The Postman Always Rings Twice (1981)

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 poster

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM)
Starring:
 Jack Nicholson, Jessica Lange
Directed by: Bob Rafelson

Cat Out of the Bag Alert!  This review contains some spoilers for this film!

Synopsis: Based on the novel by James M. Cain, this is an updated version of the steamy thriller in which drifter Frank Chambers (Jack Nicholson) and sultry Cora (Jessica Lange) plot to kill her husband for her freedom.

Featured Feline: The cat in the earlier film version was only seen during the pivotal moments during the murder attempt. Here the cat is introduced early as an orange tabby, showing up when Frank and the driver he’s thumbed a ride from (Christopher Lloyd) approach the diner.

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 - orange tabby cat appears with Christopher Lloyd and Frank Jack Nicholson

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 - orange tabby cat moving away from Christopher Lloyd and Frank Jack Nicholson

The cat next shows up outside the door near the kitchen of the diner. Cora is organizing some cans on a shelf and the cat is pawing at the door, wanting to come in.

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 - orange tabby cat outside screen door looking in at Cora Jessica Lange

Frank appears outside the door and asks for some soap. The cat remains nearby, looking in through the screen.

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 - orange tabby cat outside screen door and Frank Jack Nicholson looking in at Cora Jessica Lange

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 - orange tabby cat outside screen door and Frank Jack Nicholson looking in at Cora Jessica Lange

Frank opens the door and the cat sneaks in, but Cora quickly pushes the animal back outside.

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 - orange tabby cat running inside open screen door and Frank Jack Nicholson entering with Cora Jessica Lange

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 - orange tabby cat running inside open screen door and Frank Jack Nicholson entering with Cora Jessica Lange

In another scene, Cora is coming down the stairs at night and stops to pick up the cat.

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 - orange tabby cat being picked up on stairway

She carries the cat into the kitchen where Frank is waiting.

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 - close up of orange tabby cat and Cora Jessica Lange

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 - orange tabby cat held by Cora Jessica Lange

Cora carries the cat to the icebox and gets out a bottle of milk.

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 - Cora Jessica Lange and orange tabby cat getting bottle of milk

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 - Cora Jessica Lange and orange tabby cat getting bottle of milk

She pours the milk for the cat when Frank comes up behind her and punches her bottom, then grabs her. The cat is hear screeching and presumably running away.

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 - Cora Jessica Lange bending down to feed orange tabby cat

The scene in which the cat throws a wrench into their plans doesn’t feature the cat as much as the 1946 version. Here the policeman notices the cat on the roof. When he leaves, there is a flash and the lights go out but the cat is not seen. When the policeman returns with Frank and Cora later he throws the dead cat off the roof which lands at Frank’s feet.

The Postman Always Rings Twice 1981 - orange tabby cat on roof

Final Mewsings: Can’t a cat enjoy a midnight snack in peace?


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