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The Silence of the Lambs
Crime, Drama, Thriller
IMDB rating:
Jonathan Demme
Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling
Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecktor
Scott Glenn as Jack Crawford
Anthony Heald as Dr. Frederick Chilton
Ted Levine as Jame 'Buffalo Bill' Gumb
Frankie Faison as Barney Matthews
Kasi Lemmons as Ardelia Mapp
Brooke Smith as Catherine Martin
Paul Lazar as Pilcher
Dan Butler as Roden
Lawrence T. Wrentz as Agent Burroughs
Don Brockett as Friendly Psychopath in Cell
Frank Seals Jr. as Brooding Psychopath in Cell
Stuart Rudin as Miggs
Maria Skorobogatov as Clarice Starling
Diane Baker as Sen. Ruth Martin
Leib Lensky as Mr. Lang
George 'Red' Schwartz as Mr. Lang's Driver (as Red Schwartz)
Lawrence A. Bonney as FBI Instructor
Jeffrie Lane as Clarice's Father
Storyline: Young FBI agent Clarice Starling is assigned to help find a missing woman to save her from a psychopathic serial killer who skins his victims. Clarice attempts to gain a better insight into the twisted mind of the killer by talking to another psychopath Hannibal Lecter, who used to be a respected psychiatrist. FBI agent Jack Crawford believes that Lecter, who is also a very powerful and clever mind manipulator, has the answers to their questions and can help locate the killer. However, Clarice must first gain Lecter's confidence before the inmate will give away any information.
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"No. No, you ate yours."
Unlike a lot of viewers, I first saw The Silence of the Lambs at five years old. So, for me, The Silence of the Lambs is a childhood favorite. Some would say I had an unusual childhood, in this age where some people actually avoid R-rated movies like the plague. The fact that I saw Something Wild, which Jonathan Demme directed five years before The Silence of the Lambs, as well as the original Alien (alone at that), at the same age probably indicates that they were okay with me watching pretty much anything that wasn't rated X, though, honestly, I've never had any interest in that stuff. It was probably due to the fact that, like the movie's protagonist, I don't "spook easily," and many so-called "scary" movies, including this one, never scared me, but (many of them) definitely thrilled me. Granted, I'd seen Saving Private Ryan a few months before, which probably gave me a strong stomach. Well, enough about my wild, albeit fun, childhood. How does The Silence of the Lambs hold up all these years later? For me personally, The Silence of the Lambs is every bit as good as it was the first time I saw it at five years old.

On the off chance you don't already know the plot by now, Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a rookie FBI agent with a degree in psychology who is called from training by her boss Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) in the middle of a string of murders by a man nicknamed "Buffalo Bill" (Ted Levine) who skins his victims, all of whom happen to be women. Crawford tells her to interview the psychotic Dr. Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) in prison, hoping he might have an answer of some kind. Lecter brushes her off. After Catherine Martin (Brooke Smith), the daughter of a senator is kidnapped, Lecter agrees to give Starling information about Buffalo Bill on the condition that she tell him personal information about herself.

If I had to pick the greatest Best Picture Oscar winner ever, it would most likely be The Silence of the Lambs. Well-acted, well-written, and well-directed, it's definitely my favorite.

Let's look at the acting to start. Jodie Foster, unsurprisingly, won a well-deserved Oscar for her performance as Starling. Foster plays Starling as a little scared yet strong at the same time, definitely not a coward as Julianne Moore later played the character in the movie Hannibal, and definitely not someone who would turn cannibal as Thomas Harris wrote the character as doing in the novel Hannibal. Movie or novel, in my honest opinion, the Clarice Starling depicted in Hannibal is an insult to what this Clarice Starling stands for. As we find out about what's been nagging Starling since childhood, Foster plays it especially well where another actress may have overdone it. Anthony Hopkins, like Foster, won an Oscar for his performance as Lecter, and I speak for a lot of people, if not everybody, when I say it was also well-deserved. Hopkins plays Lecter as brilliant yet insane, making him one of the more interesting villains in movie history. Scott Glenn plays Crawford very well for the time he's on screen. Ted Levine plays "Buffalo Bill" as straight up crazy, and does a very good job of making us hate him. Brooke Smith is only supposed to play Catherine Martin as scared and she does - with dead-on accuracy.

Ted Tally won a well-deserved Oscar for his screenplay, adapted from Thomas Harris' novel of the same name. Tally doesn't feel the need to focus on violence and gore, which is one of the movie's strengths. Instead he focuses on the characters, and I'd be lying if I said he didn't flesh them out very, very, very, well.

Jonathan Demme also won an Oscar for his directing and he does a very good job of it. The Silence of the Lambs is relentlessly thrilling and it holds me to my seat until the last frame every time I see it, all without relying on excessive gore. I've already mentioned that The Silence of the Lambs doesn't scare me, so it may - or may not - scare you, depending on what you're afraid of. Admittedly, there are a few creepy things displayed on screen so I can see why it would scare some viewers. Either way, I can't recommend The Silence of the Lambs enough, and everybody should see it at least once.

The Silence of the Lambs is a childhood favorite of mine, and it holds up very, very well almost 25 years after its release. It's relentlessly thrilling, flawlessly acted, flawlessly written, flawlessly directed, and one of the few movies that actually deserved all the Oscars it won.
Some new aspects
When I first saw this film, I was about 14, lying in my bed, watching it in German on TV late at night, with the lights on, and almost falling asleep (probably actually dozing for a couple of minutes now and then). When I was waking up once, noticing Hannibal Lecter on my television screen, looking at me with his alive, clear eyes and speaking to me about screaming lambs, that was surely one of the most exciting moments in my movie-interested life. So it is definitely a good idea to see this at night, with one's concentration wandering away.

Now I saw it again (at daylight!), and many other things struck me. The character of Catherine Martin is actually really cool. The snobbish daughter of a famous politician reacts to the terrible things that are done to her in an unusually offensive way - it looks as if she was never giving up.

And then did you notice how utterly serious this film is? There is not a single funny scene in it. And this is really great! Which other feature film today manages to be taken seriously by everybody and never being unintentionally funny although it does not have a single moment of irony? The humorous take-outs attached to the DVD version seem really weird and out of place when you are in the mood this unbelievable film creates.
Silence of the Lambs, an emotional ride of disbelief and terror
The 1991 suspense thriller, Silence of the Lambs, finds Clarice Starling, actress Jodi Foster, as a student at the FBI academy in Virginia. She's been chosen by her instructor, actor Lawrence Bonney, due to her noticeable keen senses, to visit with Dr. Hannibal Lecter, actor Anthony Hopkins, an incarcerated murderer. The intention is that Starling can use Lecter's insight into the mind of a murderer to find Buffalo Bill, actor Ted Levine, a serial killer whose victims are young girls.

The theme of this film is control or power. In the film Clarice Starling is controlled by her drive to succeed as an FBI agent. She also has not found the power to control her memories of her childhood and the screaming of the lambs, which through her dealings with Dr. Lector she realizes. Ironically Dr. Lector himself, through his ability to manipulate minds, is perfectly able to control any and all situations; even through his incarceration has the power to affect others. Buffalo Bill on the other hand believes himself to be a transsexual and had been turned down for sex change surgeries from all major hospitals in the area. Therefore, his only way to express his control was by abducting young girls and murdering them and using their skin to create a woman's body. Ironically enough there is a pattern here. The majority of the power and control struggles are between Clarice and the men throughout her life and the story line, and with Buffalo Bill and his sexuality, and the young girls that he kills.

The lighting and the angles used in the basement scene where Agent Starling was in the home of Buffalo Bill attempting to arrest him also aided to the theme of control. Buffalo Bill had shut off the lighting to the basement, leaving Starling unable to see a thing. Consequently, Buffalo Bill had on night goggles and was able to see every move Starling made. A terrified Starling scrambled around the basement, although blinded, searching for Bill. Finally, the simple sound of the trigger of Bill's gun being pulled back was all it took for Starling to locate bill and shoot the deadly shots that ended his terror (Bloch 1960). The overall lighting of the scenes throughout the film also aided to the theme of control. Early on the scenes tend to be more dark and dismal, but it seemed as though as Clarice gained more control, by having increased confidence, more insight, more acknowledgment from Crawford, and more trust from Lector, and got closer to solving the crime, the lighting itself became brighter throughout.

The plot of the movie is to find a missing girl in West Virginia and to end serial killer Buffalo Bill's rampage. Special agent Jack Crawford, actor Scott Glenn, chose Cadet Clarice Starling for the task of interviewing a psychotic murderer Dr. Hannibal Lector in hopes that he could aid in the arrest of Buffalo Bill. Throughout the film Starling runs into obstacles and snares that seem to stand in her way, however her drive in solving the crime is stronger than those things standing in her way. One such obstacle is Dr. Frederick Chilton, actor Anthony Heald. Dr. Chilton is, to me, a little squeaky, weasel type character. He is out for self gain only and is trying to use Lector and his knowledge for his own benefit. Ultimately, Dr. Chilton met his doom in the end of the film by none other than Dr. Lector himself. After a botched attempt, at the direction of Jack Crawford, to find the most recent missing girl, Crawford and Starling were not permitted to speak to Lecter further. However that did not stop her from attempting to find and speak to him in attempt to find the killer. Although the male FBI agents had their leads, Starling had her own, and she was the one that ultimately solved the case.

I can compare the theme of control and power of this film to that of Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho. This film also has heavy displays of gender and power. The circumstances that stand out to me most are that of mental illness displayed in both films, the way that Norman Bates and Buffalo Bill have similar conflicts and are somewhat trapped in their roles and act out in a sinister way. There is one particular scene that I recall that immediately brought to mind the comparison of the two films. The scene where they were reviewing pictures of some of Buffalo Bill's victims showed a young girl lying face down, naked. Her eyes were wide open (Bloch 1960), and as they showed a close up of that picture I instantly saw the shower scene where Janet Lee lay on the bathroom floor, eyes wide open, and the shower water running (Bloch, 1960).

Overall, I rate this movie very high. The suspense thriller allows the viewer to enter into the minds of Agent Starling, Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill. It exhibits the affects of control and power, be it strong and weak, psychologically stable or unstable, educated or uneducated, male or female. Silence of the Lambs, takes us on an emotional ride of disbelief and terror as we see the story unfold.
Silence of the Lambs
Silence of the Lambs (1991) follows the story of the young and ambitious Clarice Starling in her attempt to apprehend the serial killer named "Buffalo Bill" (Ted Levine). Starling goes to the infamous Hannibal Lecter (nicknamed Hannibal the Cannibal for his exotic tastes). Clarice relies on Lecter for his expertise and knowledge about the mind of a serial killer. Whereas Hannibal toys with Clarice in order to amuse himself. Clarice and her fellow agents are forced to rely on the help of a killer in order to catch another.

Jodie Foster does an excellent job playing the young and eager Clarice. She portrays her Southern accent as often painfully obvious, which Lecter pounces upon as an insecurity. Foster speaks with a wavering voice at times, showing Clarice's inexperience and disgust with the crimes committed by Buffalo Bill. Hopkins is completely absorbed into the role of Hannibal Lecter. To create his creepy and psychotic persona he stares unblinkingly, forcing both the audience and Clarice to return his cold gaze. Hopkins keeps as still as possible while acting, looking like a snake poised to pounce upon less intelligent prey, and in comparison to Lecter everyone is less intelligent, and is therefore potential prey. Hopkins keeps a soft smirk on his lips throughout the film as if to say he knows something no one else does. The film's soundtrack is absolutely haunting and mysterious. It works well with the film to create tension and anxiety in the audience. However, the director (Jonathan Demme) knows when silence is just as powerful. In a tense scene in complete darkness we are left with no sound save for the heavy breathing of Buffalo Bill. The cinematography is excellent for this film. The colors of the film are gray and lifeless, which complement the film's dark subject matter. At pivotal moments the camera angle switches to first person. This view works perfectly when Clarice rounds the corner and sees Lecter for the first time. We are able to truly appreciate Lecter's piercing gaze, because we see it first hand through Clarice's eyes. The performances of Hopkins and Foster would have been flat if it were not for the well written script. The small anecdotal stories about Lecter help to build his character even before we meet him. Lecter's lines are meant to sound sophisticated and cultured in order to create his paradoxical character as a gentleman-psychopath. Buffalo Bill refers to his victims as "it" in an attempt to destroy their humanity in another example of brilliant writing.

A key strength in this film is its character development. Not just Lecter or Clarice's development, but their relationship itself. The audience watches as Lecter and Clarice grow closer and closer in a bizarre exchange not unlike two friends sharing secrets. As Clarice learns more from Lecter, so too does Lecter learn more about Clarice. The audience can see that Lecter values this relationship because he does not hunt her down for as Clarice puts it, "He would consider that rude".

Silence of the Lambs is a gripping and disturbing film, filled with fascinating characters. It remains a timeless horror film that draws from the darkest and foulest corner of humanity's existence. It is a terrifying movie because it reminds us that the monsters in our world are not imaginary, but could pass us on the street any day.
A Suspenseful Masterpice
What separates this movie from other horror movies is, nowadays horror movies have lots of gore and blood. But this one had scary dialog, and real suspense.

Hannibal Lecter really got me! I mean he was described as a psychopath and he looked calm, then he showed us his true colors!

"Buffalo Bill" was crafty and crazy! The only thing he shows affection for is his poodle "Precious"

Clarice Starling proved that she has what it takes to be a professional when she used her skills to track down the sadistic "Buffalo Bill".

For these reasons and more this movie will remain a suspenseful masterpiece.
Clarisse, do let me know when lose lambs stop screaming
Arguably the best movie of all time. I understand that the Silence of the Lambs gets a little discredited for being gory and at times horrifying. I have never felt a rush more powerful and exhilarating than when I watched this movie. I've seen it enough where I can now quote it line by line, but the very first time I saw the movie in its entirety, I was stunned. I was blown away. I continue to get that feeling even now when I watch for the 25th time or so. As a whole, it is such a though provoking movie. Think of the plot of Se7en, the Departed, Pulp Fiction, Inception - they all make you think and really understand the movie. To me, Silence of the Lambs does that better than any other film in history. Not to mention how great Jodie Foster as FBI trainee Clarisse Starling and Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lector/Hannibal the Cannibal. When you watch this movie, don't take it for its goryness and horror. You have to take it for its deep meaning. The moth, the biggest symbol of the movie, as Dr. Lector says "represents change". As Clarisse hunts down on serial killer Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine - excellent job as well), Dr. Lector is enlisted to help her while his genius lies alone in prison. One for the ages. No doubt about it. MUST WATCH>
Best Novel to Movie Adaption
A tight-wound thriller, and sequel to Thomas Harris' 1981 novel Red Dragon (though the movie Red Dragon came almost a decade later on this movie's shoulders), this is quite simply one of the best novel to movie adaptations till date. It can be easily compared with great adaptations like To Kill a Mocking Bird, One Flew Over Cuckoo's Nest, Lord of the Rings Trilogy among others.

Coming to the characters, 'Hannibal' played so dexterously and chillingly by Anthony Hopkins still gives me the creeps, with good all round performances by others. Jodie Foster as an FBI trainee plays her role to perfection in finding a serial killer with Hannibal's help. 'Buffalo Bill' played by Ted Levine has also done great job in his portrayal as a psychopath killer whom the FBI is searching for.

The plot is simple yet the viewer simply can not escape the tension throughout the movie. There are enough twists and turns to keep the viewer glued to the movie. You wait for Hannibal to come on screen in the same way you wait for dinosaurs to come in the Jurassic Park. The direction is impeccable and editing is spot on. The suspense is brilliantly maintained and the sound track adds to the atmosphere.

No wonders this movie won all the major academy awards for the year including best actor to Anthony Hopkins.

If you have not watched this movie and even if you are not a fan of horror or suspense movies, you are certainly missing one of the best creations in the history of cinema. Go watch it!!
This movie takes a real bite out of you!
The normal human being's fear of being attacked, bitten open in a violently impersonal manner and then taken in as food is as old as the first human being's shattering witness of such a primordial act. In the thousands of years of human evolution, intelligence has armored [most of us] against predations of that horrible sort. But even more incomprehensible is an attack, for mere hunger's sake, by one human being upon another! When first we see Dr. Hannibal Lecter, his madness is merely the subject of comment, responsible or otherwise. As we view him [uncomfortably] from the safety of a theatre seat, we can only imagine the deep wells of need which forced him to savage his fellow human beings in this manner, and this makes all the more terrible the awful scene in the Memphis courthouse. Into all this walks Clarice Starling, her innocence and anxiety both touching and troubling. She is essentially tricked into taking the assignment to "interview" Lecter by her superior, Jack Crawford, who callously deems her expendable. She somehow summons the rural courage of her youth, forged from the furnace of her weary sufferings, and becomes the blank sheet for both Crawford's and Lecter's amusement. As the result of being pulled in opposite directions in the murderous tug-of-war between Lecter and Crawford, Starling is almost totally alone in the film. In spite of her genuine liking for Aredlia Mapp, Starling's isolation is nearly so complete as to be claustrophobic. Director Jonathan Demme's finely-nuanced work here is well served. Her enlightenment takes place primarily in darkness, whether the setting is Lecter's cell in the dungeon, or whether the apotheosis takes place in the demon's lair. There are almost no likeable characters in the film save Starling. This makes it easy to root for her to overcome the furies which have pursued her since her tenth year. Clarice's predatory instincts are to bring a vicious psychopath within the scope of punishment. In sharp contrast, the other main characters in the film are possessed of predatory natures of a baser, more primitive kind, whether it is Dr. Frederick Chilton's need for sex, or Crawford's need for control, or Lecter's need to destroy for pleasure. The music score by Howard Shore is reminiscent, in a eerie way, of Bernard Herrmann's work in Psycho. Shore's opening theme foreshadows the loneliness and desperation of Starling's dual quest, which is to kill both beasts: the one without and the one within.
I Ate His Liver With Some Fava Beans And A Nice Chianti.
Day 9 Of My 31 Days Of Horror 2.

So last night I finally sat down and checked out Thee Silence Of The Lambs. We are soon going to be watching this film in my high school's film club on October 29th. I wanted to see what everybody was talking about. I hear this film Quoted all the time and I know the famous Characters. So what did I think of the film? The film starts with Clarice Starling played by Jodie Foster as she is pulled from the training course and called to her boss Jack Craford's played by Scott Glenn office. She is told to go to the psychiatric ward to speak with Hannibal Lector played by Anthony Hopkins about the serial killer Buffalo Bill played by Ted Levine.

She meets with Hannibal as he agrees to tell her information in exchange for memories from her unhappy childhood. As a child Clarice experienced Her father die in a hospital a month after an altercation with 2 burglars. She was then sent to live with her uncle on his farm. One day she tried to run away. As she was leaving she witnessed lambs getting slaughtered. She tried to save one but had to let it go because of it's weight.

Hannibal eventually reveals that Buffalo Bills real name is Jame Gumb. His mother died at the age of 2 and started killing at 12 when he murdered his grandparents. Buffalo Bill has kidnapped Catherine Martin played by Brooke Smith who is the daughter of the Tennesse senator Ruth Martin played by Diane Baker.

Clarice finds out that if she does not get to Buffalo Bill fast enough then Buffalo Bill will kill Catherine. He plans to starve he and skin her for his "Woman Suit".

Meanwhile Hannibal has escaped his highly guarded cell by killing to police officers and disguising himself as one of the mutilated officers. He gets put in an ambulance unmasks himself and escapes.

Clarice finds Buffalo Bill but does not recognize him at first but then realizes who he is as he runs away. they both go down to the basement where Clarice finds Catherine and goes after Bill. Buffalo Bill toys with her and turns the basement lights out. he pulls out a revolver planning a sneak attack but is killed when Clarice hears the sound of him cocking his revolver. She shoots him 6 times and is hailed as a hero.

In the films final scene Clarice gets a phone call from Hannibal who says that he has respect for her and does not wish to kill her. He then spots a Docter who was rude and harsh with him and says that he will "Be Having An Old Friend For Dinner." This film is a masterpiece and held my attention the entire time. It is entertaining, Gruesome and disturbing but your eyes never leave the screen. The story is one of the best I have ever seen, The characters are well written. The film deserves all of its' Oscar wins. The performances done by Jodie foster and Anthony Hopkins are some of the best I have seen. Jodie Fosters character is sweet and innocent and Anthony Hopkins is calm and gentle but has violent cannibalistic outbursts. If there is some reason you have not watched this unless of course you are too young to watch this then I am shocked. This is a film I wish everybody would see.

Rated R For Strong Grisly Violent Content Including Terror And Disturbing Images, Abberant Sexual Content And Language.

1hr 58min/118min.

16 uses of the F-word.

A Great Film In The 90's
It is one great film. No question about it.The Silence Of Lambs is rare American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genre that is based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris, his second to feature Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer after The Red Dragon. The movie stars Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Ted Levine and Scott Glenn. It was directed by Jonathan Demme,who won an Academy Award for this film.

The story of the film centers on Clarice Starling,played by Foster in an Oscar winning performance.She is a young FBI trainee that seeks the advice of the imprisoned Dr. Lecter,played by Hopkins in his Oscar winning performance as well just like Foster, to help apprehend another serial killer, known only as "Buffalo Bill".

The movie was smart especially in the intellectual tug-of-war between Sterling and Lecter.The Award winning performances truly made it credible and suspenseful.At the same time,the story was full of horror that will thrill the viewer to the edge of their seats.

What makes Silence rise above the other movies of the same genre was its smart story as well as the movie's ability to put the viewer into the psychological inner workings of the minds of both Sterling and Lecter during their meetings.This is what makes is one of the best films ever made not only in the year but also during its decade of its release as well.
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