Jonathan Demme’s criminally underrated Melvin and Howard opens with this great sequence in which down-on-his-luck Melvin Dummar (Paul Le Mat) picks up a grizzly old man (Jason Robards) he’s found lying on the side of the road in the middle of nowhere. We then sit back and watch as the two characters get to know each other in Melvin’s pick up truck. Things get even more interesting as the old man claims to be legendary reclusive billionare, Howard Hughes.
What’s so great about this scene is just how rare it is in movies these days. Demme slows everything down and gives us the time to get to know these two characters (who couldn’t be more different) through a very normal and very sweet conversation. Also, seeing Jason Robards sing “Bye Bye Blackbird” is both haunting and beautiful. The scene lasts a wonderful ten minutes but you’ll wish it was longer.