The Movie Special

DVD Reviews 'n More

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991)

Jonathan Demme’s thriller based on Thomas Harris’ novel is one of the best crime dramas to this date. Entertainment Weekly has voted it the fourth scariest film of all time and it was the first crime movie to win five Oscars. This movie intertwines psychological study with horror and has stellar performances from Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins.

Jodie Foster is Clarice Starling, a student at the FBI’s training academy. Agent Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Unit is her mentor, who is investigating a vicious killer nicknamed Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). Buffalo Bill kills young women and removes their skin. Crawford believes that Dr. Hannibal Lecter – once a brilliant psychiatrist, now a violent psychopathic serial killer – might have some insight into Buffalo Bill and he sends Clarice on a special assignment to interview the incarcerated Dr. Lecter. Dr. Lecter is willing to help Clarice, but for a price – he wants details about Clarice’s past.

The Silence of the Lambs created one of the most memorable villains in the movie history – Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Hopkins’ performance as the cannibalistic serial killer is so powerful and memorable, that you don’t realise he has only about 16 minutes of screen time.

Foster does a phenomenal job as the inexperienced and eager Clarice. Scott Glenn as Agent Crawford and Anthony Heald as Dr. Frederick Chilton – who is almost as crazy as Lecter – give solid performances.

Demme manages to catch the suspense masterfully. One of the best scenes of the movie is the one in which Demme uses twin frames of Clarice ringing a doorbell and FBI agents charging into a house. Another reason why this movie is so memorable is the score by Howard Shore. It accentuates the script perfectly.

Equally impressing and scary. Always worth watching again.

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