The Postman Always Rings Twice - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Postman Always Rings Twice Reviews

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March 17, 2018
an excellent film from jack that features non stop violence. i thought this was one of jacks best
½ October 12, 2017
This version of the James M. Cain novella seems grimmer than the famed 1946 version with James Garfield and Lana Turner (which is definitely a film noir) and even the 1943 Italian version (Ossessione) which is more neorealism than noir. Jessica Lange makes a suitable Cora but Jack Nicholson seems too hangdog and beaten as Frank. I didn't see any chemistry and the sex scenes, supposedly necessary to undo the censorship of the '40s, are anything but alluring (with a sub-current of violence that is a turn-off). The plot, set in the Depression, sees drifter Frank show up at Nick Papadakis's petrol station/diner and decide to stay as a handyman, soon striking up an affair with young Cora behind the older Nick's back. Eventually, they decide to kill him in order to be together. The subsequent court case pits them against each other and tests their relationship. Somehow, Bob Rafelson's direction seems to drain the action of its tension and the actors don't really catch the screen on fire with their passion (or their conflict). Perhaps the shift into the 1980s struck a fatal blow to the seventies drama - after all, Rafelson and Nicholson were so good in Five Easy Pieces (1970) but a decade later, they are visibly straining. Another example of a remake that shouldn't have happened.
May 27, 2017
Written by David Mamet and directed by Bob Rafelson, this fourth adaptation of James M. Cain's novel is reduced to a pulpy erotic adult thriller that squanders the thespian expertise of Jessica Lange and Jack Nicholson.
½ March 24, 2017
If someone says it's not up to the original they might be insane. As usual Oscars had evaded a very deserving case.
June 23, 2016
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981) C-122m. ? 1/2 D: Bob Rafelson. Jack Nicholson, Jessica Lange, John Colicos, Michael Lerner, John P. Ryan, Anjelica Huston. Explicit remake of classic 1946 film noir deals with drifter Nicholson who convinces pretty waitress to knock off her husband. Nowhere near as exciting (or intriguing) as original, with Nicholson an unappealing main character, and sex scenes more violent than erotic. Extremely unpleasant.
Super Reviewer
February 29, 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.
½ March 15, 2015
After watching "Body Heat" and "Double Indemnity", the film becomes highly predictable but Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange still manage to make it worth watching.
January 7, 2015
While it is a well-made film on a technical level and all of the performances were excellent, there was a certain something missing from this remake that left me wanting. Based on the novel by James Cain, the story is about a drifter, Frank Chambers (Jack Nicholson), who visits a rural diner run by Nick Papadakis and his wife Cora (Jessica Lange). Frank and Cora begin an affair and then attempt to kill Cora's husband, but fail. In true film noir fashion, fate eventually gets its way and tragedy befalls the two lovers in an unexpected way. For me, the 1946 film adaptation starring John Garfield and Lana Turner stands as one of the best film noirs ever, and there was almost nothing this 1981 remake could have done to really live up to that. The only new or different thing this adaptation does is ramp up the sexual content and violence, and mixes them in a way that was kind of off-putting at times. Perhaps it was this way in Cain's novel, but the way in which sex and violence are intertwined in this film was more than a little disturbing. With that, and a slight adjustment to the ending (and of course, being in color), it hews fairly closely to the story as presented in the 1946 original. One might ask, "What was the point?" and you'd be perfectly justified in asking that. I have no idea what possessed them produce this remake, but for what it's worth it's not a bad film. However, if forced to choose between this and the 1946 version, I'd pick the 1946 version every time. This one was just a little too nihilistic and lacked emotional depth.
½ November 28, 2014
Jack Nicholson y Jessica Lange = Química pura.
October 19, 2014
Jack Nicholson and the gorgeous Jessica Lange are the definition of on screen chemistry. It's a good remake of the original. A, gripping, unpredictable, tale of sleaze & obsession.
½ October 4, 2014
Stupid. Lame.

83% approval? What?

If the 1946 version is Filet Mignon, this version is a steak sandwich at Carl's Jr.
June 8, 2014
I had seen the ending scene like zillion times, back in VHS-times, as the film was in the beginning of a 4-hour tape and stuff got recorded after it over and over again, but I never actually took the time to watch it.

As IMDB puts it:"The sensuous wife of a lunch wagon proprietor and a rootless drifter begin a sordidly steamy affair and conspire to murder her Greek husband." Right on! I had forgotten 80s produced films where all kinds of naughty behavior was tolerated on screen..... Next tomorrow something else with Jack Nicholson.....
May 11, 2014
I am going to pass on this one.
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.
½ September 14, 2013
Maybe not as great as the original but Jack Nicolsons Performance is really the highlight of this film
½ August 27, 2013
The Postman Always Rings Twice directed by Bob Rafelson from the screenplay written by David Mamet. Film stars legendary Jack Nicholson, Jessica Lange and John Colicos. This film is adapted from the novel of same name from 1934 - which had its 1948 film adaptation as well.

In mid of the night, hitchhiker Jack hops in a small truck and arrives as lunch-wagon-cum-gas-station. He cons the driver insider diner and have him a cup of coffee while hiding inside toilet to waiting for him to be gone and so that he could cheat the owner of diner that he forgot his wallet inside the truck. The lunch-wagon is owned by a middle-aged Greek owner, with beautiful young wife working in the kitchen. The two grow passionate affair and struggle to elope or plot to murder the owner and takeover his property.

This version received countless of criticism for deviating away from the original novel's ending - and of-course for a person like myself, who has never read the novel, feel like cheated and kept in dark from the knowing (firstly) the title analysis and secondly, the much negatively criticized ending. The Postman Always Rings Twice is the film in a long time that I have seen any Jack Nicholson film.
½ June 10, 2013
Between a 6/10 and 7/10, it's almost certainly not as good as the original, but not entirely dismissable either.
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