Scorch Me Senseless


The Postman Always Rings Twice (1946) is one of the best film noirs of all time – and one of the earliest prototypes of today’s ‘erotic thrillers.’ The screenplay (by Harry Ruskin and Niven Busch) was based on the controversial first novel/pot-boiler (1934) of the same name by notorious writer James M. Cain who was known for novels with forbidden lust, love triangles, brutal, raw sexiness, and adultery-motivated murder.

This fatalistic film from director Tay Garnett is best known for one of the hottest portrayals of a sultry and seductive femme fatale – it is one of Lana Turner’s finest performances. The film was advertised with posters that described the illicit passion between a drifter (John Garfield) and a married-unsatisfied waitress (Turner) in a roadside cafe: “Their Love was a Flame that Destroyed!” Their killing of the woman’s husband ultimately leads to their mutual destruction in unexpected ways.


“Postman is a stunner” and Turner gives one her finest performances. “From the first glimpse of her standing in the doorway in her white pumps, as the camera travels up her tanned legs, she becomes a character so enticingly beautiful and insidiously evil that the audience is riveted.”

Stephen MacMillan Moser, Film Critic


“Too much cannot be said for the principals. Mr. Garfield reflects to the life the crude and confused young hobo who stumbles aimlessly into a fatal trap. And Miss Turner is remarkably effective as the cheap and uncertain blonde who has a pathetic ambition to “be somebody” and a pitiful notion that she can realize it through crime.”

New York Times


Lana Turner and John Garfield; Photo, Walter Sanders, LIFE, 1945

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~ by eaesthete on 03/31/09.

One Response to “Scorch Me Senseless”

  1. That opening shot of Lana Turner is one of those classics that never leaves you. When I saw it just now on your site, that image of her and all that I was feeling as I watched the movie years ago, came back in an instant.

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