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PNFS: The Postman Always Rings Twice

PNFS: The Postman Always Rings Twice

Sorry this event has been and gone


  • Wed 14 Mar ’12, 5:30pm
  • Wed 14 Mar ’12, 8:00pm


Downtown Cinemas, 70 Broadway Ave, Palmerston North


All Ages

Ticket Information:

  • Waged membership: $85.00
  • Unwaged membership: $70.00
  • Triple feature card: $30.00
  • High school student: $30.00

Directed by Tay Garnett
USA 1946 113mins (PG adult themes)

The trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mi4UaQWN_H8

MGM cast rising star John Garfield as Cain's opportunistic drifter, Frank Chambers. He stops at a rural diner for a meal, and ends up working there. The diner is operated by a beautiful young woman, Cora Smith (new-breed sexpot Lana Turner), and her much older husband, Nick (Cecil Kellaway).

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. She and Frank scheme to murder Nick in order to start a new life together without her losing the diner.

“As they go down the merry path of murder for money, they find it amazingly easy to persuade themselves that murder is the wisest course, and they end up in hell for their troubles. More film grist than film noir, it offers a biting moral conundrum at every turn. It must have driven the censors nuts with all its buried hints of sexual depravity.” John Patterson - The Observer

This first and finest Hollywood adaptation of James M Cain's legendary crime novel (instantaneously banned in Boston on its first publication) was actually the third filmed version after unlicensed French and Italian versions in 1932 and 1944. MGM purchased the rights to make a movie adaptation a full 12 years prior to the film's release. They were dissuaded from moving forward with the project earlier because of fears that its themes of adultery and murder would run afoul of the Motion Picture Production Code that began to be rigorously enforced not long after they had acquired the rights.

Fans of the James M. Cain original--not to mention Cain himself--were aghast at the changes made in the novel by screenwriters Harry Ruskin and Niven Busch; many of the alterations were made to conform to censorship standards of the era, while others simply existed to massage the egos of the stars.

“In its surface aspects, the film appears no more than a melodramatic tale, another involved demonstration that crime does not pay. But the artistry of writers and actors has made it much more than that; it is, indeed, a sincere comprehension of an American tragedy. For the yearning of weak and clumsy people for something better than the stagnant lives they live is revealed as the core of the dilemma, and sin is shown to be no way to happiness.” – Bosley Crowthwer

Did you know?
This caused a stir amongst 1940s audiences who were shocked when it seemed clear to them that John Garfield uses his tongue in one of his kissing scenes with Lana Turner.

Two screenings 5.30pm and 8pm at Downtown Cinemas
Members only. Palmerston North Film Society Membership is available at the door before each screening and lasts for one full year.

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