20 Most Essential Jonathan Demme Movies

From serial-killer thrillers to 'Stop Making Sense,' mob comedies to a feature-length monologue – the Demme films you need to see ASAP

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'Citizen's Band (Handle With Care)' (1977)

You can almost hear the pitch: "Jonathan, these CB radios are the rage with the kids! Give us a movie that capitalizes on this fad stat!" What folks got instead was a fresh, funky look at a bunch of Middle Americans who use these mobile, short-wave communications to connect, bond, clean up the airwaves, avoid getting caught up in infidelities and even issue a call to arms when a local goes missing. It's the first recognizable Jonathan Demme movie, one that brims with the sort left-of-center look at everyday U.S.A. kooks and freaks that would become his go-to mode. His big breakthrough would come in a few years when he applied this style to a true story involving Howard Hughes, but this breaker-breaker lark is really where it all starts. DF

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