U.S., 1980, 95 min, 2K DCP, Dir. Jonathan Demme, Rated R, Universal Pictures
"An almost flawless act of sympathetic imagination. This picture suggests what it might have been like if Jean Renoir had directed a Preston Sturges comedy." – Pauline Kael, New Yorker
Jonathan Demme passed away on April 26. He grew up in Miami, graduated from Southwest Miami High, worked as an usher at the Riviera Theater on US1 (across the street from UM), wrote free-lance film reviews for the Coral Gables Times-Guide - before Hollywood took notice with his blockbuster Silence of the Lambs. Still, his greatest film was probably one of his earliest, the very seldom-seen Melvin and Howard, which opened the NY Film Festival in 1980, won Best Film from the National Society of Film Critics and two Oscars (Best Screenplay and Best Actress). It's a stranger-than-fiction tale of one Melvin Dummar (American Graffiti's Paul Le Mat), a Utah gas-station owner who became the subject of a national feeding frenzy when he was named as a beneficiary in the contested "Mormon will" of eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes. In vintage Demme fashion, the movie is less interested in Hughes (an Oscar nominated Jason Robards) and his estate than in Dummar, an enduring small-town rube who, no matter how badly he stumbles, never stops reaching for the big, shiny American dream. Here's a rare opportunity to catch-up with, or revisit, a 24-carat film classic.
This screening is FREE for members of the Gables Cinema.
Join us at the Gables Cinema during our special tribute screenings, honoring the life and careers of beloved filmmakers who have passed.