The Postman Always Rings Twice Reviews
It's important to mention thee novel because as the movie has become the quintessential film noire movie, the moniker, or at least part of it, has been back referenced to the genre of Cain's work.
The popularity of the novel at the time can be seen by the fact that the movie starred two of the biggest names in Hollywood: Garfield and Turner. Generally, noire films seek to capture the desperateness of less than ordinary people trying to overcome the claustrophobia of their lives. only to find their actions worsening their situations. As one of the progenitors of the genre, The Postman Always Rings Twice doesn't quite convey the same message that Cain was trying to make. The fault lies mainly in Turner and Garfield and the film's director's attempt to grandstand them. It's hard to imagine Garfield as the itinerant drifter seeking work only to be caught up in a love triangle gone horribly wrong. As the object of his love, Turner is more than qualified maybe too qualified. It's hard to imagine her as the wife of a relatively unattractive owner of a road side eatery. That was the crux of the novel actually, Chambers wanting to know how a woman like Cora could be stuck where she was, and wasn't he, Chambers, a better man for her. Nevertheless, Cora was still a bit ordinary and the point being made that blind love can sometimes enhance or exaggerate the object of affection's value well beyond it's actual value. Turner being already maxed out doesn't go through that transition.
There certainly is a sexist vein to the movie in the objectifying of woman, which neither the novel or movie makes any attempt to justify. I don't know how Cain felt about this rendition of his novel, he had a hand in writing the screenplay, but my assessment is that it is an essential movie in the genre and if you're interested in this type of film it's a must see, in spite of it's faults.