A young F.B.I. 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 (based on the novel by), Ted Tally (screenplay by)
Popularity
95 ( 5)
Top Rated Movies #23 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 64 wins & 51 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

F.B.I. trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) works hard to advance her career, while 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 (Scott Glenn). While she is still a trainee, Crawford asks her to question Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Sir Anthony Hopkins), 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" (Ted Levine), who has so far killed five victims, all located in the eastern U.S., all young women, who are slightly overweight (especially around the hips), all who were drowned in natural bodies of water, and all who ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Thematic parallel: The tune played by the music box in Mr. Bimmel's (Harry Northup's) deceased daughter Fredrica's bedroom is from the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart opera "The Magic Flute". In that opera, the tune is played by a music box which magically protects the female protagonist from another character who covets her body, by mesmerizing him and his henchmen so that they dance and sing in a blissful trance instead of capturing her. See more »

Goofs

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 by many types of insects, not just moths. See more »

Quotes

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

There are birds chirping at the end of the credits. See more »

Alternate Versions

This film was originally released by the now-defunct Orion Pictures Corporation. After Orion went bankrupt, all their films, as well as many sequel rights, were acquired by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which produced the sequel, Hannibal, and prequel, Red Dragon. When The Silence of the Lambs was re-issued on video in 1999, and on DVD in 2001, it was released by MGM home video. As a result, their corporate logo now precedes the Orion Pictures logo. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #8.132 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Goodbye Horses
(1988)
Performed by Q. Lazzarus
Written by William Garvey (as W. Garvey)
[Played when Jame Gumb is introduced and applying his makeup]
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User Reviews

 
"The Godfather" of all thrillers
28 August 2004 | by Smells_Like_CheeseSee all my reviews

I've seen way too many thrillers. You name it: "Identity", "Seven", "The Usual Suspects", etc., etc., etc. I remember my friend being so obsessed with "Silence of the Lambs", that it drove me crazy. And I hated the movie naturally and refused to see it. But everyone told me that I have to see this, so I let my guard down. And had an open mind, and I'm glad I did. My friend was right, this is a great movie. It is so well acted, I couldn't even describe. I loved "Silence of the Lambs" and would recommend it to anyone. It's creepy and exciting. Trust me, you'll love it.

10/10


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Latin

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, 18 February 1991

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 Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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