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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:
...
...
...
...
Chip Taylor ...
Clark Taylor
Melvin E. Dummar ...
Bus Depot Counterman
...
...
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 | Plot 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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Box Office

Gross USA:

$4,309,490
See more on IMDbPro »

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Technical Specs

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(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to the DVD sleeve notes, the film was "inspired by the true-life story of a Utah service station owner who appeared on Howard Hughes' will". 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

Featured in The 53rd Annual Academy Awards (1981) See more »

Soundtracks

My Kingdom for a Car
Written and performed by Phil Ochs
Courtesy of A & M Records
See more »

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User Reviews

 
An unseen classic
15 October 1999 | by See all my reviews

Don't be surprised if you have never heard of "Melvin and Howard" because most people haven't. But if the chance comes up to watch it then grab it. It's a true american classic involving a down on his luck man (Paul Le Mat, so great as Milner in "American Graffiti") who gives a ride to an injured hitchhiker in the desert that turns out to be none other than Howard Hughes (Jason Robards, who is brilliant in a small, understated performance). Years later after Hughes has died Melvin learns he is in Hughes' will. The only problem is that there is no will to be found.

Mary Steenburgen won as Oscar as Melvin's kooky first wife. The scene where she appears on a game show is priceless. This is a sweet and very funny slice of life movie directed by Jonathan Demme who went on to many fine films such as "Silence of the Lambs." This is a true classic. Don't miss it.


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