Generic Radio Workshop Script Library (BACK)

Series: The Screen Guild Theater
Show: The Postman Always Rings Twice
Date: Jun 16 1947

CAST:
ANNOUNCER
FRANK, the drifter
CORA, the femme fatale
NICK, her husband
SACKETT, the district attorney
LADY ESTHER, one of America's best-known beauty authorities

ANNOUNCER:

Good evening, ladies and gentlemen. Tonight, Lady Esther presents the Screen Guild Players in one of the most gripping screen stories of the past year, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer's sensational drama, "The Postman Always Rings Twice," based on the famous novel by James M. Cain. It stars Lana Turner as Cora Smith and John Garfield as Frank Chambers. The Lady Esther Screen Guild Players in "The Postman Always Rings Twice."

MUSIC:

FOR AN INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

FRANK:

(NARRATES) Twin Oaks Tavern, the place was called. You know the kind of joint I mean; you can see one on any road in America. An old wooden house that had been remodeled, a lunchroom added in on the front, and a gasoline pump out in the yard. A sign was hanging on the pump -- "Man Wanted" -- so I opened the door and walked in. She was standing there, near the counter, dressed all in white. White and cool on that hot afternoon. And lookin' at me as if I was dirt. She didn't fool me, though. Not even then. She was dynamite in a cake of ice. I knew it. And she knew it. She knew I knew it. And, when she found she couldn't stare me down-- [X]

CORA:

Something you want?

FRANK:

Not a thing. I just work here.

CORA:

Oh? Since when?

FRANK:

Since ya asked.

CORA:

Well, the best way not to be working here is to try and be funny. Just remember that, Mr. Smart Guy.

SFX:

CORA'S FOOTSTEPS TO DOOR WHICH SHUTS

MUSIC:

BRIEF BRIDGE ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

FRANK:

(NARRATES) She was the boss' wife. Her name was Cora -- Cora Smith. And every chance she got, she showed me she didn't like me. A lot. I knew I had to take it slow and easy so I just stuck to my job and tried to get in solid with the boss. That part was a cinch. The poor guy had had so much trouble with help, by the end of the week we were just like pals. [X]

SFX:

CLINK OF GLASSES, POURING OF WINE BEHIND--

NICK:

Oh, go ahead, Frank, have some wine. We gotta celebrate tonight.

FRANK:

(CHUCKLES) You're the boss, Nick.

NICK:

Hey, Cora, some wine for you?

CORA:

No, thanks.

NICK:

You're the one should be celebrating. You've been wantin' that neon sign for two years. Frank, you ever see a finer sign than that?

FRANK:

I never have.

NICK:

Honest, the way she kept beggin' for that sign, you'd think it was the most--

CORA:

Nick. Nick, why don't you play something on the guitar?

FRANK:

Yeah, why don't you, Nick?

NICK:

Why, sure. Maybe Cora'll do a little dance for us. She's a wonderful dancer.

CORA:

(CHUCKLES) No, I - I always feel silly dancing alone. Put on a record, Nick, and I'll dance with you.

NICK:

(AMUSED) Listen to her, Frank. I keep telling her I'm like a lot of smart men -- my brains are not in my feet.

MUSIC:

NICK STRUMS GUITAR ... CONTINUES TO PLAY IN BG

NICK:

Come on, Cora.

FRANK:

Uh, how about me dancing with Mrs. Smith?

CORA:

Oh, I - I don't think--

NICK:

Why not? Go ahead, Cora. I like to watch dancing.

MUSIC:

GUITAR CHANGES TO BRIEF ORCHESTRAL INTERLUDE TO INDICATE PHYSICAL ATTRACTION... THEN BACK TO GUITAR, FOR A SULTRY DANCE TEMPO WHICH CONTINUES IN BG

FRANK:

(NARRATES) That was the first time I ever had her in my arms. Right under Nick's nose. I didn't say a thing and neither did she. But I guess we both knew. And all of a sudden she pulled away.

CORA:

Whew. Oh, that's enough, Nick. Save your strength.

MUSIC:

GUITAR ABRUPTLY OUT

NICK:

Aw, but Cora, you dance so nice together.

CORA:

Yeah, well, it's too hot to dance. I think I'll drive down to the beach for a swim.

NICK:

Aw, that's a good idea. You haven't been out of this place for a month.

CORA:

I'll go get my things. (MOVING OFF) I won't be long.

SFX:

DOOR CLOSES, OFF

FRANK:

Say, Nick, er-- Why don't we all go down for a swim?

NICK:

Well, I don't swim very well and - and the undertow's pretty strong.

FRANK:

You mind if I ride down in the car with her?

NICK:

Well, not if she doesn't.

FRANK:

Thanks. Say, if that undertow's so strong, I'm gonna stay close to shore.

MUSIC:

BRIEF BRIDGE

SFX:

SURF BREAKS ON SHORE ... THEN IN BG

CORA:

(COLD) Don't know why you had to come along. You haven't even been near the water.

FRANK:

I know. I promised Nick.

CORA:

Promised him what?

FRANK:

That I'd stay close to shore. Tell me something, how did you ever come to marry him?

CORA:

That's none of your business.

FRANK:

No need to get sore. (BEAT) You come from this part of California?

CORA:

No.

FRANK:

Where, then?

CORA:

Don't laugh. Iowa.

FRANK:

Why the "don't laugh"?

CORA:

Oh, that tired old joke. Everybody in Southern California is supposed to come from Iowa.

FRANK:

Did you, uh, come here with Nick?

CORA:

No, I - I only met Nick four years ago. And the next question you asked before.

FRANK:

Maybe I knew the answer when I asked.

CORA:

Oh, sure. You've got it all figured out. A smart little Jenny Mare gets herself into a nice steady business. Well, let me tell you something, Mr. Smarty Pants. When I married Nick, he only had a couple of hundred dollars. Starting the Twin Oaks was my idea. And if it's making nice money by now, it's as much me as Nick.

FRANK:

That wasn't what I meant.

CORA:

Well, the rest is still none of your business.

FRANK:

Okay! It's your life. Sounds a little dull to me.

CORA:

Hm! To you, it would. From what Nick tells me about your ideas.

FRANK:

What's wrong with my ideas? To have my fun now, not when I'm old and rich and retired?

CORA:

(SKEPTICAL) Ho, ho! Rich and retired. I think you'll end up a first-rate tramp.

FRANK:

I don't think you think that at all. Come on. Let's go back. I wouldn't want Nick getting any ideas.

CORA:

Listen, Nick hasn't any reason to get ideas.

FRANK:

I know he hasn't -- yet.

CORA:

Well, I - I think we'd better be getting on home.

FRANK:

Wait a minute.

SFX:

FRANK KISSES CORA WHO RESISTS

CORA:

Mmmmm! Frank, don't!

FRANK:

(STOPS KISSING) All right. I kissed ya. Nick's got his reason. Now what?

CORA:

(GRIM) Just what I told you. We're going home.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

FRANK:

(NARRATES) All the way home, all the next morning, she wouldn't even talk to me. But I had a feeling it wasn't just because she was mad. So I waited till Nick had started for town, and then I walked into the kitchen. [X]

SFX:

KITCHEN DOOR CLOSES

FRANK:

(WHISPERS) Cora!

CORA:

Get out of here. Are you crazy? Where's Nick?

FRANK:

He just had a brain storm and drove into L.A. He thinks the laundry service is cheating him. (PASSIONATE) Cora, honey--

CORA:

No, no. No, wait, Frank. Please. I want to tell you something.

FRANK:

What?

CORA:

Frank, about that question.

FRANK:

What question?

CORA:

Why I married Nick.

FRANK:

My answer is that Nick came along at the right time with a wedding ring.

CORA:

Yeah. A wedding ring was the first thing he mentioned.

FRANK:

And of course you liked that. You'd always had to fight off a lot of guys--

CORA:

A lot of guys? (CHUCKLE) All the guys. I don't especially like the way I look sometimes but - but I never met a man since I was fourteen who didn't want to give me an argument about it.

FRANK:

So, by the time Nick came along, you were ready to marry anybody who owned a gold watch.

CORA:

Well, I - I told him I didn't love him. I told him--

FRANK:

And he said that would come in time. But it didn't.

CORA:

Oh, honest, I meant to stick by him and--

FRANK:

And so -- you married him and retired the undefeated champ.

CORA:

(SADLY) Not one hundred percent undefeated. Not now.

FRANK:

(PASSIONATE) Cora--

SFX:

DISTANT RATTLE OF LOCKED DOOR, CONTINUES IN BG ... BUT CORA AND FRANK ARE IN AN EMBRACE

CORA:

Wait a minute, what's that?

FRANK:

Sounds like - somebody trying to get in.

CORA:

Well, is the lunch room door locked?

FRANK:

Yeah. I musta locked it.

SFX: RATTLING DOOR STOPS

CORA:

(PAUSE, WHISPERS) Frank, they - they've gone away.

MUSIC:

BRIEF BRIDGE ... FOR SULTRY LOVEMAKING

CORA:

What time is it? Is it getting late?

FRANK:

It's almost six. Nick ought to be back in a half hour.

CORA:

Frank? We're not going on like this, are we?

FRANK:

No. I've been thinking about us goin' away.

CORA:

That's what I've been thinking, too. Almost ever since I saw you. Frank, I - I'll leave a note for Nick. But where'll we go?

FRANK:

How do I know? Depends on which way we can thumb a ride.

MUSIC:

BRIEF BRIDGE ... FOR TRAVELING

SFX:

FRANK AND CORA'S FOOTSTEPS ON ROAD ... AUTO ROARS BY WITHOUT STOPPING

CORA:

Hm, there goes another one whizzing by.

FRANK:

Don't worry, Cora, we'll get a lift.

CORA:

But when? Oh, I don't know which is more tired, my thumb or my arches.

FRANK:

Now, wait a minute, let's take time out.

SFX:

FOOTSTEPS OUT AS FRANK DROPS SUITCASE TO GROUND

FRANK:

Here, sit on the bag. Now, let's have it. What's on your mind?

CORA:

Frank, if I divorce Nick, he'll never give me a nickel. He'll keep the Twin Oaks and everything.

FRANK:

What do we care?

CORA:

Well, maybe it doesn't mean anything to you, but I want to be somebody -- and the Twin Oaks is mine, and if I walk out like this, I'll lose all I put in it, and I'll never be anybody. (APOLOGETIC) Oh, I love you, Frank, and I want you. But not this way. Not starting off like a couple of tramps. I'm going back.

FRANK:

(UNHAPPY) Okay. You're the boss.

CORA:

Please understand, it's - it's only because I love you and-- Frank!

FRANK:

What's the matter now?

CORA:

The note I left for Nick! Oh, if he gets home before we do--!

FRANK:

Where'd you leave it?

CORA:

In the cash register!

FRANK:

The first place he'll look. Come on, let's get back there.

MUSIC:

BRIEF BRIDGE ... FOR RUSHING BACK HOME

SFX:

DOOR OPENS ... FRANK AND CORA'S HURRIED FOOTSTEPS TO CASH REGISTER WHICH OPENS

CORA:

(RELIEVED) Oh, it's okay. The note's still here. Gee, we made it, Frank.

FRANK:

(EXHALES) Not by much. Wait a minute, isn't that Nick's car comin' up the road?

CORA:

Ohh. Then I'd better put that bag away.

FRANK:

Well, wait a minute. Why is he drivin' like that, from side to side?

CORA:

Well, he must have been celebrating again. He's drunk!

FRANK:

He's either drunk or he's crazy. (YELLS) Hey! Look out! Look out! That truck!

CORA: (SCREAMS) Frank!

SFX:

SCREECHING TIRES, OFF

FRANK:

Boy, that was close. (GRIM) I wish he'd get into that car someday and get plastered and drive off a cliff.

MUSIC:

IN BG

CORA:

(SURPRISED) Frank -- you don't mean that. You were - joking?

FRANK:

(LIGHTLY) Sure. Sure, I was - joking.00

CORA:

(QUIETLY, UNNERVED) Of course you were joking. Of course.

MUSIC:

UP FOR AN ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

FRANK:

(NARRATES) I couldn't get to sleep that night. Maybe I was afraid of sleep, maybe I was afraid I'd dream and so I - I went outside and I lit a cigarette and I walked around. I - I noticed the light was on in Nick and Cora's room. Then, almost without knowing it, I was standing near their window. That's how I happened to hear what I did. [X]

NICK:

Oh, but, Cora, there's something to celebrate, isn't it, if I sell the Twin Oaks at a big profit?

CORA:

But that's what I don't understand. We're making good money. Why sell out now?

NICK:

Oh, for one thing, so you can take it easy. We're goin' back to Michigan to live with my sister.

CORA:

Your sister? You never even told me you had a sister.

NICK:

Oh, I didn't want to worry you. You see, she hasn't been well for the last few years. Sort of paralyzed. She needs us to take care of her.

CORA:

Oh, you mean she needs me. She needs a free nurse.

NICK:

Well, now, Cora, please--

CORA:

I won't do it, Nick! And I won't let you sell! Half of this place ought to be mine. More than half of it. All of it. And I'll stop you somehow.

NICK:

(QUIETLY TRIUMPHANT) I don't think so, Cora. Remember when we got married, that little paper you signed?

CORA:

Well, that just gave you the right to rent this place for us.

NICK:

That's what I let you think. That paper was what they call a marriage settlement.

CORA:

(GASPS) Nick! Nick, you didn't do that to me? Why, you thief! You cheat! You liar! (SOBS, CONTINUES IN BG)

NICK:

Well, after all, I'd only known ya a couple of weeks. I had to protect that house back in Michigan. But, since you don't care about my sister, that paper can cover the Twin Oaks, too.

CORA:

(SOBS) Oh, Nick-- Nick-- Nick--

MUSIC:

SOMBER BRIDGE

CORA:

(SOBS)

SFX:

FRANK'S FOOTSTEPS ON GROUND ... THEN OUT BEHIND--

FRANK:

(LOW VOICE) Cora! Cora, it's me.

CORA:

Frank? Frank, what are you doing out here?

FRANK:

I - I couldn't sleep. I was walkin' around. Cora, I was outside your window a little while ago. I, er-- I heard what Nick said.

CORA:

Well, I won't let him do it. I won't let him do it.

FRANK:

I don't know how ya can stop him, Cora.

CORA:

Frank -- do you love me?

FRANK:

Yes.

CORA:

Do you love me so much that nothing else matters?

FRANK:

Yes.

CORA:

Then there's - there's one thing we could do that would fix up everything.

FRANK:

(AMUSED, SKEPTICAL) What? Pray for something to happen to Nick?

CORA:

Oh, something like that.

FRANK:

(SURPRISED, PAUSE, WHISPERS) Cora!

CORA:

Well, you suggested it yourself this afternoon.

FRANK:

I - I was only joking.

CORA:

Hm. Were you?

FRANK:

Yeah. Yeah, I was.

CORA:

Or had you started to think about it a little?

FRANK:

Now, wait a minute, Cora, I--

CORA:

Frank, listen to me. I'm not what you think I am. I just want to keep this place and work hard and be something. That's all. You see, I - I've made a big mistake in my life. And I've got to be this way just once, to fix it.

FRANK:

They hang you for that.

CORA:

Oh, but not if you do it right. And you're smart, Frank. You'll think of a way.

FRANK:

He never did anything to me.

CORA:

Sure he did. Maybe he didn't know it, but he did it to you -- and me -- the both of us. Oh, don't you see, Frank? Us! That's all that matters.

FRANK:

You - you really love me - that much?

CORA:

That much. Oh, I'm no good, Frank. I - I'm no good. But I love you. It's in the cards.

FRANK:

Yeah. I guess it's in the cards.

MUSIC:

TO A FINISH

SFX:

APPLAUSE

ANNOUNCER:

The second act of the Lady Esther Screen Guild Play will follow in a moment. Now, a word from Lady Esther.

LADY ESTHER:

Tonight, I have some really exciting news for you about a brand new shade of face powder created especially for summer, a new summer tan shade called "Malibu Tan." I designed this smart new Malibu Tan to make you look like a divine sun goddess. And I named it after Malibu Beach in California. It's spelled M-A-L-I-B-U. Malibu Tan is a simply heavenly shade -- soft, subtle, and so flattering. It gives your skin a glorified healthy suntanned look. The moment you try my new Lady Esther Malibu Tan, you'll say it's the most flattering summer tan powder you've ever seen. And the longer you wear it, the better you'll like it -- because Malibu Tan will not change its color after it's on your skin. It never turns reddish, never gets that ugly orange tinge. Here at last is a summer tan shade of face powder which holds its true color on your skin.

Smart women everywhere will wear my new Malibu Tan this summer. It's the last word in fashion. All your summer clothes will look so much smarter if your skin has Malibu Tan's flattering suntanned look. Be sure to wear it for evening wear, too. See how Malibu Tan flatters your skin at night. And when you wear a low-necked, short-sleeved dress, use Malibu Tan on your arms and neck as well as on your face. See what admiring glances you get. And see if your favorite man doesn't say, "You look simply gorgeous tonight."

MUSIC:

THEME

ANNOUNCER:

And now Lady Esther presents the second act of "The Postman Always Rings Twice," starring John Garfield and Lana Turner.

MUSIC:

ROMANTIC, DOOM-LADEN INTRODUCTION ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

FRANK:

(NARRATES) We didn't know how we were gonna do it. We didn't have any plan. It was Nick himself who gave it to us. The following morning he was feeling real good. Cora had made up with him and he was bubbling over with ideas. [X]

NICK:

This fella who's buying the place. He wants me to meet him tomorrow morning in Santa Barbara. We can all drive up tonight and have a little celebration.

FRANK:

What do you mean we can all drive up? Where do I come in?

NICK:

Oh, well, I want you to meet him, Frank. I told him you'd manage the Twin Oaks for him. I gave you a pretty good recommendation.

FRANK:

Oh, thanks.

CORA:

(COOL) Well, he doesn't get the place until tomorrow. Anything we take in today is still ours. Come on, let's get out there and get to work.

MUSIC:

AN ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, FADES OUT AT [X]

FRANK:

(NARRATES) That's how she was all afternoon -- quiet, cold, deliberate -- until we had the plan all set, and got ready to leave. Part of my job was to get Nick drunk, but I didn't have to try very hard.

NICK:

(DRUNKENLY SINGING "THERE'S A LONG, LONG TRAIL A-WINDING," IN BG)

FRANK:

(NARRATES) We started celebrating around four o'clock. By seven-thirty, it was getting dark, [X] so we locked up the place and started out. Cora at the wheel; Nick and me and a bottle of wine in the back seat.

SFX:

AUTO ENGINE, IN BG

NICK:

(STOPS SINGING) Ha ha! Come on, Frank. Let's have a little harmony, huh?

FRANK:

All right.

FRANK AND NICK:

(SING) There's a long, long trail a-windin' ...

NICK:

(SINGS) ... into the land of my-- (SPEAKS) Hey, Cora. Cora, you're makin' the wrong turn.

CORA:

No, I'm not. This takes us right by Lake Sherwood. I've always wanted to see it, Nick.

NICK:

Oh. Well, sure, why not?

FRANK AND NICK:

(SING) There's a long, long trail--

MUSIC:

AN ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

FRANK:

(NARRATES) And that's how we were when we reached the top of the pass -- where the road is cut right from the side of the mountain. Nick was just having another drink when Cora stopped the car at the edge of the cliff. [X]

SFX:

AUTO ENGINE SLOWS TO A STOP ... ENGINE OUT

NICK:

Hey! Hey, what ya stoppin' for, Cora? We got a long way to go.

CORA:

Well, the engine's overheated. I - I'd better let it cool off.

NICK:

Say, that's right. Gotta save this little bus to take to Michigan.

FRANK:

Hey, Nick, how 'bout another song? We were goin' pretty good before. Come on.

NICK:

Oh, sure, sure. Just hold this bottle, Frank; I'll start it off. (SINGS) Oh, pack--

FRANK AND NICK:

(SING) --up your troubles in your old kit bag and smile, smile, smi--

SFX:

BLOW TO THE HEAD

NICK:

(GROANS)

CORA: Frank?

FRANK:

Get out of the car, quick!

SFX:

CORA GETS OUT OF CAR

FRANK:

Stand by, I'll have to jump.

CORA:

Yeah, I left it in high.

FRANK:

Good, we can throw it right off.

SFX:

AUTO ENGINE STARTS ... AUTO GOES OVER CLIFF ... LOUD CRASH ... PAUSE

CORA:

Frank. Frank, we did it.

FRANK:

It'll be tough goin' from here. You sure you can go through with it?

CORA:

Oh, after seeing that, I can go through with anything.

FRANK:

You'll have to muss up your dress. Rip it up. I'll get down there and climb in the car, rough myself up.

CORA:

Yeah.

FRANK:

And when you're sure I'm inside, you can head down the road and start yellin' for help. Are you positive you can take it, Cora?

CORA:

Oh, yes. There's just one thing now. Us. Nothing else matters.

MUSIC:

AN ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

FRANK:

(NARRATES) The car had stopped halfway down the cliff, hung up on a little ledge. I scrambled down to it, climbed in the back, and pulled the door open.

SFX:

CAR DOOR OPENS

FRANK:

(NARRATES) Cora started yelling up on the road--

CORA:

(OFF) Help! Help!

FRANK:

(NARRATES) And then, all of a sudden, the car slid forward. [X]

SFX:

AUTO SLIDES LOOSE, THEN IN AGREEMENT WITH FOLLOWING--

FRANK:

(NARRATES) It began to gain speed, turned over twice, and then something hit me and everything went black!

MUSIC:

AN ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

FRANK:

When I woke up, I - I was in the hospital. First, the doctor was there, and then the district attorney fella, named Sackett. He asked a lot of questions and wrote down everything I said, and then he opened the door and called to Cora. [X]

SACKETT:

(OFF) All right, Mrs. Smith, you can see him now.

CORA:

(OFF) Thank you. (CLOSER) Hello, Frank. How are you?

FRANK:

Uh, shaken up a little, Mrs. Smith.

CORA:

Oh. Your arm?

FRANK:

Well, the doctor says it isn't broken. How are you?

CORA:

I missed getting hurt by a miracle.

SACKETT:

That was a crazy stunt your husband pulled, Mrs. Smith. Reaching from the back, trying to grab the wheel.

CORA:

Oh, yes. Poor Nick, he was so drunk.

SACKETT:

Yeah. Well, I might as well get this report turned in. Chambers, you told the doctor you were driving?

FRANK:

I was.

SACKETT:

Mrs. Smith told me that she was at the wheel.

CORA:

I was.

SACKETT:

How 'bout that, Chambers?

FRANK:

Well, I don't know. I-- Well, it seemed to me that I was driving, but, er-- Well, I - I couldn't be sure. I mean-- Well, I - I guess I'd been drinkin' a little, too.

SACKETT:

Yeah. I saw the chemist's report on your blood. You keep drinkin' like that for a few more years and your blood's gonna be ninety proof.

FRANK:

Well, I'm gonna swear off that stuff right now.

SACKETT:

That's a very good idea. You wouldn't want another accident like this. Next time, you might not get off so lucky.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

FRANK:

(NARRATES) They all took it like that. Swallowed our story from start to finish. They brought me a lot of papers to sign, and then they checked me out of the hospital, and then Cora and I took the bus for home. All the way out, she never said one word -- just kept staring out of the window. But once we were back at the Twin Oaks again, and the door was locked, and we knew we were safe-- [X]

CORA:

Frank?

FRANK:

Yes, Cora?

CORA:

Frank, are you sorry?

FRANK:

Well, not exactly sorry. I just sort of feel as though-- Cora, let's clear out of here! Let's go somewhere, anywhere!

CORA:

And give up this place? After what I've gone through to keep it? Huh! Oh, no, not on your life. What's the matter, Frank? Getting scared?

FRANK:

Maybe I am. Almost any minute I expect to hear that guitar again. Or him singing, the way-- The way he was singing when I--

CORA:

Oh, you're just using that for an excuse. You want to go away because you still think it's fun to be a - a tramp.

FRANK:

Oh, Cora, please.

CORA:

You've been trying to make a tramp out of me ever since you've known me. But you're not going to do it. I'm staying here.

FRANK:

All right, I'll do whatever you say. And you know why.

CORA:

What do you mean, I know why? Are you trying to say, you're afraid of me? Afraid I might try to double cross you? Go back to Sackett and try to pin the whole thing on you?

FRANK:

Cora--

CORA:

So that's the truth of it! Oh. If you stay here, it's only because you're afraid to leave.

FRANK:

That's not true. It isn't-- (BEAT, REALIZES) But maybe that's why you won't let me go. You're afraid that maybe I might squeal.

CORA:

Maybe I am.

FRANK:

All right then. We're hooked.

CORA:

I guess maybe we are. But I won't feel so bad -- after we're married.

FRANK: Married?

CORA:

Well, there happens to be a law in this country, Frank. A husband and wife can't testify against each other. (CHUCKLES) I think maybe we'll both feel safer that way.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG, OUT AT [X]

FRANK:

(NARRATES) She didn't want to get married right away. She was afraid it might start people talking. So the next few weeks were pretty brutal. Her watching me; me watching her. Each of us scared of what the other might do. There were times I thought I couldn't stand it any more. And then one evening, she came to me. [X]

CORA:

Frank? I think we'll get married tonight. Some little town, down near the border. You bring out the car and I'll go get my things.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN OUT

SFX:

AUTO ENGINE ... THEN IN BG

CORA:

Frank?

FRANK:

Yes, Cora?

CORA:

Frank, before we're married, I want to know something. And tell me the truth, because I'm going to tell the truth to you.

FRANK:

What do you wanna know?

CORA:

During these weeks, sometimes, you must have planned to run away. Why didn't you?

FRANK:

Ha! Why didn't I? Because we're chained to each other. Ever since that night on the mountain, Cora. We were on top of a mountain. But it's been on top of us ever since that night.

CORA:

Is that the only reason you didn't go away?

FRANK:

No. It was because of you and me.

CORA:

Don't say you love me now.

FRANK:

The funny part is -- I do.

CORA:

No. No, that's not love, Frank. When fear comes into it, it isn't love any more. It's hate.

FRANK:

Do you - hate me?

CORA:

I don't know. And I've got to know. I've got to know the truth. Frank? Frank, will you do something for me? Then I'll know.

FRANK:

How?

CORA:

Take me up to the beach, swimming. That place we went, first time you kissed me.

FRANK:

Well, that's a funny thing to--

CORA:

Oh, please. Please, Frank, don't ask any questions. Just take me down to the beach, and I promise you everything will be settled, one way or the other, before we come back.

FRANK:

Well, if it means so much to ya--

CORA:

Here. You take the next road to the right.

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN OUT

SFX:

SLOSHING OF TWO SWIMMERS IN WATER

FRANK:

Cora, don't - don't you think we're out far enough? There's a riptide tonight.

CORA:

(BREATHLESS) Yes, I - I think this ought to be far enough. Whew!

FRANK:

Tired?

CORA:

Oh, yes. Very tired. How about you?

FRANK:

Oh, I'm - I'm still all right.

CORA:

I swim better than you, but you're stronger. Frank, Frank this is what I meant -- in the car.

FRANK:

What?

CORA:

If you don't trust me completely-- If you don't believe I'd never turn on you--

FRANK:

Cora!

CORA:

If you don't want me to go back with you, you - you don't have to. You can swim back by yourself. I'm too tired to make it. And nobody will ever know.

FRANK:

Cora? Cora! I wouldn't want to live without ya.

CORA:

(RELIEVED) Oh, Frank!

FRANK:

Don't say another word, honey. Just save your breath. I'll take ya in.

CORA:

(LAUGHS HAPPILY)

MUSIC:

BRIEF ROMANTIC BRIDGE

SFX:

AUTO ENGINE ... THEN IN BG

FRANK:

Cora? Are ya - are ya sure now?

CORA:

(DREAMILY) Mm, I'm sure. I'm sure I love you. And I'm sure we're going to be happy. Almost as happy as if all this had come to us before Nick.

FRANK:

That wasn't our luck, Cora, but we'll start out now -- a brand new life.

CORA:

Yes. A brand new life.

FRANK:

Let's kiss on that, huh?

CORA:

Oh, no, no, not while you're driving.

FRANK:

(TRYING TO KISS HER) Come on, honey, come on.

CORA:

No. No, when we get home, Frank. Then there'll be kisses. Kisses with dreams in 'em. Kisses that come from life, not death.

FRANK:

(CUDDLING HER) Aw, just one little one now. Come on, honey--

CORA:

(GIGGLES, RELENTS) All right. Here. One teensy-- (SCREAMING) FRANK! THE BRIDGE!

SFX:

TIRES SQUEAL ... AUTO RUNS OFF ROAD AND -- CRASHES!

MUSIC:

HUGE ACCENT ... THEN OUT

SACKETT:

(A PASSIONATE SPEECH) Gentlemen of the jury, I tell you this man is a mad dog! A mad dog that must be put out of the way to protect the homes and lives of our community! Cora Smith's letter, which we found in her room, proves, without question, that Frank Chambers helped her to kill her husband, so that between them, they could share his estate! But not content with his share -- greedy and desirous of having it all for himself -- he then conceived this fiendish plan to kill her, too! The evidence is complete and overwhelming. There is only one verdict that you can bring in. Guilty! Guilty of murder in the first degree!

MUSIC:

ACCENT ... THEN IN BG

FRANK: (NARRATES) Let 'em talk. Doesn't matter what they say. Doesn't matter what they do to me now. If I could only be sure that Cora knows, that she understands how it happened. And if I could only be sure that somewhere, somehow, I'll have a chance to tell her, and make her believe. I never really wanted anything in the world but her.

Hm. Funny how it all works out. It's just like when you're expecting a letter. You hang around the front door, afraid you might not hear the postman ring. You forget that the postman always rings twice. Yeah. He rang twice for Cora and now he's ringing twice for me.

MUSIC: TO A FINISH

SFX:

APPLAUSE

ANNOUNCER:

Thank you, John Garfield and Lana Turner, for a most absorbing performance.

TURNER:

It was a pleasure to be here, Mr. Bradley. We know how much this radio program contributes to the Motion Picture Relief Fund and its country house -- so we all feel it's a great privilege to share in that work. Now, before we tell you about next week's show, here's a word from one of America's best-known beauty authorities, Lady Esther.

LADY ESTHER:

Thank you, Miss Turner. This summer, it's going to be smarter than ever to have a wonderful suntan. But how many women can get suntan without having their skin get that coarse, parched, dried-out look? Well, I discovered a new and quicker way to get a smooth, even tan -- and keep your skin soft and smooth while you're tanning. It's so simple, it sounds incredible, but I've seen the swimming results on many women.

Before you go out in the sun, just put a delicate film of Lady Esther Cream over all your skin that's exposed. As soon as your skin absorbs the cream, apply more. Your skin will tan more quickly and it won't get that parched, dried-out look. Lady Esther Cream gives your skin the tanning benefits of the sun, counteracts the drying effect, and helps nature refine your pores.

Then, when you've had enough sun, just wipe off my Lady Esther Cream and put on my heavenly new Malibu Tan Face Powder. Malibu Tan was specially created for summer, to give your skin that smart, vital, suntanned look. Malibu Tan is such a flattering suntan shade. It never turns reddish on your skin, never gets that ugly orange tinge. If you want to look like a divine sun goddess, wear my new Malibu Tan.

MUSIC:

THEME ... THEN IN BG

ANNOUNCER:

Next week, the Lady Esther Screen Guild Players will present "Rose Marie." It will star Jeanette MacDonald and Nelson Eddy. Be sure to listen.

"The Postman Always Rings Twice" was produced and directed by Bill Lawrence, adapted by Harry Kronman, and was presented by arrangement with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, producers of "Living in a Big Way," starring Gene Kelly and Marie McDonald. Music on tonight's program was arranged and conducted by Wilbur Hatch. John Garfield will soon be seen in the Enterprise production "Body and Soul." Lana Turner appeared by arrangement with Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, producers of the Technicolor musical "Fiesta."

This is Truman Bradley speaking for Lady Esther. Thank you and good night. This is CBS, the Columbia Broadcasting System.

SFX:

APPLAUSE

MUSIC:

THEME ... TO A FINISH