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Directed by Jonathan Demme

United States 1980 95 mins.

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.