1991   USA The Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs Image Cover
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Director:Jonathan Demme
Writer:Thomas Harris, Ted Tally
IMDb Rating:8.7 (308,811 votes)
Awards:Won 5 Oscars. Another 39 wins & 27 nominations
Genre:Crime, Thriller
Duration:118 min
Jonathan Demme  ...  (Director)
Thomas Harris, Ted Tally  ...  (Writer)
Jodie Foster  ...  Clarice Starling
Anthony Hopkins  ...  Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Scott Glenn  ...  Jack Crawford
Anthony Heald  ...  Dr. Frederick Chilton
Ted Levine  ...  Jame 'Buffalo Bill' Gumb
Frankie Faison  ...  Barney Matthews
Kasi Lemmons  ...  Ardelia Mapp
Brooke Smith  ...  Catherine Martin
Paul Lazar  ...  Pilcher
Dan Butler  ...  Roden
Lawrence T. Wrentz  ...  Agent Burroughs
Don Brockett  ...  Friendly Psychopath in Cell
Frank Seals Jr.  ...  Brooding Psychopath in Cell
Stuart Rudin  ...  Miggs
Masha Skorobogatov  ...  Young Clarice Starling
Maria Skorobogatov  ...  Young Clarice Starling
Diane Baker  ...  Sen. Ruth Martin
Tak Fujimoto  ...  Cinematographer
Comments: Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Brilliant. Cunning. Psychotic. In his mind lies the clue to a ruthless killer. - Clarice Starling, FBI. Brilliant. Vulnerable. Alone. She must trust him to stop the killer.

Summary: Based on Thomas Harris's novel, this terrifying film by Jonathan Demme really only contains a couple of genuinely shocking moments (one involving an autopsy, the other a prison break). The rest of the film is a splatter-free visual and psychological descent into the hell of madness, redeemed astonishingly by an unlikely connection between a monster and a haunted young woman. Anthony Hopkins is extraordinary as the cannibalistic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter, virtually entombed in a subterranean prison for the criminally insane. At the behest of the FBI, agent-in-training Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) approaches Lecter, requesting his insights into the identity and methods of a serial killer named Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). In exchange, Lecter demands the right to penetrate Starling's most painful memories, creating a bizarre but palpable intimacy that liberates them both under separate but equally horrific circumstances. Demme, a filmmaker with a uniquely populist vision (Melvin and Howard, Something Wild), also spent his early years making pulp for Roger Corman (Caged Heat), and he hasn't forgotten the significance of tone, atmosphere, and the unsettling nature of a crudely effective close-up. Much of the film, in fact, consists of actors staring straight into the camera (usually from Clarice's point of view), making every bridge between one set of eyes to another seem terribly dangerous. --Tom Keogh

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