6.9/10
3,635
36 user 22 critic

Melvin and Howard (1980)

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

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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
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Storyline

This movie tells the possibly true story of Melvin E. 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

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A true story? See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

19 September 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Melvin (and Howard)  »

Filming Locations:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The text of the real life "Mormon Will" read: "Last Will and Testament I, Howard R. Hughes, being of sound mind and disposing mind and memory, not acting under duress, fraud or the undue influence of any person whomever, and being a resident of Las Vegas, Nevada, declare that this is to be my last will and revolt [sic] all other wills previously made by me - After my death, my estate is to be devided [sic] as follows - First: one-forth [sic] of all my assets to go to Hughes Medical Institute of Miami - Second: one-eight [sic] of assets to be devided [sic] among the University of Texas - Rice Institute of Technology of Houston - the University of Nevada - and the University of Calif. Third: one-sixteenth to Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - David O. McKay - Pre. Forth [sic]: one-sixteenth to establish a home for Orphan Children [sic] - Fifth: one-sixteenth of assets to go to Boy Scouts of America. Sixth: one-sixteenth to be devided [sic] among Jean Peters of Los Angeles and Ella Rice of Houston - Seventh: one-sixteenth of assets to William R. Lommis [sic] of Houston, Texas - Eighth: one-sixteenth to go to Melvin DuMar [sic] of Gabbs, Nevada - Ninth: one-sixteenth to be devided [sic] among my personal aids [sic] at the time of my death - Tenth: one-sixteenth to be used as school scholarship fund for entire country - the spruce goose is to be given to the City of Long Beach, Calif. The remainder of my estate is to be devided [sic] among the key men of the company's [sic] I own at the time of my death. I appoint Noah Dietrich as the executer [sic] of this will - Signed the 19 [sic] day of March 1968 Howard R. Hughes". 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: It says you can be anything you want to be if you'll just believe in yourself. And you believe in yourself - it's just the believing hasn't been enough to let you become what you believe you can be.
Melvin Dummar: Honey, they didn't burn down Rome in one day - you got to keep pluggin'.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Master (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Gone Dead Train
Written by Russ Titelman and Jack Nitzsche
Performed by Crazy Horse
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Quirky Film Deserves A Look
18 April 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Here's a strange tale of a couple and their on-and-off again marriage and the stupid things they do.....and the eventual flak over money billionaire Howard Hughes supposedly left the man.

Paul LaMat plays the husband and supposed beneficiary. He's just fun to watch, a likable, never-loses-his-cool kind of guy. Mary Steenburgen plays his wife and kind of surprised me by how much skin she showed, not the usual scenario with her. Both of them are somewhat low-lifes. Heck, even Hughes (Jason Robards) is pictured to look kind of scummy character in here. Then again, his last years on this earth were a bit strange!

It's a fictional story but those of us who remember, there WAS a lot of flak over the will of Howard Hughes. Despite this being on the grungy side (typical for movies between 1970-1981) this is still an appealing film in a sweet kind of way.

One thing for sure: it's different. Well worth a look.


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