Netflix Prepper Pick: The Postman (1997) Starring Kevin Costner

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In this movie, a post-apocalyptic America is struggling to rebuild after a devastating war. A lone traveler finds his way to the small town of Cheyenne and begins to offer hope to the people there by delivering mail. At first, the townsfolk are hesitant to trust him, but he slowly wins them over with his charm and dedication.

This movie is a great survival lesson for preppers because it shows how important community is in times of crisis. The people of Cheyenne come together to help each other in order to survive, and the traveler learns that he can’t do it all alone.

This is a valuable lesson for preppers because it reminds us that we need to build strong relationships with like-minded people who can help us when times get tough.

Be warned, spoilers to follow if you have not seen it!

The Postman 1997 Trailer | Kevin Costner | Will Patton

Plot Synopsis

In 2013, a nomad from Utah’s flatlands debuted his skills on the Shakespearean stage for food and water in order to survive. The nomad is forced into the Holnists, the area’s major neo-fascist militia, with their logo branded on his shoulder.

General Bethlehem leads the de facto authority in the region, collecting taxes and recruits from local settlements. When the nomadic actor escapes, he hides in a long-abandoned postman’s mail vehicle.

He shows up in Pineview wearing a postal worker’s uniform and mail bag, claiming to be from the recently resurrected United States government. He convinces the town sheriff Briscoe by displaying a letter addressed to elderly villager Irene March.

The Postman sets Ford Lincoln Mercury aspires to become a postman. The Postman also encounters Abby and Michael, who desire him to make her pregnant after fulfilling their clinical request. After the Postman departs for Benning, he carries away a stack of mail left on the townspeople’s doorstep at the post office.

During a search of Pineview, General Bethlehem learns about the Postman’s stories of a resurrected government and becomes concerned about losing control if word gets out. He destroys the American flag and post office, kills Michael, captures Abby, then assaults Benning.

The Postman surrenders and is spared from execution by Abby; the two flee into the surrounding mountains on horseback. In an abandoned cabin, Abby is pregnant with her first child while the injured Postman recuperates.

They travel across the range when spring arrives, encountering a young woman who claims to be a postal carrier. She explains that Ford Lincoln Mercury built a mail service on the basis of the Postman’s tale. They’ve established connections with other communities, inadvertently creating a kind-of society and spreading optimism.

Meanwhile, Bethlehem is still fighting to repress the postal carriers, who are mostly teenagers opposed by a more powerful foe. In response to mounting losses, the Postman orders everyone to disband and prepares a surrender missive addressed to Bethlehem.

However, Bethlehem is shocked when his men capture a carrier from California and learns that the Postman’s example has gone farther than he had anticipated.

The Postman and Abby, followed by three young carriers Eddie, Ponytail, and Billy, journey to Bridge City. The scouts of Bethlehem catch up with the mayor, who assists the Postman in fleeing on a cable car in order to enlist volunteers for an army of carriers. He and Abby express their sentiments before departing and fall in love.

The Postman, in a recitation of King Henry V’s speech prior to the Siege of Harfleur, urges his men and himself to battle.

The Holnists meet across a field, with Carriers and Holnists facing off. Knowing that if the armies met in combat, their casualties would be severe, the Postman challenges Bethlehem for leadership while their troops are witnesses.

The Postman wins the fight but spares Bethlehem’s life in a magnanimous display of mercy. Bethlehem attempts to shoot the Postman, but he is shot by Colonel Getty, Bethlehem’s executive officer. Getty then gives up his weapons and accepts arrest, allowing the Holnists to do the same.

The Postman’s grown daughter, accompanied by other notable individuals and troops including postal workers, gives a speech at the unveiling of a bronze statue in St. Rose, Oregon, in memory of her father, who perished in 2043.

Her remarks, as well as contemporary clothing and technology, suggest that the Postman and his mail carriers’ efforts helped to rebuild the United States.

Critical Reception

The Postman was generally panned by movie critics. Rotten Tomatoes has a 22% rating, based on 36 reviews. The consensus reads: ” pompous and long-winded, The Postman is redeemed only by its impressive production values.” However, the movie was nominated for three Academy Awards, winning Best Original Score. The Postman also won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.

Despite its poor reception, The Postman is considered to be a cult classic by some and has developed a small but passionate following. People who enjoy post-apocalyptic stories or movies with strong survivalist themes are more likely to appreciate The Postman. And while the film may not be historically significant, it offers an entertaining glimpse into what life might be like after a major societal collapse.

Lessons for Preppers

  • A prepper can never have too many skills, or know when they might be useful. Costner’s postman in the movie is a perfect example of someone who is able to both use and adapt his knowledge and skills to not only survive, but to thrive in a post-apocalyptic world. For instance, dramatic acting and knowledge of literature allowed him to deliver inspiring oratory to inspire his troops and hold them together in the face of a terrible fate.
  • Having a positive attitude can be just as important as having supplies and abilities. Survival is a mental game. The postman was able to inspire hope in those he met, which helped them to build a new society.
  • It is important to be able to work with others, even if they are not like you. The postman was able to form alliances and work with people from all walks of life, which ultimately led to the success of his mission.
  • Preppers should never give up hope. No matter how bleak things seem, there is always a chance for redemption and rebuilding. The postman was able to not only survive, but rebuild something that was utterly destroyed.
  • Even in the darkest of times, there is always room for kindness and compassion. The postman showed mercy to his enemies, which ultimately led to peace. What may seem like a small act of kindness can have a ripple effect that changes your situation and even the world.
  • Preppers should always be prepared to adapt and change as the situation demands. The postman had to change his plans multiple times in order to survive, and change gears after unforeseen and devastating setbacks to ultimately succeed.
  • Preppers should never underestimate the importance of communication. The postman was able to succeed because he was able to communicate with those around him, both verbally and through the mail. Even archaic forms of communication may prove vital for coordination in long term survival situations!
  • A prepper should always be prepared for the unexpected. The postman never knew what he would find when he arrived in a new town or what challenges he would face along the way.
  • It’s important to maintain relationships with others, even in difficult times. The postman was able to build a network of postal workers only because he cultivated the right relationships.
  • These are just a few of the lessons that preppers can learn from The Postman.

Will You Watch it Tonight?

What did you think of The Postman? If you watched it, is it worth checking out? What other lessons do you think are important? Let us know in the comments below! And be sure to check out our other Netflix Prepper Picks. Until next time, happy prepping!

Worth checking out.


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5 thoughts on “Netflix Prepper Pick: The Postman (1997) Starring Kevin Costner”

  1. I love this movie. I have watched it about 30 times and it gets better everytime. I always notice something different everytime I watch it. I like their security fence(Logs) when he comes up to the little town with the mail. I like the premise of the movie, that we have to move on from the bad and have some semblance of normalcy. I would be comforting to know that you were able to get mail and hear from others.

  2. I picked up a paperback copy of “The Postman” in 1985. I read it over once a year. I watch the DVD before each reading now. Science tells us that the last memory we have is a visual image. I find that implanting a visual image prior to reading the same story truly brings the ‘story’ to life. Like “The Postman” Read the book… after the movie. It is a different story.t


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