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The Silence of the Lambs (film)

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Most serial killers keep some sort of trophy from their victims."
"I didn't."
" ate yours.
The Silence of the Lambs
Jonathan Demme
Ted Tally (screenplay)
Thomas Harris (novel)
Ron Bozman, Edward Saxon, Kenneth Utt
Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn
To enter the mind of a killer, she must challenge the mind of a madman.
R – Restricted
Distributed By
Orion Pictures
Released on
February 14, 1991
118 mins
$19 million
$272.7 million
Best Picture
Best Actress
Best Actor
Best Director
Best Adapted Screenplay

The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 film based on the book of the same name by Thomas Harris. It was the first "scary movie" to ever win an Academy Award, and the third film in history to sweep the 5 major categories, Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Screenplay.

The film is considered "culturally, historically, or aesthetically" significant by the US Library of Congress and was selected to be preserved in the National Film Registry in 2011.


A young FBI cadet must confide in an incarcerated and manipulative killer to receive his help on catching another serial killer who skins his victims.


  • Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling
  • Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter
  • Scott Glenn as Jack Crawford
  • Ted Levine as Jame Gumb/"Buffalo Bill"
  • Anthony Heald as Dr. Frederick Chilton
  • Brooke Smith as Catherine Martin
  • Diane Baker as Senator Ruth Martin
  • Kasi Lemmons as Ardelia Mapp
  • Frankie Faison as Barney Matthews
  • Tracey Walter as Lamar
  • Charles Napier as Lt. Boyle
  • Danny Darst as Sgt. Tate
  • Alex Coleman as Sgt. Jim Pembry
  • Dan Butler as Roden
  • Paul Lazar as Pilcher
  • Ron Vawter as Paul Krendler
  • Roger Corman as FBI Director Hayden Burke
  • Chris Isaak as SWAT Commander
  • Harry Northup as Mr. Bimmel
  • Masha Skorobogatov as young Clarice Starling
  • Don Brockett as cellmate and "pen pal"
  • Lawrence A. Bonney as FBI Instructor

Synopsis (contains spoilers)Edit

Promising FBI Academy student Clarice Starling is pulled from her training at the FBI Training Facility at Quantico, Virginia by Jack Crawford, head of the FBI's Behavioral Science Unit. He greets her and reminds her of their first meeting. He presents her with an errand. He wants to task her with presenting a VICAP questionnaire to the notorious Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant forensic psychiatrist and incarcerated cannibalistic serial killer. After learning the assignment relates to the pursuit of vicious serial killer Buffalo Bill, Starling travels to the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane and is met by Dr. Frederick Chilton. After making several passes at Starling, he warns her of how dangerous Lecter is and tells her he once ate a nurses tongue at the hospital. The orderly Barney warmly greets her and directs her to Lecter's cell. Although initially pleasant and courteous, Lecter grows impatient with Starling's attempts at "dissecting" him and viciously rebuffs her. As Starling departs, another patient, Miggs, flings fresh semen into her face, enraging Lecter who calls Starling back and offers a riddle containing information about a former patient, Miss Hester Moffat. The solved riddle (Miss The Rest of Me) leads to a rent-a-storage lot where the severed head of Benjamin Raspail is found. Starling returns to Lecter, who links Raspail to Buffalo Bill and who offers to help profile Buffalo Bill if he is transferred to a facility far from the venomous, careerist Dr. Chilton.

Miles away, Buffalo Bill abducts Catherine Martin, the daughter of United States Senator Ruth Martin. Bill abducts her by pretending to be injured and imprisons her in a well at his home. Starling is pulled from Quantico and accompanies Crawford to West Virginia, where the body of Bill's recently-discovered victim resides, and where Starling helps perform the autopsy and extracts the chrysalis of a Death's-head Hawkmoth from the victim's throat. They later find the same type of moth in Raspail's throat, confirming him a victim of Buffalo Bill. At Quantico, as news of Catherine Martin's abduction sweeps the country, Crawford authorizes Starling to offer Hannibal Lecter a fake deal promising a prison transfer if he provides information that helps profile Buffalo Bill and rescue Catherine Martin. Instead, Lecter begins a game of quid pro quo with Starling, offering comprehensive clues and insights about Buffalo Bill in exchange for events from Starling's traumatic childhood. Starling reveals that at the age of 10, her father was murdered by two armed robbers and went to move onto a ranch with relatives. Lecter explains that Buffalo Bill is under the delusion of being a transsexual and has been turned down by all three major sex reassignment clinics. Unaware to both Starling and Lecter, Dr. Frederick Chilton tapes the conversation and after revealing Starling's deal as a sham, offers to transfer Lecter in exchange for a deal of his own making. Lecter agrees and following a flight to Tennessee reveals Buffalo Bill's name as Louis Friend, an accurate physical description and past address to Senator Martin and her entourage of FBI agents and Justice Department officials, but not before tormenting the Senator about Catherine.

As the manhunt begins, Starling travels to Lecter's special cell in a local Tennessee courthouse, where she confronts him about the false information he gave the Senator. Lecter refuses Starling's pleas and demands she finish her story surrounding her worst childhood memory. After recounting her arrival at a relative's farm, the horror of discovering their lamb slaughterhouse and her fruitless attempts at rescuing the lambs, Lecter rebuffs her, leaving her with her case file before she is escorted out of the building by security guards. Later that evening, Lecter escapes from his cell using an improvised handcuff key and brutally attacks his guards. The local police storm the floor, discovering one guard barely alive and the other disembowelled and strung up on the walls. Paramedics transport the survivor to an ambulance and speed off while a SWAT team searches the building for Lecter. As the team discover a body in the elevator shaft, the survivor in the ambulance peels off his own face, revealing Lecter in disguise, who kills the paramedics and escapes to the airport.

After notified of Lecter's escape, Starling pores over her case file, analyzing Lecter's annotations before realizing that the first victim, Frederica Bimmel, knew Bill in real life before he killed her. Starling travels to Bimmel's hometown and discovers that Bimmel was a tailor and has dresses with templates identical to the patches of skin removed from Buffalo Bill's victims. Realizing that Buffalo Bill is a tailor fashioning a "woman suit" of real skin, she telephones Crawford, who is already on the way to make an arrest, having cross-referenced Lecter's notes with Johns Hopkins Hospital and finding a man named Jame Gumb. Crawford instructs Starling to continue interviewing Bimmel's friends while he leads a SWAT team to Gumb's business address in Calumet City, Illinois. Starling's interviews lead to the house of "Jack Gordon", who Starling soon realizes is actually Gumb, and draws her weapon just as Gumb disappears into his basement. Starling pursues him, discovering a screaming Catherine Martin in the dry well just before the lights in the basement go out, leaving her in complete darkness. Gumb stalks Starling in the dark with night vision goggles and prepares to shoot her when Starling, hearing the machinations of his revolver, swivels around and shoots Gumb dead.

Days later at the FBI Academy graduation party, Starling receives a phone call from Hannibal Lecter, now in the Bahamas. As Lecter assures Starling he has no plans to pursue her, he excuses himself from the phone call, remarking that he's "having an old friend for dinner", before hanging up and following Chilton through the streets of the village.


The Silence Of The Lambs (1991) - Open-ended Trailer (e10885)01:45

The Silence Of The Lambs (1991) - Open-ended Trailer (e10885)

The Silence of the Lambs I Ate His Liver00:26

The Silence of the Lambs I Ate His Liver

Trailer Famous Clip - "I ate his liver"

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