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The Postman
The Postman
Actors: Kevin Costner, Will Patton, Larenz Tate, Olivia Williams, James Russo
Director: Kevin Costner
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
R     1998     2hr 57min

Set in the near future after a catastrophic war which has destroyed the government, a traveler finds an old mail bag and starts delivering it. — Genre: Feature Film-Action/Adventure — Rating: R — Release Date: 8-FEB-2005 — Med...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Kevin Costner, Will Patton, Larenz Tate, Olivia Williams, James Russo
Director: Kevin Costner
Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Science Fiction & Fantasy
Sub-Genres: Action & Adventure, Drama, Futuristic
Studio: Warner Home Video
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 06/09/1998
Original Release Date: 12/25/1997
Theatrical Release Date: 12/25/1997
Release Year: 1998
Run Time: 2hr 57min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Anamorphic
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English, French
Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
See Also:

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Member Movie Reviews

Meghan W. (AuntMeghey09) from COMER, GA
Reviewed on 7/30/2011...
One of my favs with Kevin Costner:)
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Steve C. (chapste) from LONGMONT, CO
Reviewed on 8/26/2010...
Good story
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Shandra P.
Reviewed on 8/22/2010...
I hadn't seen this Costner movie before and my husband suggested it as he hadn't seen it in years. We love it! I really like the story line and the characters are "real". It's not a movie we'll watch repeatedly in a short period of time but it is a classic to keep in the collection to revisit every year or so.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Dana M. (DanaM71) from FORT MOHAVE, AZ
Reviewed on 7/27/2010...
Excellent movie.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Anthony Hinde | Sydney, Australia | 05/23/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)

"It is difficult to review a film that you like, when every professional critic has slammed it. On the other hand, I have to believe I am not alone in my tastes, so, here is some praise for "The Postman", Kevin Costner's cinematic version of the great book of the same name, written by David Brin.

After the success of "Dances With Wolves", it's pretty clear that Costner has been trying to recapture that epic feeling. But where "Water World" was silly to the point of being a caricature of a sweeping drama, "The Postman" avoids the trap. The nemesis, General Bethlehem is played seriously by Will Patton and the situation in general is believable if not completely explained.

I admit there were a few moments that were too heavy handed, the most memorable when the Postman gallops back to snatch a letter from a boy's hand. Even so, I can forgive a little over enthusiasm when it is mixed with a stirring tale. I know that during times of war, rhetoric is grist for the mill and so, the character's obsession with the American way, is understandable, given that it no longer exists.

You see, civilisation has fallen. It's implied that nuclear weapons were used, perhaps even biological weapons. Whatever the cause, people survive precariously, huddled together in fortified towns dreading the next visit of the Holenist army. A band of thugs created during the last days of the war and now led by General Bethlehem towards some nebulous vision, who's only constant is that Bethlehem will be the one in power.

Enter stage left, an unlikely hero. Kevin Costner's character may have a name but it is not revealed during the film. At first he is known as Shakespeare because he is a wandering loner who is sometimes driven to produce one man, one mule, productions of the Bard in the hopes of winning a meal from his audience. His aimless existence is abruptly ended when he is roughly drafted into the Holenist army.

From the first he stands out from the crowd of beaten hopeless recruits and so is singled out for special torments and duties. The army life is brutal enough without having earned the enmity of your squad leader. One thing leads to another and escape presents itself for Shakespeare. Without food or any other protection he stumbles on the remains of an old mail van and spends a night huddled in its dubious warmth, kept company by the body of a US Postal worker.

Whether by chance, destiny or foresight, he dons the guise of a postman and scams his way into a local town. "The mailman's here. Lock up your dogs." So long starved of civilisation, the bedraggled townsmen clamour for news of the world, the government, the future. He has little choice but to answer their questions, with creative and plausible fictions. It is here that the wheels of fate start turning.

The idea he has created, of a new America, is too big for one man to control. The film takes us on a steamroller ride headed straight towards the Holenist army. People with hope demand action. The desire for action creates leaders. Leaders are often forced to carry out the will of the people despite a lack of talent, desire or knowledge.

In this case, a young man, self named Ford Lincoln Mercury, forces the Postman to become a symbol of civilisation and eventually the symbol of resistance. Ford's passion and his actions are resisted for a long time but eventually the Postman comes to share the myth. One man can stand up to tyranny, especially with the help of a few courageous friends and the trust of one strong willed woman."
An Heretical Viewpoint
C. Spencer | Louisville, KY | 06/05/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I believe that the reviewers must have been reading each other's reviews instead of actually watching the movie, and Costner-bashing has long been great sport among reviewers. The original David Brin novel has been improved upon in several ways. In particular, gone are the two cyborg/supermen who duked it out in the finale of the novel, a distraction and deus-ex-machina. I especially loved the internal consistency, lack of impossible battles, and the strong development of a number of believable characters. The Holnist leader (who played a supporting role in "Armageddon") is more than a cartoon bad guy, and Costner's postman is plagued by guilt and doubt as he discovers how seriously everyone takes his "Restored United States". There is almost nothing in the movie that is irrelevant to the plot.Yes, it is a bit slow in parts, and I was ready to quit watching after 30 minutes because I had heard that it was just another post-apocalyptic bore, but it turned into a sterling movie. Even my wife, no fan of that genre, wanted to watch it all the way through."
Sunk by Titanic, Pilloried by the Press
C. Spencer | 07/26/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"In the wake of Titanic's unexpected success in 1997, the media needed another Christmas epic to lambast, hence the grossly unfair pile-on that happened to Costner's The Postman. To pretend that this is another Dune or Heaven's Gate is not only hyperbolic, it is willfully dishonest (even Dune has gotten a grudging second chance with critics in recent years). The fact is, had the country's female populace not been busy swooning under Leo's spitballs, The Postman might today be regarded as the classic that it deservedly is.Like Titanic, The Postman is lengthy and excessive, but it is also watchable and entertaining. Costner downplays his basically selfish and opportunistic title character, while his costars--Will Patton, Larenz Tate, Olivia Williams, and Giovanni Ribisi (in a brief supporting role as a grateful dupe in Bethlehem's army)--all give shining performances. Moreover, the movie's message is the opposite of blind patriotism; it cleverly skewers the militia movement in the U.S. while reminding us why democratic government came about in the first place: to keep gangsters, extortionists, and military tyrants out of our lives.The Postman is worth your time if you haven't seen it; if you have, it deserves an honest and iceberg-free reassessment."