Taglines: You will feel the heat.
Frank Chambers (Jack Nicholson) a drifter, stops at a rural California diner for a meal and ends up working there. The diner is operated by a young, beautiful woman, Cora Smith (Jessica Lange), and her much older husband, Nick Papadakis (John Colicos), who is an immigrant from Greece.
Frank and Cora start to have an affair soon after they meet. Cora is tired of her situation, married to a man she does not love, and working at a diner that she wishes to own and improve. She and Frank scheme to murder Nick to start a new life together without her losing the diner. Their first attempt at the murder is a failure, but they eventually succeed.
The local prosecutor suspects what has actually occurred but does not have enough evidence to prove it. As a tactic intended to get Cora and Frank to turn on one another, he tries only Cora for the crime.
Although they turn against each other, a clever ploy from Cora’s lawyer, Katz (Michael Lerner), prevents Cora’s full confession from coming into the hands of the prosecutor. With the tactic having failed to generate any new evidence for the prosecution, Cora benefits from a deal in which she pleads guilty to manslaughter and is sentenced to probation.
Months later, Frank has an affair with Madge Gorland (Anjelica Huston) while Cora is out of town. When Cora returns, she announces she is pregnant. That night, Katz’s assistant, Kennedy (John P. Ryan), appears at their door and threatens to expose them unless they give him $10,000. Enraged, Frank beats Kennedy up and strong-arms him into giving up the evidence against them.
The Postman Always Rings Twice is a 1981 American-German film adaptation of the 1934 novel of the same name by James M. Cain. The film was produced by Lorimar in association with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and originally released theatrically in North America by Paramount Pictures. This version, based on a screenplay by David Mamet and directed by Bob Rafelson, starred Jack Nicholson and Jessica Lange. The film was shot in Santa Barbara, California.
The Postman Always Rings Twice Movie Poster (1981)
The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)
Directed by: Bob Rafelson
Starring: Jack Nicholson, Jessica Lange, John Colicos, Michael Lerner, John P. Ryan, Anjelica Huston, William Traylor
Screenplay by: David Mamet
Production Design by: George Jenkins
Cinematography by: Sven Nykvist
Film Editing by: Graeme Clifford
Costume Design by: Dorothy Jeakins
Set Decoration by: Robert Gould
Music by: Michael Small
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: March 20, 1981