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The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R  |   |  Crime, Drama, Thriller  |  14 February 1991 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 807,233 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 884 user | 175 critic | 17 from Metacritic.com

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)
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Top Rated Movies #23 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 48 wins & 33 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)


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, has the answers to their questions and can help locate the killer. However, Clarice must first gain Lecter's confidence before the inmate will give away any information. Written by Sami Al-Taher <staher2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Prepare yourself for the most exciting, mesmerising and terrifying two hours of your life! 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)


SGD 513,930 (Singapore)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (original cut)

Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Kenneth Utt:  the coroner. See more »


Crawford tells Clarice that Miggs died by swallowing his tongue. Literally swallowing one's tongue is impossible. However, an unconscious person's tongue may sag backwards and block their airway, leading to suffocation. 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 South Park: Jewpacabra (2012) See more »


Sunny Day
Performed by Book of Love
Written by Theodore Ottaviano (as T. Ottaviano)
Courtesy of Sire Records
By Arrangement with Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Absolutely Brilliant.
19 February 1999 | by (Livonia, MI USA) – See all my reviews

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.

314 of 362 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
"Doctor Lecter"? alifeatthemovies
Why do you think Lector changes his mind and decides to help Clarice?... jamesrallan
Your favourite moment in the film FreeBronson28
Just before Clarice was about to meet Lecter for the first time . . . looker7
Overrated stonecoldwillhowe
Do you wish they had mentioned more about Lecter's past? Rellik_Laires
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