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
Every step of Lecter's elaborate prison break foreshadows some aspect of Buffalo Bill's M.O., possibly hinting that he was trying to leave Starling a few clues before he vanished. First, he mutilates one of the guards by tearing flaps of skin from his back and splaying them out like wings hinting at Bill's obsession with moths. Then he gets out of prison by cutting off a guard's face and using it as a mask, hinting at Bill's desire to change his identity by making a suit from women's skin. Finally, he confuses the police by switching clothes with one of the guards and throwing the guard's corpse into an elevator shaft, much like Bill moves into his victim's house to confuse anyone who finds his old house. Even the poster counts as this, it shows a moth covering the mouth of a ghostly female face. Part of Bill's M.O. is placing a moth in the mouths of the women he kills. See more »
As Clarice is looking through the microfilm, the pen in her mouth switches places several times. See more »
There is a 'Moth Wrangler/Make-Up' listed in the crew list. See more »
Criterion's Special Edition on DVD features outtake footage not included in the theatrical version, including:
a longer version of the scene where Clarice discovers Raspail's head inside Your-Self Storage;
a longer version of the scene where Lector explains to Clarice how to identify Buffalo Bill from his rejected applications for sex change surgery. The dialogue is longer and is taken almost verbatim from Thomas Harris' novel, and plays over a scene where the camera moves inside Buffalo Bill's cellar, stopping at the edge of the pit where Senator Martin's daughter is held. This is the same scene that appears in the theatrical version, right after Starling's visit to the enthomologists Roden and Pilcher, with no voiceover but with music and sound effects and Katherine Martin's screams coming from the pit;
a brief new scene where Starling is given a gun from instructor Brigham right before her departure for West Virginia;
an alternate version of the car scene where Starling and Crawford are talking after the Elk River victim's autopsy. In the theatrical version, Crawford apologizes to Starling for humiliating her in front of the state troopers; the alternate take has Starling revealing that a bug cocoon was found in Benjamin Raspail's throat. In the theatrical version this information is not revealed until later, when Starling mentions it during one of her encounters with Lector;
a longer version of the telephone conversation between FBI Director Burke, Paul Krendler and Crawford after the phony offer to Lekter has been discovered; Crawford tries to convince Krendler not to accept Lector's help;
a new scene showing a meeting with Starling, Crawford, Paul Krendler and and FBI Director Burke; Krendler blames Starling and Crawford for Lector's escape and Burke suspends them both from the case;
the DVD also features the complete video monologue from performance artist Jim Roche as the TV Evangelist; in the theatrical version Roche appears on a TV put in front of Lector's cell, as punishment for Miggs' death.
A Potpourr of Vestiges Review: Hannibal - The Cannibal
Silence of the Lambs is a quintessence of a profound character study and a rare and vivid demonstration of an actor's subtle brilliance and his improvisation in manifestation of a nebulous entity (Lecter), almost single-handedly immortalizing it and in the process elevating himself to a position of unqualified envy and ubiquitous acclaim. In fact, one is likely to suffer, either from inarticulacy or verbosity while describing Anthony Hopkins portrayal of sadistically sophisticated Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Lecter's trademark, his wide open glacial eyes, devoid of any emotion, not only makes him deviously equanimous, but also egregiously peculiar. The fast, slurping-type sound invented by Hopkins that Lecter does, is as fascinating as it is chilling and Lecter's infamous "Good evening, Clarice", is as enthralling as it is vicious. Anthony Hopkins's performance is the shortest ever and the most memorable to win an Oscar in the leading category.
Hopkins as Lecter, is incontrovertibly and incredibly at the top of his game and it is his brilliance that gets the best out of the other actors, especially Jodie Foster. In fact, it won't be a hyperbole, that Anthony Hopkins's portrayal of cannibalistic Hannibal Lecter in Silence of the Lambs and more so in its sequel, Hannibal (which is my favorite of the series, as the story completely revolves around Lecter, giving him more exposure), is one of the best, the world of cinema has ever seen or offered. In spite of having some of the most gruesomely disturbing and viciously graphic sequences, Silence of the Lambs, is one of the most decorated and enthralling movies of all time. A must watch for avid fans and eclectic viewers.
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