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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
216 ( 2)
Top Rated Movies #23 | Won 5 Oscars. Another 63 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:

From the terrifying best seller 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

Catherines car is a, 1974 Volvo 164. See more »

Goofs

Crawford tells Clarice that Miggs died by swallowing his tongue after Hannibal said something that made him cry. Literally swallowing one's tongue is impossible. However, an unconscious person's tongue may sag backwards and block their airway, leading to suffocation. This is what is usually referred to by the phrase. It is not a voluntary act. 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 »

Alternate Versions

The scene where Miggs throws sperm at Clarice is shown from the different angle in the TV network version, so the audience can't really see what Miggs is throwing. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Addams Family Values (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

Sunny Day
(1991)
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

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User Reviews

 
A Story And A Character That You Can't Forget
17 January 2007 | by ccthemovieman-1See all my reviews

I'll never forget my first viewing of this movie at the theater and will always look back fondly on it for one reason: helping me quit smoking cigarettes.

I read the book first, was fascinated by it, and couldn't wait for the film to come out. That was the day I picked to quit smoking and I knew this movie would take my mind off that matter. I was expecting an intense movie and I got it. Little did I realize how well-received this film would be and how it propelled Anthony Hopkins to super-stardom.

Although entertaining, this is not always a fun movie to watch, especially with the scenes with Ted Levine who plays the killer, "Buffalo Bill." "Bill" and his kidnapped young woman are sick and profane people, respectively, and their scenes are very unpleasant. This movie is not for the squeamish with those and other scenes involving the infamous Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins). There also is some extreme crudeness in the jail/dungeon where Lecter and other inmates are held.

Jodie Foster is excellent as the FBI agent "Clarice Starling" and Scott Glenn is low-key and effective as "Jack Crawford." A major part of the film is psychological more than violent as Lecter constantly taunts "Clarice," while she tries her best to manipulate him to help with a case. The by-play between the two is a game in itself.

Hopkins, however, is the actor people remember best from this movie. His portrayal of the refined-yet-cannibalistic serial killer-doctor is one viewers will never forget. I've enjoyed watching him in the sequels, too. The looks on his face, his fascinating vocabulary with intelligent sarcasm and frankness, never ceases to entertain.

"Silence Of The Lambs" has turned into a modern-day "classic." If by some odd chance you have never seen this movie, be warned it is a dark, difficult story to watch at times....but it will get your mind off other things.


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