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The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

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A young FBI cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.

Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writers:

Thomas Harris (novel), Ted Tally (screenplay)
Popularity
310 ( 20)
Top Rated Movies #23 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 62 wins & 50 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jodie Foster ... Clarice Starling
Lawrence A. Bonney Lawrence A. Bonney ... FBI Instructor
Kasi Lemmons ... Ardelia Mapp
Lawrence T. Wrentz Lawrence T. Wrentz ... Agent Burroughs
Scott Glenn ... Jack Crawford
Anthony Heald ... Dr. Frederick Chilton
Frankie Faison ... Barney
Don Brockett ... Friendly Psychopath
Frank Seals Jr. Frank Seals Jr. ... Brooding Psychopath
Stuart Rudin ... Miggs
Anthony Hopkins ... Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Maria Skorobogatov Maria Skorobogatov ... Young Clarice (as Masha Skorobogatov)
Jeffrie Lane Jeffrie Lane ... Clarice's Father
Leib Lensky Leib Lensky ... Mr. Lang
George 'Red' Schwartz George 'Red' Schwartz ... Mr. Lang's Driver (as Red Schwartz)
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Storyline

FBI trainee Clarice Starling works hard to advance her career, while trying to hide/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 asks her to question Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist imprisoned, thus far, for eight years in maximum security isolation for being a serial killer 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 chose ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 February 1991 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Silence of the Lambs See more »

Filming Locations:

Clay County, West Virginia, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$19,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$13,766,814, 15 February 1991, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$130,742,922

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$272,742,922
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (original cut)

Sound Mix:

Dolby SR

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Clarice Starling was chosen by the American Film Institution as the sixth-greatest film hero (out of fifty), the highest ranked female on the list. Hannibal Lecter was chosen as the number one greatest film villain (also out of fifty). See more »

Goofs

When Starling tries to get into the self-storage facility, the gloves disappear from her lap. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

The ending scene continues throughout the entire credits See more »

Alternate Versions

The Finnish VHS version removes Hannibal Lecter beating Pembry against the cell's bars, and spraying liquid to his eyes (along with the shots of the cuffed guard screaming Jesus Christ!, and a shot of him trying to break loose). 2. Lecter beating a guard with a nightstick several times (reduced from six hits to one!). 3. A outdrawn sequence that comes right after Lecter has whacked the guards (where he plays music and walks across the dead guard's body) is completely removed (along with Lecter's dialogue Ready when you are, sergeant Pembry). 4. Right after Buffalo Bill is shot by Clarice Starling there is a long-lasting (about fifteen secs) shot of his bloody dead body, that in the cut version is not that long anymore. See more »

Connections

Featured in Great Movie Mistakes 2: The Sequel (2011) See more »

Soundtracks

The Magic Flute
(uncredited)
Written by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Class Act
19 June 2000 | by BaronBl00dSee all my reviews

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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