This movie interlaces the stories of several characters in a small town united by their use of CB (citizen's band) radio. Paul LeMat is the local CB coordinator who has time for little else... See full summary »
An undercover FBI agent falls in love with a recently widowed mafia wife, who is trying to restart her life following her husband's murder while being pursued by a libidinous mafia kingpin seeking to claim her for himself.
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
At the beginning of the film, Melvin Dummar sings a song that he has penned, "Santa's Souped Up Sleigh." He tells Howard Hughes that he sent the words - along with a sum of money - to the Hollywood Music Company, an outfit that puts its customers' song lyrics to music for a fee. Although Melvin doesn't realize it, the tune that the company used is not an original one: they paired his lyrics with the melody of "Wabash Cannonball." See more »
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 »
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.
Honey, they didn't burn down Rome in one day - you got to keep pluggin'.
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Everyone thinks Raging Bull is the best film of the 1980's, but Melvin and Howard holds up better for me. Paul Le Mat should have been nominated for an Oscar, and this film should have made him a star. It's such a waste that Le Mat isn't used in more films.
At least Mary Steenburgen's excellent performance didn't go unnoticed -- she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. Bo Goldman's cleverly constructed, highly nuanced script won another Oscar.
Director Jonathan Demme went on to greater success and acclaim with Silence of the Lambs, but he achieved something special with Melvin and Howard. Most directors would play Melvin Dummar's story for easy laughs, and while Demme finds humor in the material, he also explores with depth and sensitivity how the American Dream has failed some of its most ardent aspirants.
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