Author: Celina Reynes

November 27, 2015 / / Main Slate Archive

By the time Tay Garnett got his hands on The Postman Always Rings Twice, the novel had been adapted two previous times in French and Italian (LE DERNIER TOURNANT, 1939. dir Pierre Chenal; OSSESSIONE, 1942. dir Luchino Visconti). However, only the 1946 Hollywood adaptation clarifies the meaning of the novel’s title. Here is a section of Frank’s closing monologue, after he has been sentenced to death for a second murder, after escaping justice in his first trial:

FRANK: You know, there’s something about this that’s like…well, it’s like you’re expecting a letter that you’re just crazy to get, and hang around the front door, for fear you might not hear him ring. You never realize that he always rings twice. […] He rang twice for Cora, and now he’s ringing twice for me, isn’t he? The truth is, you always hear him ring the second time, even if you’re way out in the back yard. Father, you were right, it all works out. I guess God knows more about these things than we do.