Il Postino

1994 film by Michael Radford

Il Postino is a 1994 film about a simple Italian postman who learns to love poetry while delivering mail to a famous poet; he uses this to woo local beauty Beatrice.

Directed by Michael Radford. Written by Anna Pavignano, Michael Radford, Furio Scarpelli, Giacomo Scarpelli, and Massimo Troisi, based on the novel Ardiente paciencia by Antonio Skármeta.
He had no way to win her heart. Until a great poet showed him the power of words. (taglines)

Pablo Neruda

  • Man has no business with the simplicity or complexity of things.
  • When you explain poetry, it becomes banal. Better than any explanation is the experience of feelings that poetry can reveal to a nature open enough to understand it.
  • Even the most sublime ideas sound ridiculous if heard too often.

Mario Ruoppolo

  • If you make this much of a fuss about one poem, you're never going to win that Nobel Prize.
  • Your laugh is a sudden silvery wave.
  • Your smile spreads like a butterfly.
  • So what if we break our chains? What do we do then?


Pablo Neruda: [after reading a poem] What do you think?
Mario Ruoppolo: It's weird.
Pablo Neruda: What do you mean, weird? You're a severe critic.
Mario Ruoppolo: No, not your poem. Weird... Weird... how I felt while you were saying it.
Pablo Neruda: How was that?
Mario Ruoppolo: I don't know. The words went back and forth.
Pablo Neruda: Like the sea then?
Mario Ruoppolo: Exactly. Like the sea.
Pablo Neruda: There, that's the rhythm.
Mario Ruoppolo: I felt seasick, in fact.
Pablo Neruda: Because...
Mario Ruoppolo: I can't explain it. I felt a boat tossing around on those words.
Pablo Neruda: Like a boat tossing around on my words? Do you know what you've done, Mario?
Mario Ruoppolo: No, what?
Pablo Neruda: You've invented a metaphor. Yes, you have!
Mario Ruoppolo: Really? But it doesn't count because I didn't mean to.
Pablo Neruda: Meaning to is not important. Images arise spontaneously.

Donna Rosa: When a man starts to touch you with words, he's not far off with his hands.
Beatrice Russo: There's nothing wrong with words.
Donna Rosa: Words are the worst things ever. I'd prefer a drunkard at the bar touching your bum to someone who says, "Your smile flies like a butterfly!"
Beatrice Russo: It spreads like a butterfly!
Donna Rosa: Flies, spreads, it's the same thing! Just look at you! One stroke of his finger, and you're on your back.
Beatrice Russo: You're wrong. He's a decent person.
Donna Rosa: When it comes to bed, there's no difference between a poet, a priest or even a communist!

Mario Ruoppolo: My dear poet and comrade, you got me into this mess, you've got to get me out of it. You gave me books to read, you taught me to use my tongue for more than licking stamps. It's your fault if I'm in love.
Pablo Neruda: No, this has nothing to do with me. I gave you my books but I didn't authorize you to steal my poems. If you think you gave Beatrice the poem I wrote for Matilde--
Mario Ruoppolo: Poetry doesn't belong to those who write it, but those who need it.


  • He had no way to win her heart. Until a great poet showed him the power of words.
  • Dreams do come true.
  • A shy postman didn't stand a chance with the island's most beautiful woman until the great poet of love gave him the courage to follow his dreams...and the words to win her heart.
  • An irresistible treat about love, letters, and laughter!
  • When he found the power to express what was in his heart, he found the love of a woman.


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