Silence of the Lambs (1991) - Jonathan Demme

Silence of the Lambs (86)

FBI Agent Clarice Darling gets assistance from serial murderer, Hannibal Lecter. She is looking to find the serial killer known as Buffalo Bill.

Directed by

Jonathan Demme

Produced by

Kenneth Utt
Edward Saxon
Ron Bozman

Screenplay by

Ted Tally

Based on

The Silence of the Lambs
by Thomas Harris


Jodie Foster
Anthony Hopkins
Scott Glenn
Ted Levine


Strong Heart/Demme Production,
Orion Pictures

Release date
January 30, 1991 (New York City)

Budget - $19 Million
Box office - $272.7 Million

The Silence of the Lambs is a thrilling dramatic horror film from the late, Jonathan Demme. His direction had led the tale of Hannibal Lecter to its most recognizable peak. Anthony Hopkins, Jodie Foster and Ted Levine turn in tremendous performances that are forever emblazoned on the silver screen. It’s an adaptation of the Thomas Harris novel of the same name.

A serial killer, nicknamed Buffalo Bill (Levine), is at large. He has been abducting women, keeping them in a well and then murdering them, taking parts of their skin. FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Foster), is sent to question the imprisoned cannibalistic serial murderer, Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins). She is asked to interrogate him for information that would help the FBI find this new killer. It works, but Lecter becomes obsessed with Clarice

In 1991, Silence of the Lambs had come away with five oscars. Not just technical awards either. It came away with awards for Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. It's a chilling feature that sits among some of the best movies ever made. It is part of the ‘Big 5’, three films that have won the top five awards. They are; It Happened One Night (1934) and One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest (1975).

It’s a slower pace than most other horror movies. The Silence of the Lambs is more than just another FBI/Cop drama. It’s like a creepy Law & Order on PCP. This is Jonathan Demme’s best work. Hannibal Lecter was intense. His presence created a lot of mystery and suspense. Who was he? What did Lecter do? His backstory is so interesting, but the filmmakers keep that part of the story draped in shadows. The mystery that it creates is terrifying. It drags you in closely and makes you care. It becomes clear to the audience that people like Lecter and Buffalo Bill exist, and that is scary.

While Silence of the Lambs isn’t the greatest movie ever, it is fantastic. It’s scary and interesting. I love Anthony Hopkins, but Jodie Foster did an amazing job as FBI Agent Darling. She is a compelling character that carries the movie scene by scene. I highly recommend this movie to anyone that hadn’t seen it before. It’s a top quality picture that will tickle your terror bone.