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.


PHILADELPHIA
1993, Sony Repertory, 125 min, USA, Dir: Jonathan Demme

In one of the first mainstream Hollywood films to deal with AIDS, Tom Hanks stars as a young attorney suffering from the disease who must retain a small-time lawyer (Denzel Washington) to lead a wrongful termination suit against his former employer. This acclaimed drama costars Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen, Antonio Banderas and Joanne Woodward, and earned Oscars for Hanks' moving performance and Bruce Springsteen's original song "Streets of Philadelphia."


THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS
1991, Park Circus/MGM, 118 min, USA, Dir: Jonathan Demme

Break out the fava beans and Chianti! Newbie FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) undergoes a trial by fire when she’s asked to track down the deadly Buffalo Bill. In search of leads, Clarice interviews another serial killer, Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), whose confinement in prison makes him no less dangerous. This hit thriller is one of only three films to win Oscars in all the top five categories: Best Picture, Actor, Actress, Director and Adapted Screenplay (Ted Tally).


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