Customer Review

45 of 47 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the Twin Oaks, May 19, 2004
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This review is from: The Postman Always Rings Twice (DVD)
Postman's plot centers around drifter Frank, and his relationship with the beautiful Cora. Cora and husband, Nick, run the Twin Oaks -- a roadside service station/diner -- and Nick has hired Frank to help around the place. Cora and Nick are May/December, but there is no romance whatsover between them. The reason for their marriage is cryptically revealed during one scene, but, in the end, one never can quite figure out why they are together. Frank and Cora quickly fall for each other and desire a life together -- a desire that requires removing Nick from the picture. The urgency reaches fever pitch when Nick announces his intention to sell the diner and move Cora to nothern Canada where she will care for Nick's recently paralyzed sister, who, in Nick's words, is going to live for a long time. As other reviewers have mentioned, the DA and defense attorney stand out in this film as well-conceived characters, the defense attorney played to perfection by Hume Cronyn.
Over the years, Postman has been lauded as perhaps the quintessential piece of film noir -- an intentionally bleak genre that experienced its heyday in the forties and fifties. Although Postman is undoubtedly a precise work of film noir, it's reputation may be based as much on it's mold-shattering relationship with MGM as on its artistic merit. Released by MGM, Postman was so far out of character for the studio that MGM had to borrow John Garfield to cast the leading role. That said, one is hard pressed to envision Frank as having been played by anyone other than Garfield. The same can't be said for Lana Turner's Cora, though. Yet, while other actresses may admirably have filled Cora's sultry shoes, Turner does indeed sizzle in this role. Both Garfield and Turner play their parts to perfection -- their acting is simply terrific. Somehow, though, the chemistry between the two leaves a little something wanting. For me, this was underscored by the instant chemistry that exists between Frank/Garfield and the "other woman" he picks up at the train station during Lana/Cora's absence. That said, the little something that is wanting between Turner and Gerfield contributes, in its own way, to the bleakness of the plot.
Technically, the dvd presentation of Postman is quite good. The transfer here is not as pristine as other Warner releases and there are digital artifacts and noise noticeable in many scenes. However, they are not severe enough in effect or number to detract from the film. Although the audio on this dvd is fine, the score for Postman is really just mediocre. Heavy on suspense motifs, one is left feeling as though they've heard much of this music before. The highlight of the dvd is the Garfield documentary that Warner has included as an extra. For fans of the noir genre, and for fans of Garfield in particular, this extra transforms a good dvd into a must-own dvd.
All things considered, this is a title for confirmed noir fans, and, for them, it is highly recommended. Even if you're not a noir fan, though, Postman is a work of broader cultural significance and is well worth owning even if its the only noir on your shelf.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jul 25, 2009 6:49:40 PM PDT
The reason for the somewhat lacking chemistry between Turner and Garfeild is due to the fact that Lana could not stand him
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