Melvin and Howard

Demme’s fifth feature and first major critical success is a film dealing with the peculiarities of American lower-middle-class life that is ostensibly focused on the legend of Howard Hughes and his mysterious, nine-figure last will and testament. Hughes (Jason Robards) might be the big draw, but in this intimate work Demme is happy to follow Melvin Dummar (Paul Le Mat) through various trials and tribulations while he searches for his American Dream. As it turns out, a chance encounter and short car ride with Hughes will change Melvin’s life forever—much to his chagrin. A “sharp, engaging, very funny, anxious comedy.”—Vincent Canby, The New York Times.

Genres: Comedy, Drama

Other Films by Jonathan Demme

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Stop Making Sense

Thirty years after its release, Demme’s extraordinary Talking Heads concert movie, filmed over the course of three days at Hollywood’s historic Pantages Theatre, remains as fresh as ever. With each successive song band members, instruments and set pieces slowly join frontman David Byrne on stage, culminating in a full-blast, high-energy rockout. Featuring performances of “Psycho