Terry Pratchett's Going Postal (2010)
A con artist is enlisted to restart the post office in Ankh-Morpork.
An Old Lady asks a Clacks Cashier, which is a messaging service using towers and lights, to send a message to her cousin demanding they pay the money they owe her or die. John Dearheart's Clacks tower malfunctions and as he goes to repair it, he hears a voice and the rope he is hanging from suddenly breaks and John falls to his death. Moist pens a letter describing the past few months of his life. He starts at the beginning when he was orphaned and then sold his old family horse by painting it with shoe polish to make it look young and selling it to a Farmer. Through more horse trades he was able to buy a real diamond, which he then used to trick Sapphire into buying a glass diamond, by switching the two. He then went to the Cabbage Growers Bank where he sold fake bonds to the Bank Clerk. He buys a paper from a newsboy and then trades fake money for real bonds from the Undertaker. Sergeant Angua and the City Watch start to investigate and arrest Moist after she threatens to eat Moist. He is placed in prison and uses a spoon to dig out the mortar around a stone block. After he removes the stone, he finds another stone wall, with a spoon in front of it. Drumknott claps his hands and tells Moist, he will be hung in half an hour. He is brought before Trooper who gets his signature. Drumknott walks up and tells Trooper to hurry it up on order of Lord Vetinari. Moist wakes up in a coffin in Lord Vetinari's office and he offers Moist a new life and a job. Lord Vetinari offers Moist a choice, accept the job as the new Postmaster or walk out a door that leads to a chasm. Moist is given new clothes and a haircut and is told of his parole officer.
Moist rides his horse out of town and throws the keys to the post office on the ground. At night, he is woken up when the post office keys are thrown at him while he is in bed. Moist tries to run away, but is cornered by Mr Pump, who tells him his safety is his utmost concern. Moist is brought back to Lord Vetinari's office and Lord Vetinari explains why he wants Moist to open the post office, so there will be an alternative to the Clacks system, which constantly goes down. Moist tries to become friends with Mr Pump by telling him he is being overworked. They arrive at the post office and Moist reads the front sign motto, which is missing a large amount of letters. Reacher Gilt watches Moist walk up to the post office and tells Horsefry, who warns Reacher that if the post office is reinstated it could be trouble for them. Moist walks inside and sees undelivered mail scattered everywhere. Groat runs up to Moist and introduces himself and then introduces him to Stanley who tells Moist some pin facts. Moist is given the postmaster's hat, which he refuses to put on.
Lord Vetinari has a meeting with Reacher, who tells Lord Vetinari he only answers to his shareholders. Groat takes Moist on a tour of the post office and after seeing all of the undelivered mail threatens to fire both Groat and Stanley. As Moist is about to step out, Mr Pump tells him he can track him anywhere in the world. Moist goes to Dave's Pin Exchange and asks Dave Pins to see his more risque pin magazines. He goes to deliver a letter to Parker, but Shop Girl tells him he is out back. He tells Shop Girl he is the new postmaster and she apologizes to him. Reacher rides up in a carriage and invites Moist into his carriage. He tells Moist the last four postmasters have died. Moist confronts Groat for not telling him about the deaths and bribes Stanley with a pin. Moist then promotes Groat to senior postman. Groat tells Moist about the deaths of the other postmasters and Moist thinks the ghosts of the post office are killing the postmasters. Moist tries to convince Mr Pump to let him leave, but Mr Pump tells Moist his crimes have caused the deaths of 22.8 people. Moist notices a metal tag on Mr Pump with the name of an organization called the Golem Trust. He goes to the Golem Trust and meets Adora Belle Dearheart, who initially fires an arrow at him and tells him someone threw a rock through the window due to some people's dislike for golems. Moist buys a pamphlet on golems and Adora tells him golems cannot be manipulated. He asks her out on a date, but she refuses and as he is leaving, she warns him to stay close to Mr Pump.
Moist has a nightmare about his past crime where he witnesses the Farmer hang himself after the horse Moist sells him dies almost immediately after the sale. As Moist runs to the door to leave, Parker is at the door with his new fiance, who he found out from the letter Moist had just delivered, actually loved him. Parker gives Moist some wedding invitations to mail out and Groat explains to Moist how the letter system works. Moist has an idea and goes to see Mr Spools to have him print out ready made stamps and Mr Spools suggests creating a whole set of different pictured stamps. Moist then makes Stanley in charge of creating stamps. Moist goes to Hugos Hairdressing and after showing Groat and Stanley that Hugos stole the letters on their sign from the post office's motto, he requests to speak with Hugo. The Receptionist initially blows off Moist, but then runs to Mr Hugo when Moist threatens to tell Lord Vetinari about the stolen letters. The letters are then returned to the motto sign. Miss Cripslock and Otto Chriek take notes and a photo as Moist gives a news conference about the reopening of the post office. Reacher reads the paper and tells Horsefry they need to take more direct action to stop Moist. Moist goes to the Golem trust and offers to hire all twelve available golems from Adora, and she tells him she will think about it.
During the evening Moist has another vision of his crimes, this one about the fake bonds he sold, which caused the Bank Clerk to be fired and put into prison and whose family then starved to death. A large group of customers enter the post office and Stanley goes to Mr Spools to get more stamps. As Stanley is running to Mr Spools, Dave Pins tries to tempt him with some new pins, but Stanley resists. Stanley arrives and when he notices Mr Spools and his workers are cutting out the individual stamps with scissors, comes up with the idea to have perforated paper for the stamps. Moist introduces a new express delivery service and tells Mr Pump to purchase Hobson's fastest horse. Adora arrives with the golems who are given giant stamp post office badges on their chests. Adora offers to help Moist challenge the Clacks and tells him how Reacher and his lawyers stole the Clacks system from her father. Hobson arrives with his fastest horse, Boris. Moist gets on Boris with a bag of mail and he and Adora ride together to deliver the mail. They stop at the remnants of the Clacks where John died and she tells Moist, John was murdered. Gryle arrives at Reacher's office and Reacher introduces him to Horsefry. Gryle reports what he has learned about Moist and Reacher orders Gryle to kill Moist. Moist delivers the mail at Sto Lat and tells the locals if they want to mail anything to form a line behind Boris. Moist once again asks Adora on a date and she tells him maybe.
He has another nightmare, this time of how the forged bonds caused the Dearhearts to lose the Clacks. The nightmare continues and Moist sees Adora switch from buying chocolates to cigarettes after her father dies. The next day, Adora goes to the post office and tells Moist she will go out with him, but he tells her she needs to stay away from him. Moist has a meeting with Miss Cripslock and she tells him how Reacher was able to steal the Clacks from the Dearhearts. Mr Pump tells Moist he needs to apologize to Adora and brings Ridcully to the post office to prove that the letters aren't trying to kill him. Ridcully tells Moist that words don't kill, only people and while animals do and Moist's problem is in his soul. Mr Pump suggests Moist write Adora a letter and tells him he set up a meeting with Adora at the best restaurant in town. Moist bluffs his way past the Maitre d' by telling him he is to have dinner with Reacher. Adora arrives and Moist gives her the letter he wrote with his confession. Gryle goes to the post office and starts chasing Stanley. Adora finishes the letter as Reacher arrives and Reacher acts like he and Moist are friends. Someone screams the post office is burning and when Moist goes to save Stanley, he is attacked by Gryle, who admits to killing all the previous postmasters. Moist fights back, but misses both of Gryle's hearts and Gryle tells him he was hired by Reacher and also was the killer of John. The mail starts to circle around Gryle and kills him. Stanley screams out and Moist saves him after telling the mail spirits, he owes them.
As the post office burns down, Moist tells Adora, Reacher had John killed, but she doesn't trust him. Aggy and a group of postmen show up and offer to help. Moist promotes Groat to deputy postmaster and tells him to start delivering mail again. Moist makes a special offer to customers when he sees that the Clacks is down that anyone can send a message for free if they have already paid for the message to be sent on the Clacks. Reacher proclaims an announcement of a new mobile technology. Moist accuses Reacher of sending an assassin after him to the crowd and Reacher declares war on the post office, which Miss Cripslock reports. Moist goes to a Priest and trades sausages for a prayer. The Priest explains how the essence of the sausage ascends to heaven and Moist asks for 150,000 dollars from the god Offler. Adora calls over Mr Pump and accuses him of being exploited. She goes inside and starts working on a miniature Clacks system. Reacher tells Horsefry that he has no intention of actually building a mobile network, but that it will be forever in development. Moist is suddenly possessed and takes Miss Cripslock and a group of onlookers to the secret location of buried gold as told to him by the god Offler. Moist digs up bags of coins, but is arrested by Sergeant Angua. Moist is brought before Lord Vetinari and set free and told the money will be kept by Drumknott, who will be in charge of paying any construction bills for the post office. Lord Vetinari tells Moist, John was a spy that worked for him.
Moist returns to the post office as Adora is trying to get the golems to strike, but she fails. Moist tells Adora that her brother was a spy and tries to get her to join him against Reacher. Before Moist introduces a new joint venture with Hobson's Livery, Stanley tells him he has started to collect stamps. As Hobson is delivering the mail, he is attacked by a group of bandits on horses. As Adora is systematically testing her mock Clacks tower, she figures out how to jam the Clacks towers. As Roger is sending messages the machine stops working and he calls over Princes to come look at it. Princess then sees that the entire system is down. Mr Pony tells Reacher, the Clacks system is experiencing a mass shutdown and they need to shutdown the entire system before it spreads. Reacher offers Mr Pony a bonus to figure out a solution without closing the Clacks and after Mr Pony leaves, Horsefry asks how much Reacher paid Gryle. Reacher then finds out that Horsefry has been keeping notes in his ledger on payments, including those for assassinations. Reacher asks Horsefry to bring him all of his ledgers and then throws them into the fireplace and beats Horsefry to death. Moist again offers to work with Adora when he sees she shut down the Clacks tower. She gives him a hint and he goes to the tower of the post office and finds Mad Al, Sane Alex and Adrian on the roof with a sort of hacking machine. They lie and and come up with excuses for why they are on the roof and Adora appears on the roof. They admit they are part of a hacker group called the Smoking Gnu and they show Moist how they hack the Clacks system.
Reacher accuses Roger and Princess of helping to shut down the system. He grabs Princess and holds her over the side of the Clacks tower and threatens to drop her. Mr Pony goes to the tower and tells Reacher he thinks he has figured out a workaround. The next day Reacher offers refunds to those affected by the outage, while Moist introduces a bandit-proof coach. Moist offers his hat as a wager that the Clacks will go down again during the evening and Reacher takes up the challenge. The hacking fails and Moist makes one more bet, that he can send a message to Uberwald faster than a Clacks can send the message. The rules are set in front of Lord Vetinari which includes, if Moist wins, the Clacks must be taken from Reacher while if Moist loses, he hangs. Stanley sells his entire pin collection to Dave Pins. Groat and Stanley tell Moist that they bet all of their money on the post office winning. Reacher threatens Mr Pony that if the Clacks lose, then Princess will suffer. Ridcully is called into Lord Venitari's office and told they need to use his Omniscope for the competition. Mr Pony goes to speak with Adora and leaves her Horsefry's ledgers which he saved from being burned. Adora reads the ledgers and finds the entry ordering the death of John. She shows Moist the ledgers and he comes up with a plan to block out the Clacks message with a sail and send their own message.
Waiting at the starting line is Ridcully and his Omniscope and Trooper with his noose. Moist reveals the message to be a book, the biography of Lord Vetinari. Stanley and Groat drop off supplies to Mad Al and Sane Alex and then continue on their way to Uberwald. As Princess and Roger are transmitting the message, the message suddenly stops before resuming again as Mad Al alters the message. Moist saves Adora from falling to her death and then asks her to marry him and she reminds him he still has to win the race. Sergeant Angua and the City Watch arrest Moist once more for trying to run away. Ridcully uses the Omniscope to read the Clacks message and Reacher declares himself the winner. Moist continues to stall his hanging until the Clacks message changes to list the murders committed by Reacher as annotated in the ledgers. Reacher throws his cane at the Omniscope, which causes it to explode and Trooper falls back onto the lever, dropping the floor under Moist, who begins to hang until he is grabbed and lifted up by Mr Pump. The Clacks are given to Adora, but Lord Vetinari warns her that if his game of Fud is interrupted, he will go after either her or Moist. As Moist and Andora start to kiss, she jokes that now they are competitors, perhaps their relationship would be inappropriate. A disguised Reacher is brought before Lord Vetinari, who makes him an offer. Later a Postman walks into Lord Vetinari's office with a letter for Reacher, and Lord Vetinari points to the door leading to the chasm and the Postman drops the letter in the abyss. Groat and Stanley arrive back in Ankh-Morpork and Groat realizes he left his and Stanley's winning betting ticket hidden under the mattress back at the inn at Uberwald.