6.9/10
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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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Won 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 9 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
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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

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:

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Company Credits

Production Co:

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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 film's Melvin and Howard (1980) title refers to the characters of Melvin Dummar (Paul Le Mat) and Howard Hughes (Jason Robards). See more »

Goofs

When Melvin and Howard are driving the pickup truck into Vegas during the movie opening the drivers side headlight is out. When Howard is driving the truck during the closing both headlights are operating. 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 Mystery Science Theater 3000: High School Big Shot (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

Downtown
Performed by Crazy Horse
Courtesy of Warner Bros. Records Inc.
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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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