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

Load Previous

'Melvin and Howard' (1980)

Meet down-on-his-luck Melvin Dummar (Paul Le Mat), a man who has suffered various indignities: a lost job, a repossessed truck, a long-gone stripper-wife. Then he finds out that the man he had given a ride to late one night – who happened to be reclusive billionaire Howard Hughes (Jason Robards) – had supposedly left him $156 million upon his death. Chaos ensues. Demme's breakthrough film is both a left-field look at the fringes of the American Dream and an ode to those everyday sad sacks who keep dreaming it. The film was also quirky enough to appeal to the Talking Heads, who upon seeing it requested that the director helm their concert film Stop Making Sense. KG

Back to Top