Melvin and Howard

Synopsis: 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!
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Director(s): Jonathan Demme
Production: Universal
  Won 2 Oscars. Another 15 wins & 9 nominations.
Rotten Tomatoes:
95 min


[Engine drones in distance]





[Car radio.

# Crazy Horse. Gone Dead Train]

# My engine was pumping steam

# And I was grinding at you

hard and fast

# And I was burnin'down the rails

To heat the way...

[static as radio switches stations]

[# Bob Wills. San Antonio Rose]


...16 miles an hour, decreasing tonight,

becoming easterly tomorrow...

[# Phil Ochs. My Kingdom for a Car]

#... look how far

# A car

A car

# My kingdom for a car...


...with Kraft's macaroni and cheese...

[# Eddy Arnold. Tennessee Stud]

#... a horse like

the Tennessee Stud...

[man] Oh, man!

[Radio switched off]

[Man] # Santa called his elves together

to soup up his old sleigh

# So Rudolph and the other reindeer

could rest on Christmas Day

# He's got a million miles to travel

and he'll do it in one day

# Oh, that's because ol' Santa Claus

has a souped-up Santa sleigh #

[hums song melody]

[Hums, urinates]

[Nearby moaning]


[Incoherent sounds]


What's the matter with you?


What are you doing out here?

Come on, get up.

What happened?

Get up.


Come on, old man.

[Coyote howls in the distance]

[Old man shudders]

- I'm gonna get you some help.

- No, no doctor.

Yeah, there's a town

about three miles up the road.

- No, no.

- I'll get that heater to work.

- No, no, it's OK.

- It ain't OK! It ain't OK!


Oh, come on, man! You'll be all right.


Well, we ain't gonna

get into town none too soon.

No doctors.

They ain't got no doctor in Arden,

just a public health nurse.

No nurses.

- Don't like nurses either?

- No, I don't.

All right, all right.

I'm not going to Arden!

OK, take it easy.

- Where are you going?

- I'm going to Vegas.

You are, huh?

You know, if you don't beat all.

Strange old, weird old wino,

layin' out in the middle of the desert,

everybody drivin' by,

nobody seein' you.

I pick you up, put you in my truck,

take you where it's safe.

And what do you do? Give me

a hard time. Rag me, bug me.

No, no stops, please.

[Old man coughs]

[Radio plays country music, dog barks]

- [Young man] Going home to Gabbs.

- [Old man] What do you do in Gabbs?

[Young man] I work in a plant,

a magnesium plant, you know.

I've had a lot ofjobs but...

...I can't seem to get the right one,

you know.

When I was a milkman,

I used to go around,

and see these wives at home,

the husbands working night shift,

I thought, "Maybe I should do that."

I went around, applied for a job

at places like McDonnell Douglas,

Northropp, Hughes...

- What happened there?

- They didn't want me.

What a shame.

How come you keep saying that,

"What a shame?"

Well, I might have done something.

Like what?

I'm Howard Hughes.



Well, listen.

I believe anybody can

call themselves whatever they want.

[Young man] Got stuff

from my sister for my trailer.

- What did you say your name was?

- Dummar. Melvin, first name.

You're kiddin' me, Melvin.

- Listen, buddy.

- Yeah.

- Wanna do me a favour?

- Depends on what it is.

- You see, I wrote this song and...

- No.

A Christmas song. You'll like it.

Santa's Souped-Up Sleigh.

Oh, God.

I wrote the words and sent them

into the Hollywood Music Company.

They make up the music.

Cost 70 bucks, but it's worth it.

- Here's how it goes. Wanna hear it?

- No, I don't.

# Santa called his elves together

to soup up his old sleigh

# So Rudolph and the other reindeer

could rest on Christmas Day

# He's got a million miles to travel

and he'll do it in one day

# And that's why Santa Claus

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Bo Goldman

There are but a few select screenwriters who are spoken of with the kind of reverence usually reserved for film Directors - Robert Towne, Alvin Sargent and Bo Goldman. Goldman is a screenwriter's screenwriter, and one of the most honored in motion picture history. The recipient of two Academy Awards, a New York Film Critics Award, two Writers Guild Awards, three Golden Globes, additional Academy Award and Writers Guild nominations and, ultimately, the Guild's life achievement Award - The Laurel. Born in New York City, Goldman was educated at Exeter and Princeton where he wrote, produced, composed the lyrics and was president of the famed Triangle show, a proving ground for James Stewart and director Joshua Logan. On graduation, he went directly to Broadway as the lyricist for "First Impressions", based on Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice", produced by composer Jule Styne and directed by Abe Burrows, starring Hermione Gingold, Polly Bergen and Farley Granger. Moving into television, Goldman was mentored by the redoubtable Fred Coe (the "D.W. Griffith of dramatic television") and became part of the twilight of The Golden Age, associate producing and script editing Coe's prestigious Playhouse 90 (1956)'s, "The Days of Wine and Roses", "A Plot to Kill Stalin" and Horton Foote's "Old Man". Goldman went on to himself produce and write for Public Television on the award-winning NET Playhouse. During this period, Goldman first tried his hand at screen-writing, resulting in an early version of Shoot the Moon (1982) which stirred the interest of Hollywood and became his calling card. After reading Shoot the Moon (1982), Milos Forman asked Goldman to write the screenplay for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975). Goldman's first produced film won all five top Academy Awards including Best Screenplay for Goldman. "Cuckoo's Nest" was the first film to win the top five awards since Frank Capra's It Happened One Night (1934). Goldman also received the Writers Guild Award and the Golden Globe Award for his work on the film. He next wrote The Rose (1979), which was nominated for four Academy Awards, followed by his original screenplay, Melvin and Howard (1980), which garnered Goldman his second Oscar, second Writers Guild Award and the New York Film Critics Circle Award for Screenplay of the Year. Goldman's first screenplay, Shoot the Moon (1982), that started it all, was then filmed by Alan Parker, starring Diane Keaton and Albert Finney, the film received international acclaim and was embraced by America's most respected film critics including Pauline Kael and Richard Schickel. For Shoot the Moon (1982), Goldman earned his third Writers Guild nomination. Over the next few years, he contributed uncredited work to countless scripts, including Milos Forman's Ragtime (1981), starring James Cagney and Donald O'Connor, The Flamingo Kid (1984), starring Matt Dillon, and Warren Beatty's Dick Tracy (1990). Goldman tried his hand at directing an adaptation of Susan Minot's novel "Monkeys", and a re-imagining of Ingmar Bergman's Wild Strawberries (1957) (aka "Wild Strawberries") as a vehicle for Gregory Peck, but for budgetary and scheduling reasons, both movies lost their start dates. Goldman returned solely to screen-writing with Scent of a Woman (1992), starring Al Pacino. Goldman was honored with his third Academy Award nomination and his third Golden Globe Award. He followed this with Harold Becker's City Hall (1996), starring Al Pacino and John Cusack, and then co-wrote Meet Joe Black (1998), starring Brad Pitt and Anthony Hopkins. More recently, Goldman did a page one uncredited rewrite of The Perfect Storm (2000). It was Goldman's script that green lit the movie at Warner Bros. and convinced George Clooney to star in the film, which went on to earn $327,000,000. In 2005, he helped prepare the shooting script for Milos Forman's Goya's Ghosts (2006), produced by Saul Zaentz and starring Natalie Portman and Javier Bardem. He wrote a script for a remake of Jules Dassin's Rififi (1955) (aka Rififi), for director Harold Becker, starring Al Pacino. Goldman is married to Mab Ashforth, and is the father of six children, seven grandchildren and one great grandchild. He resides in Rockville, Maine. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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