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The Silence Of The Lambs (Widescreen Special

A movie directed by Jonathan Demme

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Care for some fava beans?

  • Jul 30, 2003
Thomas Harris wrote three novels on which four different films are based: Manhunter (1986) and Red Dragon (2002) based on the same novel as well as Hannibal (2001) and this film. After a decade, it retains its strengths in terms directing, acting, and production values. For obvious reasons, however, it has lost much of its emotional impact for those such as I who have seen it several times since its initial release in 1991. Nonetheless, I find it every bit as entertaining now as I did then but for different reasons.

For example, the compelling personality of Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) had such an impact on me the first time around that I paid little attention to information revealed about Clarice Starling's childhood. Jody Foster received an Academy Award for her performance as did Hopkins and director Jonathan Demme. Well-deserved. I now have a much better appreciation of the evolving relationship between Lecter and Starling, and a much better understanding of childhood influences on her values and especially her vulnerabilities. Also, I now have a greater appreciation of the performances of others, notably Ted Levine (Jame "Buffalo Bill" Gumb). During the final confrontation, he more than holds his own with the highly talented Foster. Finally, I am now more aware of Jack Crawford's importance to Starling. Portraying her supervisor, Scott Glenn appears only briefly but makes a critically important contribution to Starling's development, both personally and professionally. Her judgment proves better than his as they pursue Buffalo Bill and he duly acknowledges that.

As I now think again about this film, I realize that the dominant image previously had been of Lecter in his cell, smiling serenely at the earnest young F.B.I. agent. Whenever I heard a reference to the film or to Lecter, that is what immediately came to mind. Now, the dominant image is of the "cage" in which Lecter is served a lamb chop dinner by two of the guards. I recall it so vividly...and shudder.

The DVD version of a film offers clearer image and sound (which I certainly appreciate) but also, more often than not, a "bonus" of supplementary materials. In this instance, they include 20 minutes of deleted scenes, interviews of Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, a "making-of" featurette, and a reel of out-takes.

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More The Silence Of The Lambs (1991... reviews
Quick Tip by . July 27, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
A dark Gritty film. Absoutley Amazing. Hopkins is terrifiing.
review by . October 11, 2007
posted in Movie Hype
This is a great movie to watch in the dark. "The Silence of the Lambs." Jonathan Demme's tense thriller combines excellent actors and a wonderfully adapted screenplay to make, what seems to be one of the best, if not the best, thrillers of all time.    This film has three accounts and everyone knows the story. FBI trainee Starling is assigned to glean information from incarcerated serial killer, Dr Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) concerning the whereabouts of another serial …
review by . September 10, 2003
Enough good things can not be said about this film. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is a horror-thriller-drama in one, a masterpiece of modern cinema that swept in five Academy Awards including Best Picture. Loosely adapted from the best-seller by Thomas Harris, the film follows Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), a young FBI trainee who must play an imprisoned cannibal genius' (Anthony Hopkins) mind games while trying to single-handedly track down a psychotic serial killer (Ted Levine). THE SILENCE OF THE …
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Robert Morris ()
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Professionally, I am an independent management consultant who specializes in accelerated executive development and breakthrough high-impact organizational performance. I also review mostly business books … more
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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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Director: Jonathan Demme
Screen Writer: Thomas Harris, Ted Tally
DVD Release Date: August 21, 2001
Runtime: 118 minutes
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
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