The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R   |    |  Crime, Drama, Thriller


The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Poster

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.

TIP
Add this title to your Watchlist
Save movies and shows to keep track of what you want to watch.

8.6/10
1,106,482

Videos


Photos

  • Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • Jodie Foster in The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • Jodie Foster at an event for The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • Anthony Hopkins and Kathy Bates at an event for The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
  • Anthony Hopkins in The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

See all photos

More of What You Love

Find what you're looking for even quicker with the IMDb app on your smartphone or tablet.

Get the IMDb app

Cast & Crew

Top Billed Cast



Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writers:

Thomas Harris (novel), Ted Tally (screenplay)

Reviews & Commentary

Add a Review


User Reviews


19 February 1999 | Scudder-3
Absolutely Brilliant.
Sweeping all five major Academy Awards ("Oscars" for Best Movie, Director, Actor, Actress, Screenplay) is quite an accomplishment. Doing it nearly a year after a film was released is a miracle considering the notoriously short attention span of Oscar voters. It is a powerful example of how great a movie can be when superb writers, directors, actors, and others work at the top of their craft.

`Silence of the Lambs' is the story of a young FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) who is summoned to help find one serial killer called `Buffalo Bill.' by interviewing another. Foster's performance is absolutely brilliant. While Anthony Hopkins receives most of the (well-deserved) praise for his chilling portrayal of incarcerated serial killer `Hannibal ‘the Cannibal' Lector', it is Foster's performance that holds the movie together. The fear she shows just behind her eyes makes Clarice's outward courage all the more interesting and vulnerable. This is the perfect way to play the part because it explains Lector's interest in Clarice. Her only bargaining chip in getting Lector's help is to let him `feed' on her innermost secrets and fears in exchange for his brilliant insights into the psychotic mind. The title of the movie comes from these exchanges and is very poignant.

Director Jonathan Demme is masterful. There is one scene late in the movie that I will not spoil. It is one of the most simply brilliant scenes ever staged in a movie. I don't know if all the credit goes to Demme or the writers, but there is a moment in the film where the suspense builds beautifully to a what seems to be a common movie scene. However, through skillful timing of the direction, the audiences assumptions are used against them and when the truth is revealed (hint: it involves a doorbell) it is shocking and induced a collective gasp from the audience I saw it with at the theatre. It set the stage for an edge-of-your seat climax.

Do not miss this movie.

The movie is incredibly suspenseful and an absolute must see.

Metacritic Reviews


Critic Reviews



More Like This

  • Se7en

    Se7en

  • Pulp Fiction

    Pulp Fiction

  • Forrest Gump

    Forrest Gump

  • Fight Club

    Fight Club

  • The Green Mile

    The Green Mile

  • The Matrix

    The Matrix

  • Saving Private Ryan

    Saving Private Ryan

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

    The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

  • American History X

    American History X

  • The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

    The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring

  • Goodfellas

    Goodfellas

  • The Shawshank Redemption

    The Shawshank Redemption

Did You Know?

Trivia

To everyone's surprise, reclusive author Thomas Harris sent all the Oscar recipients a case of wine.


Quotes

FBI instructor: Starling! Starling! Crawford wants to see you in his office.
Clarice Starling: Thank you, sir.


Goofs

The FBI is unable to find a pattern in the killings because the first victim was the third corpse they found, and it is not until Clarice goes over Lecter's notes that she realizes that Buffalo Bill must have known his first victim, something the FBI apparently never thought of. However, the FBI generally assume that serial killers start by killing people they know.


Crazy Credits

The ending scene continues throughout the entire credits


Alternate Versions

Criterion's Special Edition on DVD features outtake footage not included in the theatrical version, including:

  • a longer version of the scene where Clarice discovers Raspail's head inside Your-Self Storage;
  • a longer version of the scene where Lector explains to Clarice how to identify Buffalo Bill from his rejected applications for sex change surgery. The dialogue is longer and is taken almost verbatim from Thomas Harris' novel, and plays over a scene where the camera moves inside Buffalo Bill's cellar, stopping at the edge of the pit where Senator Martin's daughter is held. This is the same scene that appears in the theatrical version, right after Starling's visit to the enthomologists Roden and Pilcher, with no voiceover but with music and sound effects and Katherine Martin's screams coming from the pit;
  • a brief new scene where Starling is given a gun from instructor Brigham right before her departure for West Virginia;
  • an alternate version of the car scene where Starling and Crawford are talking after the Elk River victim's autopsy. In the theatrical version, Crawford apologizes to Starling for humiliating her in front of the state troopers; the alternate take has Starling revealing that a bug cocoon was found in Benjamin Raspail's throat. In the theatrical version this information is not revealed until later, when Starling mentions it during one of her encounters with Lector;
  • a longer version of the telephone conversation between FBI Director Burke, Paul Krendler and Crawford after the phony offer to Lekter has been discovered; Crawford tries to convince Krendler not to accept Lector's help;
  • a new scene showing a meeting with Starling, Crawford, Paul Krendler and and FBI Director Burke; Krendler blames Starling and Crawford for Lector's escape and Burke suspends them both from the case;
  • the DVD also features the complete video monologue from performance artist Jim Roche as the TV Evangelist; in the theatrical version Roche appears on a TV put in front of Lector's cell, as punishment for Miggs' death.


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]

Storyline

Plot Summary


Synopsis (WARNING: Spoilers)


Genres

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Featured on IMDb

Check out our guide to the Academy Awards, our coverage of the 2019 awards season, and more.

Around The Web

 | 

Powered by ZergNet

More To Explore

Search on Amazon.com