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Melvin and Howard (1980)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 3,153 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 15 critic

The story of hard-luck Melvin Dummar, who claimed to have received a will naming him an heir to the fortune of Howard Hughes.

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Title: Melvin and Howard (1980)

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Won 2 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Elizabeth Cheshire ...
Darcy Dummar
...
Chip Taylor ...
Clark Taylor
Melvin E. Dummar ...
Bus Depot Counterman
...
Little Red
...
Lucy
Gene Borkan ...
Go-Go Club Owner #1
Lesley Margret Burton ...
Go-Go Dancer
Wendy Lee Couch ...
Go-Go Dancer
Marguerite Baierski ...
Go-Go Dancer
Janice King ...
Go-Go Dancer
Deborah Ann Klein ...
Go-Go Dancer
Theodora Thomas ...
Go-Go Dancer
Edit

Storyline

This movie tells the possibly true story of Melvin Dummar. Melvin is a nice guy, but he is a total loser: unlucky, impractical and can't keep a job. One night, however, he helps an old man who has had a motorcycle accident in the desert. Melvin laughs when the old man says he is Howard Hughes, the eccentric multimillionaire. But when Howard Hughes dies, Melvin is mailed a will leaving him part of the estate! Written by Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Poor Melvin. All he wanted was to be Milkman of the Month. Instead, he lost his job, his truck, and his wife. Then Howard Hughes left him $156,000,000. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Melvin (and Howard)  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The closing credits state that "This picture was filmed entirely on location in California, Nevada and Utah where the events actually occurred". See more »

Goofs

At the end of the truck ride to Vegas, Hughes doesn't know how to open the passenger door from the inside, but in Dummar's flashback at the end of the movie (when Hughes gets to drive the truck), Hughes has no trouble opening the door. See more »

Quotes

Lynda Dummar: C'est la vie.
Melvin Dummar: What's that?
Lynda Dummar: French, Melvin. I used to dream of becoming a French interpreter.
Melvin Dummar: You don't speak French.
Lynda Dummar: I told you it was only a dream.
See more »

Connections

Version of The Carpetbaggers (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Performed by Ray Conniff
Courtesy of CBS Records
See more »

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User Reviews

My brief review of the film
3 August 2005 | by (Perth, Australia) – See all my reviews

The most interesting parts of this film are the beginning and the end, because those are the parts in which Jason Robards plays a morose old man who may or may not be Howard Hughes. Robards' performance is very effective, and sadly it is under-used. The rest of the film concerns the life of Melvin, with very little to do with Howard, and Melvin is by far and away the lesser interesting character of the two. Nothing much happens during the main body of the film: all it shows is the unexciting life of one person. The soundtrack is often noisy, which makes it hard to hear what the characters are say, and Steenburgen goes over-the-top in a role that she very questionably won an Oscar for. Some have interpreted the film as some commentary or satire on American lifestyle and society, but I personally can find little evidence to support that theory, and therefore I only recommend this film to those who want to see one of Jason Robards' best performances.


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