The Postman Always Rings Twice, Happy Anniversary! Premiered May 2, 1946

postman-always-rings-twice poster 2


Picture perfect in practically every way is the Film-Noir masterpiece, The Postman Always Rings Twice, with stellar performances by John Garfield and Lana Turner, with undeniable precision-point support by Hume Cronyn, Cecil Kellaway and  Leon Ames; directed by Tay Garnett (in my opinion he reached his apex with this film), Sidney Wagner was the cinematographer (stark, black & white beauty), Irene designed the costumes, Edwin B. Willis did the set decoration while Randall Duell and Cedric Gibbons took care of the art-decoration.

I never tire of this film, watching as it were the inevitable choices that the characters make, ever drawing them closer to the impending doom, which the viewer sees from the beginning. Enjoy the Postman in all of its glory on Blu-Ray.

Note from the side: The Postman Always Rings Twice was produced for radio by The Screen Guild Theater for CBS Radio, on June 16, 1947, with John Garfield and Lana Turner reprising their roles, supported by The Lady Esther Screen Guild Players (Lady Esther Cosmetics was the sponsor of The Screen Guild Theater when Postman was aired).

Before the Postman Rang:

Screenwriter-producer, Carey Wilson, provided the first acceptable treatment of, James M. Cain’s novel, The Postman Always Rings Twice, to the Hays Office. All other efforts by MGM had failed to pass the scrutiny of censors at Hays and some wondered if it could be done; MGM had owned the rights to, Postman, since 1934.[1] Wilson used an approach that none to that point had thought of: remove all “purple” passages, leaving an approvable melodrama.[2] It was not unusual for producer Carey Wilson to receive no writing credit, mention or listing for a project, that was much of his lot, from the late 1930’s through the ‘40’s. Wilson, worked alongside Harry Ruskin and Niven Busch to adapt the screenplay; yet in the finished production of, Postman, Wilson takes only credit as producer. Without Wilson, and his negotiations with Joseph Breen at the Hays office,[3] Postman, may not have been delivered for another ten years.

Lana Turner was set to star from the outset, with John Garfield at her side, who was accounted to be her co-star as early as November 10, 1944, but that selection would go through one more casting rumor before Garfield would go before the cameras.[4] January of 1945, John Hodiak, was mentioned as the male part of the lusty duo for, Postman; Turner and Hodiak had been a romantic item[5] and had starred in, Marriage Is A Private Affair, and in early 1945, MGM was contemplating pairing them in several pictures;[6] those corporate appearances did not transpire.

Grant B. Cooper may not be a well-remembered name from Hollywood history, but he was the “real McCoy” for, The Postman Always Rings Twice. Cooper, was an assistant district attorney for Los Angeles County, and had been in that position for eight years; he was first in the California to obtain a death penalty under the Lindbergh kidnaping law. Mr. Cooper was chosen to be a technical-director for, Postman, to bring legal realism to the proceedings.[7]


postman always rings twice Postman-Always-Rings-Twice still1


By C. S. Williams



[1] Film Daily, March 15, 1934

[2] Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) November 28, 1944

[3] Blackout: World War II and the Origins of Film Noir, by Sheri Chinen Biesen, publisher, The John Hopkins University Press, 2005, page 119

[4] Fresno Bee (Fresno, California) November 10, 1944

Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) November 28, 1944

[5] Turner, in her autobiography claimed that the affair was a lie used to gain a divorce from her husband, restaurateur Stephen Crane: Lana – the Lady, the Legend, the Truth, by Lana Turner, published by Dutton, 1982, page  96

[6] Fresno Bee (Fresno, California) January 3, 1945

[7] Harrisburg Telegraph (Harrisburg, Pennsylvania) August 25, 1945


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