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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
250 ( 22)
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:

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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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

The movie's line "A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti." was voted as the number twenty-one movie quote by the American Film Institute (out of 100). This line is taken almost verbatim from the book, but in the book, Lecter says a nice Amarone instead of Chianti. Both are types of wine. See more »

Goofs

After Lecter is transferred to Memphis to the freestanding cell, Clarice delivers his drawings left behind in Baltimore. As Chilton and the police are escorting Clarice out and she flies back to Virginia, the scene pans across the desk in Lecter's cell revealing a drawing of Clarice with a Lamb. Either the drawing was done before he left Baltimore (before he knew about the 'screaming of the lambs') or he did the complete and extensive drawing in less than a few hours. 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

After the Copyright notice and MPAA logo, a logo appears with the text "A Luta Continua". This is not a production company credit; instead, it's Portuguese for "The Struggle Continues" ("To be continued"). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jeepers Creepers (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

In a Class by Itself
21 July 2000 | by tfrizzellSee all my reviews

Brilliant Best Picture of 1991 that never gets old. "The Silence of the Lambs" deals with a young FBI cadet (Oscar-winner Jodie Foster) who is sent to interview a captured madman (Oscar-winner Anthony Hopkins in one of the greatest performances ever on the screen) to find out about a serial killer (Ted Levine) who is stripping the skin from his female victims after they die. The FBI has had no luck with the case and agent Scott Glenn tries to throw a curve-ball to Hopkins by sending Foster. Hopkins is a former doctor of Levine and holds the clues to capturing the unknown criminal. Needless to say the film takes many twists and turns, creating a suspenseful thriller that has no equal. At the heart of "The Silence of the Lambs" are the confrontations between Hopkins and Foster. They play a complicated chess match of words which results in some of the greatest footage ever captured for the cinema. Hopkins dominates in spite of the fact he has approximately 17 minutes of time in the film. This is a film that will wrap itself around you and you will likely never be able to shake some of the key elements you have seen in this amazing masterpiece. 5 stars out of 5.


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