"Il Postino" Is Released

In this remake of the 1983 Ardiente Paciencia by Antonio Skarmeta, the time and place have been changed to Italy in the 1950s, but the relationship between the Chilean Nobel Prize-winning poet Pablo Neruda and Mario (Massimo Troisi), the postman who delivers his copious mail, is still the focus of attention. In this version of the story, scripted by a collective of Anna Pavignano, the director Michael Radford, Troisi himself, and a few others (based on Skarmeta's original story), Neruda is an aloof and slightly elitist figure who is seeking solitude on an island off the coast of Italy, taking a respite from political problems at home. Mario is a poet at heart and employs every measure he is capable of inventing to win his way into the affections and attention of the great author. As his efforts start to bear fruit and Neruda unbends and begins to share conversation and philosophy with Mario, the postman idolizes the poet all the more. Eventually, Neruda shares his leftist political philosophy as well -- and helps him win over the captivating Beatrice, the woman of Mario's dreams. When Neruda leaves, Mario enters into high gear as he prepares material for the next time he sees Neruda -- his ardor and patience, alluded to in the original title -- are essentially indestructible. (Massimo Troisi) was fated never to know that Il Postino would receive worldwide acclaim and be nominated for an Oscar for "Best Picture" in 1995 (the first foreign film nominated in that category since Ingmar Bergman's Cries and Whispers 22 years earlier). Suffering from a heart ailment and unable to work more than an hour or two on the filming of Il Postino each day, he died in his sleep at the age of 41, the day after shooting ended on the film. ~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide

Il Postino is a 1994 Italian language film directed by Michael Radford. The film was originally released in the U.S. as The Postman, a straight translation of the Italian title. However, since the release of Kevin Costner's film of the same name, the film has been released on DVD as Il Postino: The Postman, and English-language film critics often refer to the film by its Italian title alone.

The film tells a fictional story in which the real life Chilean poet Pablo Neruda forms a relationship with a simple postman who learns to love poetry. It stars Philippe Noiret, Massimo Troisi and Maria Grazia Cucinotta. The screenplay was adapted by Anna Pavignano, Michael Radford, Furio Scarpelli, Giacomo Scarpelli and Massimo Troisi from the novel Ardiente paciencia by Antonio Skármeta. Skármeta himself had previously adapted his novel for the screen in 1985 as Ardiente paciencia.

Writer/star Massimo Troisi postponed heart surgery so that he could complete the film. The day after filming was completed, he suffered a fatal heart attack.