MELVIN AND HOWARD
1980, Universal, 95 min, USA, Dir: Jonathan Demme

Years after Melvin Dummar (Paul Le Mat) rescues a bedraggled old man (Jason Robards) stranded in the Nevada desert, his kindness is rewarded when he is named a beneficiary in Howard Hughes’ “Mormon Will” in this acclaimed film based on a possibly true story. A spot-on portrait of blue-collar American dreamers, MELVIN AND HOWARD earned Oscars for its original screenplay and for Mary Steenburgen’s beguiling performance as Dummar’s wife. “This lyrical comedy, directed by Jonathan Demme, from a script by Bo Goldman, is an almost flawless act of sympathetic imagination. … This picture has the same beautiful dippy warmth as its characters; it's what might have happened if Jean Renoir had directed a comedy script by Preston Sturges.” – Pauline Kael.


AMERICAN GRAFFITI
1973, Universal, 110 min, USA, Dir: George Lucas

In the middle of the Vietnam- and Nixon-obsessed days of the early 1970s, director George Lucas and producer Francis Ford Coppola switched gears radically with this tender, nostalgic look at drive-ins, drag races and the death of doo-wop in a Northern California town in 1962. Richard Dreyfuss, Ron Howard, Paul LeMat, Charles Martin Smith, Cindy Williams, Candy Clark, Mackenzie Phillips and Harrison Ford head a cast of almost complete newcomers, in one of the most purely personal (and phenomenally successful) films of the New Hollywood era.


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