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Melvin and Howard (1980)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,994 users  
Reviews: 33 user | 16 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

Jason Robards portrayed Howard Hughes in this movie. In real life, Hughes' middle name was "Robard". See more »

Goofs

While the men are in the truck talking, a sandwich being eaten has the bite area alternately changing from one side of the bread between shots. 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

Referenced in The Bad Boys of Saturday Night Live (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Fortunate Son
Written by John Fogerty
Performed by Creedence Clearwater Revival (as Creedance Clearwater Revival)
Courtesy of Fantasy Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Some Film Moments Are Truly Better Than Money
14 March 2006 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

The film's opening interaction between Dumar (the quintessential dreamer/loser) and Hughes (who found his dream but lost himself)is hauntingly brilliant. As they drive along in Melvin's truck, on the cusp of desert's dawn, Melvin manages to draw Hughes out of his crusty and maniacal shell by getting him to sing one of his self-written songs. As dawn opens, Hughes is still singing. It is probably his most uncomplicated - yet happiest moment in years.

Melvin never does receive any money from the disputed and disregarded will. But he really does not care. He still has his dreams, and knows that validation can be found in impecunity as he reflects upon his encounter with Hughes: "No, I'm not going to see that money. That's all right. Because you know what happened? Howard Hughes sang Melvin Dumar's song. He sang it." Some moments are truly better than all the pain that money can buy.


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