The Silence of the Lambs

February 14th, 1991

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The Silence of the Lambs

Still of Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the LambsStill of Jodie Foster in The Silence of the LambsStill of Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins and Scott Glenn in The Silence of the LambsStill of Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the LambsStill of Jodie Foster in The Silence of the LambsStill of Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs

A young FBI cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims.

Release Year: 1991

Rating: 8.7/10 (347,505 voted)

Critic's Score: 84/100

Director: Jonathan Demme

Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney

Young FBI agent Clarice Starling is assigned to help find a missing woman to save her from a psychopathic serial killer who skins his victims. Clarice attempts to gain a better insight into the twisted mind of the killer by talking to another psychopath Hannibal Lecter, who used to be a respected psychiatrist. FBI agent Jack Crawford believes that Lecter who is also a very powerful and clever mind manipulator have the answers to their questions to help locate the killer. Clarice must first try and gain Lecter's confidence before he is to give away any information.

Writers: Thomas Harris, Ted Tally

Jodie Foster - Clarice Starling
Lawrence A. Bonney - FBI Instructor
Kasi Lemmons - Ardelia Mapp
Lawrence T. Wrentz - Agent Burroughs
Scott Glenn - Jack Crawford
Anthony Heald - Dr. Frederick Chilton
Frankie Faison - Barney
Don Brockett - Friendly Psychopath
Frank Seals Jr. - Brooding Psychopath
Stuart Rudin - Miggs
Anthony Hopkins - Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Maria Skorobogatov - Young Clarice (as Masha Skorobogatov)
Leib Lensky - Mr. Lang
George 'Red' Schwartz - Mr. Lang's Driver (as Red Schwartz)
Jim Roche - TV Evangelist

Taglines: From the terrifying best seller

Release Date: 14 February 1991

Filming Locations: Bellaire, Ohio, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $13,766,814 (USA) (15 February 1991) (1497 Screens)

Gross: $272,742,922 (Worldwide)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

Brooke Smith entered in and out of the pit by crouching through a small door that was half her size. It was then covered with dirt to keep it out of sight of the camera.

Errors made by characters (possibly deliberate errors by the filmmakers): Jodie Foster has blue eyes. When she is in the funeral home she goes back in her life and sees her father in the casket. There is a little girl that is supposed to be her going to see her father in the casket. The little girl has hazel eyes, not blue.

[first lines]
FBI instructor: Starling! Starling! Crawford wants to see you in his office.
Clarice Starling: Thank you, sir.

User Review

Absolutely Brilliant.


Sweeping all five major Academy Awards ("Oscars" for Best Movie, Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay) is quite an accomplishment. Doing it nearly a year after a film was released is a miracle considering the notoriously short attention span of Oscar voters. It is a powerful example of how great a movie can be when superb writers, directors, actors, and others work at the top of their craft.

`Silence of the Lambs' is the story of a young FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) who is summoned to help find one serial killer called `Buffalo Bill.' by interviewing another. Foster's performance is absolutely brilliant. While Anthony Hopkins receives most of the (well-deserved) praise for his chilling portrayal of incarcerated serial killer `Hannibal ‘the Cannibal' Lector', it is Foster's performance that holds the movie together. The fear she shows just behind her eyes makes Clarice's outward courage all the more interesting and vulnerable. This is the perfect way to play the part because it explains Lector's interest in Clarice. Her only bargaining chip in getting Lector's help is to let him `feed' on her innermost secrets and fears in exchange for his brilliant insights into the psychotic mind. The title of the movie comes from these exchanges and is very poignant.

Director Jonathan Demme is masterful. There is one scene late in the movie that I will not spoil. It is one of the most simply brilliant scenes ever staged in a movie. I don't know if all the credit goes to Demme or the writers, but there is a moment in the film where the suspense builds beautifully to a what seems to be a common movie scene. However, through skillful timing of the direction, the audiences assumptions are used against them and when the truth is revealed (hint: it involves a doorbell) it is shocking and induced a collective gasp from the audience I saw it with at the theatre. It set the stage for an edge-of-your seat climax.

Do not miss this movie.

The movie is incredibly suspenseful and an absolute must see.

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