IMDb > Melvin and Howard (1980)
Melvin and Howard
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Melvin and Howard (1980) More at IMDbPro »

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

Overview

User Rating:
7.0/10   3,062 votes »
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Up 34% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writer:
Bo Goldman (written by)
Contact:
View company contact information for Melvin and Howard on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
19 September 1980 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
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 »
Plot:
The story of hard-luck Melvin Dummar, who claimed to have received a will naming him an heir to the fortune of Howard Hughes. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Won 2 Oscars. Another 19 wins & 5 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
No Special Effects, No Mega-Buck Stars, Just a Great Film See more (33 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Jason Robards ... Howard Hughes

Paul Le Mat ... Melvin Dummar
Elizabeth Cheshire ... Darcy Dummar

Mary Steenburgen ... Lynda Dummar
Chip Taylor ... Clark Taylor
Melvin E. Dummar ... Bus Depot Counterman

Michael J. Pollard ... Little Red

Denise Galik ... 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

Gloria Grahame ... Mrs. Sisk
Elise Hudson ... Rocky - Easy Street Singer
Robert Ridgely ... Wally 'Mr. Love' Williams

Susan Peretz ... Chapel Owner
Robert Wentz ... Justice of the Peace
Hal Marshall ... Hal
Naida Reynolds ... Woman Witness
Herbie Faye ... Man Witness

Charles Napier ... Ventura
Jack Kehoe ... Jim Delgado

Pamela Reed ... Bonnie Dummar

Sonny Carl Davis ... Milkman George (as Sonny Davis)
Brendan Kelly ... Milkman Ralph
Danny Tucker ... Milkman Pete
Shirley Washington ... Patient Debbie
Cheryl Smith ... Patient Ronnie
Jason Ball ... The Bait Brothers
Darrell Devlin ... The Bait Brothers
Danny Dark ... Easy Street Announcer
Linda Cardoso ... Easy Street Model

Melissa Prophet ... Easy Street Model
Garrie Kelly ... Easy Street Model
John Thundercloud ... Chief Thundercloud

Martine Beswick ... Realty Agent (as Martine Beswicke)
Charlene Holt ... Mrs. Worth
Melissa Williams ... Sherry Dummar
Antony Alda ... Terry
James Lyle Strong ... Gas Station Customer

Rick Lenz ... Lawyer

Gary Goetzman ... Melvin's Cousin Fred
John Levin ... Reporter (as John M. Levin)
Kathleen Sullivan ... Reporter
Jack Verbois ... Holdup Man

Rob Reece ... Lynda's Husband (as Robert Reece)

Joseph Ragno ... Maxwell - Attorney #1

John Glover ... Freese - Attorney #2
Joseph Walker Jr. ... Attorney #3

Dabney Coleman ... Judge Keith Hayes
Charles Horden ... Bailiff
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Robert S. Holman ... Bus Station Traveler (uncredited)
Joe Spinell ... Go-Go Club Owner #2 (uncredited)

Tom Willett ... Kissing Cowboy (uncredited)
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Directed by
Jonathan Demme 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Bo Goldman  written by

Produced by
Art Linson .... producer
Terence Nelson .... associate producer
Don Phillips .... producer
 
Original Music by
Bruce Langhorne 
 
Cinematography by
Tak Fujimoto 
 
Film Editing by
Craig McKay 
 
Casting by
Michael Chinich 
 
Production Design by
Toby Carr Rafelson  (as Toby Rafelson)
 
Art Direction by
Richard Sawyer 
 
Set Decoration by
Robert Gould  (as Bob Gould)
 
Makeup Department
Dorothy J. Pearl .... makeup artist (as Dorothy Pearl)
Toni-Ann Walker .... hair stylist (as Toni Walker)
 
Production Management
Terence Nelson .... unit production manager (as Terry Nelson)
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Donald Heitzer .... first assistant director (as Don Heitzer)
Evelyn Purcell .... second unit director
Carol Smetana .... second assistant director (as Carol Jean Smetana)
Wally Wallace .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Gary Fettis .... property master
Walt Hadfield .... construction coordinator (as Walton Hatfield)
Donald Krafft .... lead man (as Don Krafft)
Douglas E. Madison .... property master (as Doug Madison)
Bert Rotter .... painter
John Alvin .... poster artist (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Joan Cameron .... assistant sound editor
Louis Cerborino .... supervising sound editor (as Lou Cerborino)
Angelo Corrao .... sound editor
Tom Fleischman .... sound re-recordist (as Thomas Fleischman)
Peter C. Frank .... sound editor
Cindy Kaplan Rooney .... sound (as Cindy Kaplan)
David M. Ronne .... sound (as David Ronne)
William S. Scharf .... assistant sound editor (as Bill Scharf)
Maurice Schell .... sound editor
John B. Schuyler .... boom operator (as John Schuyler)
Marc S. Shaw .... assistant sound editor
 
Special Effects by
Karl G. Miller .... special effects (as Karl Miller)
 
Stunts
Richard E. Butler .... stunts
Jeannie Epper .... stunts
Donna Garrett .... stunts
Bob Herron .... stunts (as Robert Herron)
Alex Plasschaert .... stunts
Walter Robles .... stunts
Bob Terhune .... stunts
Chuck Waters .... stunts
Henry Wills .... stunts (as Henry N. Wills)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Eugene Earle .... assistant camera
Tony Grillo .... electrician
Dustin A. Huber .... electrician (as Dusty Huber)
Gary B. Kibbe .... camera operator (as Gary Kibbe)
Tom Lamont .... grip
Elliott Marks .... still photographer (as Elliot Marks)
Melton Maxwell .... gaffer (as Mel Maxwell)
David Morton .... best boy (as Dave Morton)
Keith Pallant .... electrician
Anthony R. Palmieri .... assistant camera (as Tony Palmieri)
Tom Ramsey .... key grip
Dwayne Redlin .... second grip
George R. Schrader .... dolly grip (as George Schrader)
Dick Sullivan .... grip
Pat Thompson .... electrician
Howard Block .... additional camera operator (uncredited)
Michael Simpson .... assistant camera (uncredited)
 
Casting Department
Loril McKeehan .... additional casting
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Eddie Marks .... costume supervisor
Nancy McArdle .... costume supervisor
Chuck Velasco .... costumer: men (as Charles Velasco)
 
Editorial Department
Nancy Kanter .... associate film editor
Karen I. Stern .... assistant film editor (as Karen Stern)
 
Music Department
Rich Harrison .... music editor
 
Transportation Department
Vince del Castillo .... transportation captain
Tom Garris .... transportation captain
Chris Haynes .... driver
Don Newton .... transportation captain
Roger Wooge .... driver: cast (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Kay Hoff .... production assistant
Charles Howe .... location projectionist
Sandy McLeod .... production associate
Steve Meyers .... production assistant
Dorothy Morey .... secretary to producer (as Dottie Morey)
Susan Pile .... unit publicist
Jesse W. Quiroz .... craft service (as Jesse Quiroz)
Patti Roberts-Nelson .... secretary to producer (as Patti Roberts)
Sherry Seeling .... researcher
Paul Tinsley .... script supervisor
 
Thanks
Calvin Aberle .... special thanks
Ron Bayless .... special thanks
Louis Bertini .... special thanks
Morgan Cavett .... special thanks
Roger Dutson .... special thanks
Jan Gregson .... special thanks
Keith Hayes .... special thanks (as Judge Keith Hayes)
Chuck House .... special thanks (as Charles House)
Bessie Jackson .... special thanks
J.J. Johnson .... special thanks
Richard D. Keefe .... special thanks
Dan Keyes .... special thanks
Annemarie Korzeniowski .... special thanks
Geraldine Roberts .... special thanks
 
Crew believed to be complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
"Melvin (and Howard)" - USA (poster title)
See more »
Runtime:
95 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
Along with Fighting Mad (1976), The Last Embrace (1997), and _Handle with Care (1977)_, this picture was one of the first studio films of director Jonathan Demme who had previously made B-movies for Roger Corman's New World Pictures.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
She's About a MoverSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
16 out of 19 people found the following review useful.
No Special Effects, No Mega-Buck Stars, Just a Great Film, 4 June 2004
Author: dglink from Alexandria, VA

In this day of $100 million plus movies with special effects that drown out the dialog and stars with out-sized egos and paychecks to match, a film like Jonathan Demme's minor masterwork, "Melvin and Howard," would be lucky to get a video distributor. Even a quarter century ago on its initial release, the film was largely ignored by audiences despite glowing reviews, Academy Awards, and critics kudos. However, those who make the effort to seek out this wonderful fable will be rewarded. Based on a story that may or may not have been true, "Melvin and Howard" spins the tale of an easy going hard luck kinda guy named Melvin Dummar who gives a lift to an old man he finds asleep in the desert. The man says that he is Howard Hughes, and, years later, when Hughes dies, Melvin finds a will that has been left on his filling station desk that names him as one of the heirs to the Hughes fortune. Since we know the ending before the film starts, the pleasures lie in the quirky characters and situations that screenwriter Bo Goldman and a terrific cast have created. Despite the circus that surrounded the question of the will's validity, Melvin was content just knowing that, during their drive, Howard Hughes had sung a song that Melvin had written. His evident joy in that simple event was a rare personal quality even in 1980. There are a lot of other unpretentious, yet memorable, moments in this outstanding film.

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Message Boards

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Recent Posts (updated daily)User
What's missing rmontro
Why R? And3ww
Hawaiian War Chant Artist? Schafe-2
Bate Brothers scene??! enicolau1
Boring piece of filth mawilk
Was Melvin telling the truth? joanbrazas
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