Top 10 Movies with Postal Theme

As I was searching for a good film to watch tonight, I stumbled upon a great article written by Nancy Pope on the Postal Museum blog which compiles a list of the 10 best postal movies.

The article is reproduced below.

Note: I added more movie posters and some commemorative postage stamps.

The 10 Best Postal Movies

By Nancy Pope, Historian and Curator

Stepping out of any professional postal museum curatorial role, I have compiled an only moderately arbitrary and completely personal list of the films I would call the 10 best movies with postal themes. Have you noticed how many films have postal themes in them? You will now!
#10 Overland Mail (1942)

overland mail movie 1942
Technically not a movie, but instead a 15-chapter serial, “Overland Mail” told the story of stagecoach company men sent to investigate a series of robberies. The cast includes Lon Chaney Jr. (Jim Lane) and Noah Beery Jr. (Sierra Pete) as the investigators and Helen Parrish as the daughter of the company’s manager. The chapters range from the first, “A Race with Disaster,” to the happy ending of chapter 15, “The Mail Goes Through.” The agents discover that it was not Indians attacking the stages, but white men dressed as Indians, trying to disrupt the mail line. The serial also featured father and son actors Noah Beery and Noah Beery, Jr.

#9 Diva (1981)

Diva 1981 Poster of the Movie
This French film stars Williamine Fernandez as a Paris mail carrier. He lives an eclectic life and is devoted to opera. He secretly tapes an American diva at a concert. His tape is confused with one that ties a police chief to criminals. While the main character is a mail carrier, the postal system is not important to the film.

#8 Air Mail (1932)

Ralph Bellamy plays the owner and operator of an airmail operation. The film looks at the high risk careers of the nation’s early airmail pilots. The film also features Pat O’Brien in the roll of a young and boastful airmail pilot – a depiction that played to many Americans’ thoughts about these wild young (and possibly crazy) men.

#7 The Aviator (1985)

postal theme movie - the aviator
Not to be confused with the more recent film about Howard Hughes, this film stars Christopher Reeve as an early US airmail pilot. He is flying as a contract pilot along CAM-5 (Contract Air Mail route #5) between Elko, Nevada, and Pasco, Washington. Although regulations and Reeve are only interested in carrying the mail, a rich man insists on his daughter (Rosanna Arquette) being carried as a passenger. Of course the pair fight, and are endangered when the plane crashes in a mountainous region. The pair survives the crash (and wolves) with a hint of a romantic future in the end.

#6 Only Angels Have Wings (1939)

Cary Grant plays a brave airmail pilot operating in South America, flying mail over the Andes mountains. Jean Arthur and Rita Hayworth make life more interesting (and challenging) for our pilots while they are on the ground. In a nod to real life, the plot revolves around the need for the company to secure a government mail contract in order to survive. In the United States, it was the airmail contracts of the late 1920s and early 1930s that allowed commercial aviation to grow and flourish.



#5 Dear God (1996)

Greg Kinnear plays con man Tom Turner in this late 20th century film. After his latest arrest the court sentences him to getting a real job Tom ends up working at the local post office’s Dead Letter Office where undeliverable mail ends up. He mistakenly sends money to someone who had addressed a letter plea “to God.” The accidental good deed inspires his co-workers, and finally even the con man himself. Before long the workers are doing all they can to answer the “Dear God” letters, helping people and of course, finding the good in themselves.

#4 Il Postino, i.e., The Postman (1994)

Cucccinota IL Postino postal-theme-movie
This amusing Italian film shares the story of an exiled poet who is befriended by a man who is hired as a letter carrier to deliver all the new extra mail following the poet to his new tiny island home. The poet becomes the young postman’s guide to expressing himself, and of course, helps him woo a young woman.

#3 Appointment with Danger (1951)

postal theme movie appointment with danger
One of the few films featuring a US postal inspector hero, “Appointment with Danger” features Alan Ladd as inspector Al Goddard. When a fellow inspector is killed, he has to find and protect the witness, a nun played by Phyllis Calvert. Ladd also infiltrates the criminal gang responsible by pretending to be on the take. One of the amusing side notes of this film is the appearance of Jack Webb and Harry Morgan, later famous as the no-nonsense detectives in “Dragnet” as part of the criminal gang.

#2 Charade (1963)

If you haven’t seen this film, then you probably don’t know why it’s on this list. And the last thing I’m going to do is spoil that for you. So let’s just say that any movie that has Cary Grant and Audrey Hepburn in it is worth watching, regardless. And if there’s a connection to mail or the post, so much the better!


Audrey Hepburn -Germany -Mint Error Sheet

#1 Miracle on 34th Street (1947)


Miracle on 34th Streeet - Maureen O'Hara and John Payne

This quintessential Christmas movie is also a quintessential postal film. The film’s most dramatic point is when Kris Kringle is on trial and under pressure to admit that there is no such thing as Santa. But Santa’s cause is saved by the appearance of workers bearing sack after sack of letters addressed to Santa. His young lawyer argues that “every one of these letters is addressed to Santa Claus. The Post Office has delivered them. Therefore the Post Office Department, a branch of the Federal Government, recognizes this man Kris Kringle to be the one and only Santa Claus.” Faced with such overwhelming evidence, the judge has no choice but to admit that “since the United States Government declares this man to be Santa Claus, this court will not dispute it.”

Although not the topic of this blog, I could not end this blog without mentioning the worst postal movie of all time. It has to be Kevin Costner’s “The Postman.” In which an acclaimed science fiction novel is turned into a mush of a film.

Source: Postal Museum

We are in for a treat!

Happy movie time :-)



Will Rogers Reveals How To Make Things Happen…

USA 1979 Will Rogers Cowboy Postage Stamp

USA 1979 Will Rogers Actor & Humorist Scott 1801

Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.”

In his great wisdom, Will Rogers gave us a secret key towards the realization of our goals: take action!

USA 1948 Will Rogers Scott 975 Postage Stamps

USA 1948 Will Rogers Commemorative Postage Stamp

Remembering Rogers

On November 4, 1948, the U.S. Post Office commemorated Rogers with a three-cent stamp. He also was honored on the centennial of his birth, in 1979, with the issuance of a U.S. Postal Service 15-cent stamp.

At the time of his death, Will Rogers was the country’s most widely read newspaper columnist, between his daily “Will Rogers Says” and his weekly column. His Sunday night half-hour radio show was the nation’s most-listened-to weekly broadcast. He was the nation’s number-two movie box-office draw in 1933, behind Marie Dressler; and number one in 1934; he was second in 1935, behind Shirley Temple.

Many a place is named after him, including the Will Rogers World Airport in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, and the submarine USS Will Rogers. Will Rogers’ home, stables, and polo fields are today the Will Rogers State Park in Pacific Palisades, California. Rogers’ birthplace, on land overlooking his original ranch now covered by the reservoir Lake Oologahis, is open to the public.

”]Will Rogers - Journalist, Author, Humanist & ActorA statue of Will Rogers on a horse stands on the Texas Tech University campus. At Epcot Center in Florida, an Audio-Animatronic Will Rogers is seen twirling his lasso and speaking in the “American Adventure” 1930s sequence. The Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun observation tower, built near Cheyenne Mountain in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is open every day of the year, weather permitting.Will Rogers had many famous sayings, but was known widely for “I never met a man I didn’t like,” which indicated his love and respect for people all over the world.Source:

USA Gold Stamp Will Rogers

USA Regular and 22 carat Gold Stamp - Will Rogers Commeorative Cover


Nicaragua 1931 Will Rogers Airmail Stamps on FDC

1931 Will Rogers Flight to Nicaragua after Managua Earthquake

Until next, happy collecting!


Your Topical Stamp Collecting Queen ;-)


The Fascinating Saga of Germany’s Audrey Hepburn “Error” Stamps


Audrey Hepburn photo with sunglasses- Holly Golightly in Breakfast At Tiffany's. - Source:

Take a close look at the above photograph…

Now, examine carefully the stamps below:  


Notice a difference?

Yes, you got it  :-)

Audrey Hepburn is pictured with a woman’s cigarette holder instead of the sunglasses on the original photo !!

How come ?
Read on…
Sean Ferrer, Audrey Hepburn’s son, will tell us more…

“In the original photo, she’s got sunglasses hanging from her mouth, but they (Germany Postal Administration)  had flipped the negative and replaced the glasses with the cigarette holder,”  Ferrer told The Associated Press this month.

Sean Ferrer -Schlegel Auction German Error Audrey Hepburn Mint Sheet

Sean Ferrer at Schlegel Auction House beside A$610,000. Sold German Error Mint Sheet Stamp

The first printing of the German sheets of 10 stamps had been destroyed back in 2001 , when Sean Ferrer refused to grant copyright to the German Postal Administration, arguing that the image had been altered.
Only 3 mint sheets survived…the one Ferrer received from the German Postal administration and two others for the post office archive and museum.
If that is the case, how come single postally used stamps started to surfaced and reach the desktop  of Auction Houses?

Read on….
Glen Stephens will tell us more…

Glen Stephen - Stamp News Australasia
Glen Stephen – Stamp News Australasia

In his September Newsletter, Glen Stephen reports :

The story of this famous stamp began in 2001 when the German post office (Deutsche Post) decided to issue a set of semi-postal stamps featuring movie stars, including Audrey Hepburn. They were to be issued in panes of 10 – the usual format in Germany. 

At the last minute, one of Hepburn’s two sons, Sean Ferrer objected to the stamp design, and refused to grant copyright approval.

Deutsche Post had strangely not sought family permission to use her image it seems. 

Ferrer is an active campaigner against alcohol and tobacco addiction and abuse.

It appears the first he knew of the impending issue, was when Deutsche Post mailed him a single mint stamp, and a pane showing their next issue.

Ferrer suggested using either the original photo or an alternative, but the postal service ended up scrapping the stamp and ordering those produced destroyed.

Deutsche Post says it saved only two sheets of the stamps – one for its own archive and one for the German Post Museum. But in 2004, a single stamp with Hepburn smoking, postmarked Berlin, landed on auctioneer Andreas Schlegel’s desk.

“I was obviously very surprised, because they never were supposed to be used as stamps at all,” Schlegel said.

Between 2004 and 2009, four other Hepburn stamps turned up and were authenticated. They sold at auction for between $87,200 and $341,000.

After his success selling the fifth stamp, Schlegel contacted Ferrer to suggest asking the German government if they could sell one of the archived stamp sheets for charity. But Ferrer had a better idea: Why not the pristine sheet Germany sent him in 2001, which he still had?

“Andreas almost fell backward and had an apoplectic fit when he heard this,” Ferrer said.

Ferrer then signed a contract with the German Finance Ministry, securing rights to sell the stamp sheet for charity and ensuring the government would not be able to sell either of its sheets until 2040.

That move helped drive up the price of the auction, said Mercer Bristow, director of stamp authentication for the American Philatelic Society.

“It goes back to supply and demand. It’s the only sheet out there people can bid on and she’s still such a popular actress,” he told the AP from Bellefonte, Pa.


Where did the used copies of stamps surfaced from?  From kiloware packages!

Kiloware is a term for packages of postage stamps sold to stamp collectors by weight rather than by quantity, often in kilograms, hence the name. Kiloware usually consists of used stamps on paper from mail clippings, although off paper stamps may also be sold as kiloware.

A postal employee would have taken out some sheets out of the destroying process and used them to mail out his correspondance!

Get the whole  story on this fascinating saga at  Glen Stephen’s Cover Stories .  As Glen says, his reporting will : “…give you the full rundown – it is the most comprehensive coverage of these stamps – in English OR German. And shows EVERY copy of the stamp known to exist, and outlines their unique stories.”


Used copy #3 of Audrey Hepburn Germany Error Stamp - Source

Mrs Gaby Bennewirtz, on the photo above, bought  #3 of the 5 postally used error stamps on behalf of her husband, a stamp collector and investment manager, Gerd Bennewirtz.

What a great addition to a Cinema/Movies and Error, Oddities , Freaks topical stamp collections!

Happy collecting and talk soon,


Your Topical Stamp Collecting Queen ;-)


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