FBI trainee Clarice Starling works hard to advance her career, while trying to hide/put behind her West Virginia roots, of which if some knew, would automatically classify her as being backward or white trash. After graduation, she aspires to work in the agency's Behavioral Science Unit under the leadership of Jack Crawford. While she is still a trainee, Crawford asks her to question Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist imprisoned, thus far, for eight years in maximum security isolation for being a serial killer who cannibalized his victims. Clarice is able to figure out the assignment is to pick Lecter's brains to help them solve another serial murder case, that of someone coined by the media as Buffalo Bill, who has so far killed five victims, all located in the eastern US, all young women who are slightly overweight (especially around the hips), all who were drowned in natural bodies of water, and all who were stripped of large swaths of skin. She also figures that Crawford chose ...Written by
Anthony Heald was originally cast as Roden though he initially sought the role of Dr. Frederick Chilton, a character that was written as being older than Heald. However, after a table reading with Jodie Foster where he filled in as Hannibal Lecter, he was then cast as Dr. Chilton. See more »
Both Dr Chilton and Paul Krendler from Justice are shown speaking to the media about knowing the identity of Buffalo Bill and needing to apprehend him, while Catherine is still missing. This would be a huge mistake since if Buffalo Bill was watching the news, he would know they were close to apprehending him and more than likely kill Catherine and disappear. See more »
The ending scene continues throughout the entire credits See more »
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.
The Silence of the Lambs is a masterpiece you cannot miss, it's a masterwork of suspense that blends the elements of horror, crime and psychology into one tight and smooth story. It's only the third film in history to win Academy Awards in all the top five categories: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Adapted Screenplay and that imply something about its technical quality as a film. It features expertise level of craftsmanship in all departments of filmmaking, and takes a huge bonus from the exquisite performances put in by its stellar cast. After all these years The Silence of the Lambs remains in a league of its own and is a perfect exemplification of just how great a movie can become when all the right elements come together and work in perfect harmony to form a complete whole.
Based on the novel of the same name, Jodie Foster stars as Clarice Starling, a top student at the FBI's training academy. FBI agent Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) wants Clarice to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a genius psychiatrist who is also a violent psychopath, serving life behind bars for various acts of murder and cannibalism. Crawford believes that Lecter may have insight into a case of a serial killer called Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine), that murders and skins his victims and that Starling as an attractive young woman, may be just the bait to make him help with the case.
The direction by Jonathan Demme is marvelous, as the film introduces its chilling sense of dread and has the audience on the edge of their seats, from the moment Howard Shore's ominous score hits the screen till the end of the film, especially during the climax with a lot of perfectly crafted suspenseful and nail-biting moments. The editing is perfect as the pace is methodical from start to finish, and each and every sequence is relevant to the story. The cinematography by Tak Fujimoto is fantastic as it fully succeeds into creating a very dark and brooding atmosphere that captivates as well as terrorize the audience, while also exhibiting excellent camera work that makes heavy use of close-ups which increase the creepiness and tension along with displaying an optimal color palette and minimal lightning from start to finish, which further enhances the darker ambience the story was aiming for. Moreover the production design team has done a magnificent work as every set piece is meticulously crafted, richly detailed and very well-lit. The script by Ted Tally, also packs a very well structured and tight plot, every character has a well-defined arc, all the themes are smartly addressed, the attention to detail is quite impressive, and the complete story and narrative are perfect.
The performances are incredible. Jodie Foster as Clarice is absolutely brilliant and gives an impeccable performance as a woman who is desperately trying to forget her painful past and yet at the same time tries to prove her worth in a male dominant world. Anthony Hopkins as the genius psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter is the perfect amalgamation of charisma, high intelligence and destructive violence, and gives a bone-chilling and memorable performance that will stand the passage of time as one of the absolute best. The small amount of screen time that Hopkins is given is a definitive testament to his acting capabilities, as with such an elegant and minimal performance, he solidifies himself as one of the most iconic villains of all time. Due to the charisma and electrifying chemistry between the two actors every scene they share becomes an instant classic.
In conclusion, the Silence of the Lambs is one of the greatest films ever made and a masterwork of brilliant direction, smart screenplay, splendid camerawork, tight editing, marvelous score and exquisite performances, that cemented the legacy of both Anthony Hopkins and Jodie Foster by engraving their iconic characters into the annals of cinema. The film absolutely deserves all the accolades and recognition it gets, for both its contributions to cinema and the immense impact it had on pop culture. Jonathan Demme's magnum opus is an outstanding achievement in genre filmmaking that has inspired and influenced countless thrillers since its release, and is not only the quintessential suspence and psychological horror film but also an ingenious observation of humanity's dark and violent nature and a masterpiece that every film lover must see.
43 of 56 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?
| Report this