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The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

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



(novel), (screenplay)
210 ( 25)
Top Rated Movies #23 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 48 wins & 34 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Lawrence A. Bonney ...
Lawrence T. Wrentz ...
Don Brockett ...
Frank Seals Jr. ...
Stuart Rudin ...
Maria Skorobogatov ...
Young Clarice (as Masha Skorobogatov)
Jeffrie Lane ...
Leib Lensky ...
George 'Red' Schwartz ...
Mr. Lang's Driver (as Red Schwartz)


FBI trainee Clarice Starling works hard to advance her career, including trying to hide or put behind her West Virginia roots, of which if some knew would automatically classify her as being backward or white trash. After graduation, she aspires to work in the agency's Behavioral Science Unit under the leadership of Jack Crawford. While she is still a trainee, Crawford does ask her to question Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist imprisoned thus far for eight years in maximum security isolation for being a serial killer, he who cannibalized his victims. Clarice is able to figure out the assignment is to pick Lecter's brains to help them solve another serial murder case, that of someone coined by the media as Buffalo Bill who has so far killed five victims, all located in the eastern US, all young women who are slightly overweight especially around the hips, all who were drowned in natural bodies of water, and all who were stripped of large swaths of skin. She also figures that Crawford... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


To enter the mind of a killer she must challenge the mind of a madman. See more »


Crime | Drama | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

14 February 1991 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Silence of the Lambs  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$19,000,000 (estimated)


$130,727,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (original cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The movie's poster was as #16 of "The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever" by Premiere. See more »


Lecter correctly refers to the moth pupa as a "chrysalis". Many moths, including the one in the film, pupate inside a chrysalis. "Cocoon" refers to a type of silky case spun my many types of insects, not just moths. See more »


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

Crazy Credits

There is a 'Moth Wrangler/Make-Up' listed in the crew list. See more »


Spoofed in Shaun the Sheep Movie (2015) See more »


Performed by Colin Newman
Written by Colin Newman (as C. Newman), and Graham Lewis (as G. Lewis)
Courtesy of Beggars Banquet Records Limited
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Class Act

With Silence of the Lambs comes some much needed recognition for the horror genre. It is a first-rate production all around. It boasts a witty and suspenseful script based on the Thomas Harris novel, full of great lines. It has marvelous direction from Demme. Demme creates suspense very well throughout and uses some great directorial shots such as the twin frames of Clarice ringing a doorbell and the FBI men breaking into a home. The two lead actors won oscars for their performances...each deserved. Foster is very good in her role, but it is Anthony Hopkins that literally lights up the screen with his complex portrayal of a complex serial killer. Hopkins does the seemingly impossible. He frightens you with his outrageousness and yet illicts some pity/compassion(albeit not a lot) for his situation. He says his lines with reservedness when needed and brashness when needed. The rest of the cast is also quite good with Anthony Heald a standout as a unethical, petty doctor in charge of Hopkins. Of course the story of the other killer is very very chilling as well. A quality film in all aspects!

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a few questions HughJeers
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How scary? ShilohBelle
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