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The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

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A young F.B.I. cadet (Jodie Foster) must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer (Sir Anthony Hopkins) to help catch another serial killer (Ted Levine), a madman who skins his victims.

Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writers:

Thomas Harris (novel), Ted Tally (screenplay)
Popularity
227 ( 23)
Top Rated Movies #24 | 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

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:

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

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry in December 2011, as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." See more »

Goofs

Jodie Foster has blue eyes. When she is at the funeral home she has a flashback and sees her father in the casket. Clarice as a little girl is supposed to be going to see her father in the casket. The little girl's eyes are Hazel, not blue. Adult Clarice could wear colored contacts. 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 producers wish to thank Adele, Bobby and the rest of the gang at Bufa's. 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

Referenced in Manhattan Murder Mystery (1993) See more »

Soundtracks

American Girl
(1976)
Performed by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (as Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers)
Written by Tom Petty (as T. Petty)
Courtesy of Gone Gator Records
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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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