The Silence of the Lambs

I remember the first time I saw The Silence of the Lambs in the theater. I was seventeen and I was visiting my best friend in California. Four years earlier I had moved from California to Colorado. Each year I would make a trip home to hang out. The two of us sat in the back of the theater. I had a jacket with me—turned out to be a good thing since I kept hiding my face behind it. This movie scared the heck out of me. Normally I don’t like being scared, but I loved this movie. Since that first time, I’ve seen it many times. Yet, when it came time to watch it for my challenge I was hesitant. Would I still like it? I knew the story inside and out and I wondered if I would find it boring—old news. I was wrong. Dead wrong. As soon as the movie started, I was hooked again.

Here’s a quick rundown of the flick. Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is a trainee in the FBI. Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) is head of the Bureau’s Behavioral Science Unit. Crawford sends Starling to interview a prisoner named Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), a former psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer. Crawford hopes that Lecter will have some idea about the identity of “Buffalo Bill” (Ted Levine), a serial killer who removes the skin from his victims before getting rid of the bodies. Crawford doesn’t tell Starling that’s his goal, but Lecter is one smart cookie and figures it out. You have to see the movie to believe what happens next.

This movie was the third movie to win the top five categories at the Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress (Foster), Best Actor (Hopkins), Best Director (Jonathan Demme), and Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay). This is the first horror film to win for Best Picture.

If you haven’t seen this movie, and if you can stomach a movie about serial killers, please watch it. Foster, Hopkins, and Levine are amazing. Even though Hopkins isn’t in the movie that much, he made such an impression on me that I became an instant fan. I had nightmares for weeks that Hannibal was coming over for dinner and I was the main course. I still won’t keep Chianti in the house and to my knowledge I’ve never eaten fava beans.

Up next is Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

About TBM

TB Markinson is an American living in England. When she isn’t writing, she’s traveling the world, watching sports on the telly, visiting pubs, or reading. Not necessarily in that order.
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50 Responses to The Silence of the Lambs

  1. paulaacton says:

    I love this one as a film but after this I was disappointed – I had read the books first and so much was altered in the subsequent films they can never really merge properly again

  2. niasunset says:

    You can’t believe but I didn’t watch this film…. But I know especially Jodie Foster was great in this film. Actually I can’t watch these kind of films. But it was one of unforgettable films. Have a nice day, dear TBM, love, nia

  3. This is one of those movies that is forever imbedded in my mind! Hopkins is absolute genius in his role as Lecter. There is a big joke in our family about this movie though because Mike has never watched it all the way through. He has started to watch it about 5 times and fell asleep part way through each time. I mean seriously, how the hell can you fall asleep in The Silence of the Lambs?!?! We have teased him about it for years :).

  4. Great movie and truly wonderful performances. Butch and Sundance will be a nice change however…

    “Raindrops keep falling on my head.”

    “Oh, I’m not afraid of you, I’m not afraid of anything! I’m a grandmother and a female and I’ve got my rights. You can bull all the others, but you can’t bull me! I’ve fought whiskey and I’ve fought gambling and I can certainly fight you!”

    “I’m 26, and I’m single, and a school teacher, and that’s the bottom of the pit. And the only excitement I’ve known is here with me now. I’ll go with you, and I won’t whine, and I’ll sew your socks, and I’ll stitch you when you’re wounded, and I’ll do anything you ask of me except one thing. I won’t watch you die. I’ll miss that scene if you don’t mind.”

    • TBM says:

      It is a big change from this one. Still has violence in the film, but also shot in beautiful areas. Always reminds me of home. And Redford and Newman are wonderful actors. Paul Newman is up there on my favorite actor lists.

  5. BEKABULUH says:

    One of my favorite films of all time. And Hopkin’s Lecter is my, and I believe many others’, top favorite villain.

  6. blade3colorado says:

    I loved the movie as well, but the book blew me away. I have never seen a villainous character such as Lecter (perhaps evil is a better choice of words) come to life and be so vivid in my memory and imagination as Harris was able to accomplish in his books. In fact, Harris pissed me off because he was a very slow writer, i.e., writing a novel about once every 10 years. In short, I was hoping that he would churn out more stories. Sigh.

    Good post.

  7. ericanichole says:

    Ughhh, whenever I see the actor who played ‘Buffalo Bill’ in ANYTHING, he completely creeps me out. Even when his character is sweet and nice, I just can’t even look at him. Good movie, clearly, if eons later, it still makes me shudder.

  8. Beth Ann says:

    I loved this movie, too! It is one that sticks with you—and I don’t think fava beans are on my list of things that I have to have! 🙂

  9. mairedubhtx says:

    I read the book and it really scared me. The film was so different from the book, but it also scared the daylights out of me. Anthony Hopkins was so frightening. I liked the movie but was disappointed it was so different from the book.

    • TBM says:

      I think I need to read the book again. I don’t remember it being that scary–but it was over 20 years ago. And don’t you hate how much movies change from the book. Drives me crazy.

  10. One of my favorite movies! Hopkins may not have been there for very long but its definitely his signature role. When I think Hannibal Lecter, his face in Silence of the Lambs appears in my mind.

    • TBM says:

      I think I read he’s only onscreen for 16 minutes or so. I didn’t time it so I don’t know if that is accurate–but he packed a lot into his short time.

  11. The villain in the basement. That dog. That deep raspy voice and the sewing machine. The POV switch when he’s stalking Clarisse with the night vision gear…AAHH!

  12. i never saw it in the theater but have seen it on dvd several times. my husband absolutely refuses to watch it. i can’t really blame him, but i’m glad i’ve seen it. it’s fascinating to me to watch the hopkins/foster characters interact.

  13. vinnieh says:

    Great post, Hopkins and Foster are amazing in this.

  14. nrlymrtl says:

    I saw some of the parodies of this movie before I ever saw the film at age 19. And when I finally did see Hannibal Lecter, so many of those jokes finally made sense. But on top of that, I became aware of Jodie Foster, whose movies I have enjoyed since. We now have a dog named Hannibal, but alas, not after Lecter. She is named after the leader of The A Team, and she always has a plan.

    • TBM says:

      Foster is one of my favorites. No matter what, she always delivers a stellar performance. She recently received a lifetime achievement award, but I can’t remember which organization gave it to her. During her speech she said she’d been acting 47 years. That’s a long, long time. I’m glad i didn’t start working at the age of 3. I would be so burned out!

      Hannibal is the perfect name for your dog. Miles is doing his best right now into talking me into another walk. I may have to give in. He could use a plan from Hannibal though.

  15. I think I can safely say that is one movie I will never see and one book I will never read. I just don’t want to go there, and I don’t want those images in my mind. Real life can be ugly enough as it is without exposing myself to that. I don’t do Stephen King either.

  16. winsomebella says:

    It makes me perspire to just think about this movie 🙂

  17. lynnsbooks says:

    I loved this film. I went to see it at the cinema and it was really dark and spooky in the car park afterwards – or maybe I just had the jitters! It was a brilliant cinema experience. Watching scary films on a massive screen with surround sound makes so much more of an impact.
    I also really enjoyed Butch and Sundance so I hope you do too.
    Lynn 😀

    • TBM says:

      I can picture you jumping at every sound. When I watch these films I can’t use the bathroom in the theater afterwards since I always think a serial killer is lurking inside just for me. Makes for a long trip home.

  18. petit4chocolatier says:

    One of the most memorable movies I have ever seen! So many scenes that had you at the edge of your seat with shock! What a great summary. Excellent movie !! Thank you for the summary!

  19. I think Anthony Hopkins is amazing, but I could never watch this again–too darn scary!
    Have you seen Proof with Hopkins and Gwyneth Paltrow? He’s wonderful.

  20. Caroline says:

    I’ve watched this twice and funny enough, the second time it scared me much more.
    I thought there were sequals. Are they any good? I might rewatch it.

    • TBM says:

      I saw the sequel Hannibal. I think Julieann Moore replaced Foster in the movie. Foster, from what I heard, wasn’t happy with the script so backed out. To be honest, I didn’t enjoy the sequel much. I remember a movie called Red Dragon, but I’m not sure about the premise. I loved the first one and I think the movies should have stopped there. If my memory serves me right, Hopkins starred in the two sequels.

  21. Novroz says:

    this is one of few movie that is as good as the book

  22. Fergiemoto says:

    I’ve seen this a few times – good movie, good actors…but it still scares me!

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