviewer
February 27, 2016
Nicholson plays a drifter closely rooted to his basic animalistic tendencies. Lange plays a similar type of woman, currently pretending otherwise. When they meet there's never a question, not for a moment, about their hooking up. That she's a married woman seems only the slightest of distractions. But what to make of these two? Rafelson doesn't seem to know, and neither does Mamet. The Greed angle of this morality play is downplayed (if not totally forgotten) and that exclusion hamstrings this effort. The two leads are magnetic enough, revelling in the Lust angle, but they simply aren't going anywhere past that. In retrospect, and if I were a gossip columnist, I'd guess that this film was put together simply legitimize Nicholson banging Lange and Huston. The effort feels as sordid as all that.
½ October 12, 2015
This remake suffers the primary fault plaguing the original: it's stars. Nicholson has played these type of drifter characters before, but in most of the films they had been a bit quirky,not unlike his style of acting. He doesn't capture the ordinary-maness of Chambers whose hots for Lange playing Cora, are heated further by working over a hot stove in a hot kitchen. Similarly,
Lange is too glitzy for Cora. To sell movies like this Hollywood needs big stars, apparently, the novel was very big in its time and had big stars in its movie rendition too. I would think John Colicos would be a perfect fit for Nick, what with Colicos' ability to make supporting roles satiable,but no, he seems a little too overwrought and not nearly oblivious enough for the Nick role.
Further hampering the movie is Mamet's screenplay. He definitely took the original down a notch, and the remake is even more pulpy than the original.
July 13, 2015
In 1981 I was just entering my teen years when my father took me to see Bob Rafelson's gritty and darkly erotic take on an Old-School Hollywood movie. I was fascinated by the film. I remember thinking I would be bored, but it drew me like a moth to a flame. I remember thinking that I had never seen an actress so charged as Nicholson took her on that dirty kitchen table. And, I remember thinking it odd that I found myself rooting for the drifter and the sultry wife as they began to pursue and get away with an evil act.

32 years later WB re-issued the infamous remake to blu-ray. I was eager to see if it retained any of the qualities and impact I had noted in 1981.

Bob Rafelson's film still holds a bite that the 1940's classic movie never had. There is no Hollywood Glam here. Sven Nykvist's cinematography is in top form. Nicholson and especially Lange give realistic performances. The movie's depiction of sexuality is not as graphic as I had remembered, but it is most certainly rooted in carnal lust. More to the point, Tay Garnett and Rafelsons' script adds a bit of psycho-sexual excitement that reflects the fractured logics of both leading characters. The film remains a subversive examination of human desire mixed with greed. As the dark film comes to a close, the feeling that remains is one more grounded in 1970's cinema than the beginning of the 1980's when the film was released. It is an uneasy film. All the more challenging is that it seems to want the audience to relate to the two leading characters. Or does it? It can be viewed in more than one way. An interesting cinematic experiment when mainstream filmmakers were more comfortable taking risks.
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