Howard Hughes

Somehow, about six years ago, a struggling student I served improbably found her way to the late Jonathan Demme’s early and critically acclaimed film “Melvin and Howard.” The film is a fictionalized account of Melvin Dummar’s account of encountering Howard Hughes in the Utah desert and giving him a ride to Las Vegas. You can click through on the links to read more about this implausible story.

Anyway, my student, an inquisitive young woman, wanted to know more about Howard Hughes. I worked up this reading on Howard Hughes and its accompanying vocabulary-building and comprehension worksheet to supply her with some context for understanding the story in “Melvin and Howard.” Incidentally, I watched the movie myself and didn’t care much for it. Having since seen several of his films, I learned that Jonathan Demme just wasn’t my kind of filmmaker, though I did think his rendition of “The Silence of the Lambs” was the best of the various productions around the legend of the brilliant serial killer, cannibal, and psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter.

If you find typos in these documents, I would appreciate a notification. And, as always, if you find this material useful in your practice, I would be grateful to hear what you think of it. I seek your peer review.

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