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Purchase The Silence of the Lambs (1991) Movie Online and Download - Jonathan Demme 🎥
Crime, Drama, Thriller
IMDB rating:
Jonathan Demme
Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling
Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecktor
Scott Glenn as Jack Crawford
Anthony Heald as Dr. Frederick Chilton
Ted Levine as Jame 'Buffalo Bill' Gumb
Frankie Faison as Barney Matthews
Kasi Lemmons as Ardelia Mapp
Brooke Smith as Catherine Martin
Paul Lazar as Pilcher
Dan Butler as Roden
Lawrence T. Wrentz as Agent Burroughs
Don Brockett as Friendly Psychopath in Cell
Frank Seals Jr. as Brooding Psychopath in Cell
Stuart Rudin as Miggs
Maria Skorobogatov as Clarice Starling
Diane Baker as Sen. Ruth Martin
Leib Lensky as Mr. Lang
George 'Red' Schwartz as Mr. Lang's Driver (as Red Schwartz)
Lawrence A. Bonney as FBI Instructor
Jeffrie Lane as Clarice's Father
Storyline: Young FBI agent Clarice Starling is assigned to help find a missing woman to save her from a psychopathic serial killer who skins his victims. Clarice attempts to gain a better insight into the twisted mind of the killer by talking to another psychopath Hannibal Lecter, who used to be a respected psychiatrist. FBI agent Jack Crawford believes that Lecter, who is also a very powerful and clever mind manipulator, has the answers to their questions and can help locate the killer. However, Clarice must first gain Lecter's confidence before the inmate will give away any information.
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Silence of the Lambs, an emotional ride of disbelief and terror
The 1991 suspense thriller, Silence of the Lambs, finds Clarice Starling, actress Jodi Foster, as a student at the FBI academy in Virginia. She's been chosen by her instructor, actor Lawrence Bonney, due to her noticeable keen senses, to visit with Dr. Hannibal Lecter, actor Anthony Hopkins, an incarcerated murderer. The intention is that Starling can use Lecter's insight into the mind of a murderer to find Buffalo Bill, actor Ted Levine, a serial killer whose victims are young girls.

The theme of this film is control or power. In the film Clarice Starling is controlled by her drive to succeed as an FBI agent. She also has not found the power to control her memories of her childhood and the screaming of the lambs, which through her dealings with Dr. Lector she realizes. Ironically Dr. Lector himself, through his ability to manipulate minds, is perfectly able to control any and all situations; even through his incarceration has the power to affect others. Buffalo Bill on the other hand believes himself to be a transsexual and had been turned down for sex change surgeries from all major hospitals in the area. Therefore, his only way to express his control was by abducting young girls and murdering them and using their skin to create a woman's body. Ironically enough there is a pattern here. The majority of the power and control struggles are between Clarice and the men throughout her life and the story line, and with Buffalo Bill and his sexuality, and the young girls that he kills.

The lighting and the angles used in the basement scene where Agent Starling was in the home of Buffalo Bill attempting to arrest him also aided to the theme of control. Buffalo Bill had shut off the lighting to the basement, leaving Starling unable to see a thing. Consequently, Buffalo Bill had on night goggles and was able to see every move Starling made. A terrified Starling scrambled around the basement, although blinded, searching for Bill. Finally, the simple sound of the trigger of Bill's gun being pulled back was all it took for Starling to locate bill and shoot the deadly shots that ended his terror (Bloch 1960). The overall lighting of the scenes throughout the film also aided to the theme of control. Early on the scenes tend to be more dark and dismal, but it seemed as though as Clarice gained more control, by having increased confidence, more insight, more acknowledgment from Crawford, and more trust from Lector, and got closer to solving the crime, the lighting itself became brighter throughout.

The plot of the movie is to find a missing girl in West Virginia and to end serial killer Buffalo Bill's rampage. Special agent Jack Crawford, actor Scott Glenn, chose Cadet Clarice Starling for the task of interviewing a psychotic murderer Dr. Hannibal Lector in hopes that he could aid in the arrest of Buffalo Bill. Throughout the film Starling runs into obstacles and snares that seem to stand in her way, however her drive in solving the crime is stronger than those things standing in her way. One such obstacle is Dr. Frederick Chilton, actor Anthony Heald. Dr. Chilton is, to me, a little squeaky, weasel type character. He is out for self gain only and is trying to use Lector and his knowledge for his own benefit. Ultimately, Dr. Chilton met his doom in the end of the film by none other than Dr. Lector himself. After a botched attempt, at the direction of Jack Crawford, to find the most recent missing girl, Crawford and Starling were not permitted to speak to Lecter further. However that did not stop her from attempting to find and speak to him in attempt to find the killer. Although the male FBI agents had their leads, Starling had her own, and she was the one that ultimately solved the case.

I can compare the theme of control and power of this film to that of Alfred Hitchcock's film Psycho. This film also has heavy displays of gender and power. The circumstances that stand out to me most are that of mental illness displayed in both films, the way that Norman Bates and Buffalo Bill have similar conflicts and are somewhat trapped in their roles and act out in a sinister way. There is one particular scene that I recall that immediately brought to mind the comparison of the two films. The scene where they were reviewing pictures of some of Buffalo Bill's victims showed a young girl lying face down, naked. Her eyes were wide open (Bloch 1960), and as they showed a close up of that picture I instantly saw the shower scene where Janet Lee lay on the bathroom floor, eyes wide open, and the shower water running (Bloch, 1960).

Overall, I rate this movie very high. The suspense thriller allows the viewer to enter into the minds of Agent Starling, Hannibal Lecter and Buffalo Bill. It exhibits the affects of control and power, be it strong and weak, psychologically stable or unstable, educated or uneducated, male or female. Silence of the Lambs, takes us on an emotional ride of disbelief and terror as we see the story unfold.
Takes its place among the best horror movies of our time
This movie was amazing. The dialogue was witty, clever and sometimes chilling. The directing was beautiful and the acting was absolutely superb. Jodie Foster was great as the the FBI agent Clarice Starling who is on the trail of a serial killer. Foster was good but the star is of course the magnificent Anthony Hopkins who steels the show with his rolling eyes and taunting voice. Both actors deserved the Oscars awarded to them. So did the director Jonathon Demme. The story was great, the only clique was with the ending that has always bugged me. The movie is an intelligent chilling thriller and there was this great build up to something that didn't meet the audience's expectations. Besides that everything about this movie was perfect. Highly recommended.
It's a classic!
There is little doubt that the most memorable aspect of The Silence of the Lambs is Anthony Hopkins' incomparable performance as Lecter. Taking over for Brian Cox, who was effective, but not especially memorable, as the good doctor in 1986's Manhunter, Hopkins instantly makes the role his own, capturing and conveying the charismatic essence of pure evil. To his dying day, no matter how many roles he plays in the interim, Hopkins will forever be known for this part. (It is a credit to Hopkins' ability as an actor that this part did not result in stereotyping. His post-Silence career has been greatly varied, with roles as widely diverse as a stodgy butler in Merchant-Ivory's The Remains of the Day and an action hero in The Edge.) I can throw out any number of superlatives, but none of them do justice to this chilling performance, which I labeled as the best acting work of the '90s. Want to feel the icy fingers of terror stroke your heart? Watch this mixture of brilliant eloquence and inhuman cruelty. As portrayed by Hopkins, Hannibal is both a suave, cultured gentleman and an unspeakable fiend. He is gracious and monstrous at the same time. (Hopkins also provided one of the most quotable lines in recent film history with "I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti", which was followed by an inimitable slithering slurp.)
Best served chilled with a nice Chianti
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (1991) **** Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Anthony Heald, Brooke Smith, Diane Baker (Cameos: Roger Corman, producer Kenneth Utt, singer Chris Isaak) Terrifying masterpiece of modern-day horror and the first film since 1975's "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest" to win all 5 major Oscars (Picture, Director: Jonathan Demme, Actress Foster, Actor Hopkins, and Screenplay Adaptation by Ted Tally of the best-seller by Thomas Harris): novice FBI agent Clarice Starling (a stalwart Foster) begins her career in a manhunt for a serial killer known as "Buffalo Bill", a transsexual wanna-be whose grisly crimes leads to her only source of his trail: imprisoned psychiatrist Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter (Hopkins in one chilling and modulated perf) whose mindgames with the rookie agent has her on her toes and running out of time. Exciting, suspenseful and supremely scary with some truly eye-widening moments of the unexpected. Best line: Lecter at film's end: "I'm having an old friend for dinner."
Taut film-making that results in a chilling and influential psychological thriller
The late Gene Siskel hated "The Silence of the Lambs," thinking of it as being far too gruesome and distasteful and as having zero originality to it. Roger Ebert gave the 3.5 out of 4 stars, saying that he did enjoy the film but that some scenes were lacking, such as the ending.

Siskel missed the point. The chill from "The Silence of the Lambs" doesn't come from revolutionary originality, which it doesn't have. The chill of "The Silence of the Lambs" is in how it maximizes fear and suspense in a plot that one could simply describe as "police on the hunt for a serial killer." It is here where "The Silence of the Lambs" set the bar; it takes a B-movie concept and raises it to the level of a taut A-level thriller.

The plot has the FBI on the hunt for a serial killer known as "Buffalo Bill" (played by Ted Levine). Stuck, the lead investigator (played by Scott Glenn) wants to get the perspective of another serial killer, to try and see inside the psychotic mind. He recruits the young FBI trainee Clarice Starling (played by Jodie Foster) to talk to the brilliant and cannibalistic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter (played by Anthony Hopkins). Lecter agrees to help Starling, but only if she will grant him the sadistic pleasure of allowing him to see inside her mind.

Even though the plot is about Buffalo Bill, with Lecter only having 16 minutes on screen in a 2-hour movie, Lecter and Starling are way more interesting and end up being the driving force for the film. In many films, an excellent performance by the villain can steal the show away from the hero. (Tim Burton's "Batman," featuring a brilliant performance by Jack Nicholson as The Joker, is a prime example of this.) In "The Silence of the Lambs," we have strong performances by both of the lead actors. Hopkins' Lecter is clearly everybody's favorite character, but Foster's performance as Starling is powerful enough to not get eclipsed by Hopkins.

Not getting eclipsed is something of a theme for this film. Our heroine is not trying to be heroic. Starling is strong and courageous and could kick anyone's butt, and yet she comes across as vulnerable. She is a woman in a man's world and everywhere she goes, there is a sense of being dominated. She is 5'3" in a film where most other characters are over 6' tall. (The camera often skillfully has Starling occupying only the lower half of the frame; seeing so much space above her head makes her look shorter and more vulnerable.) Her black hair (which is different from Foster's natural light brown) makes her appear paler than she really is. Other characters are always hitting on her. She always whispers and is always giving a nervous smile. Even her slight Southern accent gives her a "country girl" appeal that helps the audience identify with her. Starling is an FBI agent-in-training and is clearly quite skilled at handling dangerous situations, but she still shares our vulnerabilities. As a result of this, her fears are our fears. This is the true skill of Jodie Foster's performance; she manages to play Starling as a woman of great strength and vulnerability at once.

Credit should also go to the film-makers. One strong point is their choice to only be selectively gruesome. This is one key difference between "The Silence of the Lambs" and garden-variety serial killer movies. The latter often derive their scares by showing incredibly brutal images and portraying utterly disgusting scenarios. Fear is generated by the audience's own horrified reaction to what is being shown on screen. "The Silence of the Lambs" does not give in to that temptation though. It casually shows us several rather gruesome images to get us nervous, but then keeps some of the most disturbing stuff cleverly off-camera. Of course, this serves to only make them scarier; what could be so gruesome that not even this creepy film is willing to show it on camera?

I do have criticisms. My main complaint is that Buffalo Bill is a lightweight who left me longing for the much more interesting and menacing Hannibal Lecter. Buffalo Bill is sick, twisted, and downright nauseating, but he also is a coward, who has to resort to trickery and gadgetry to make himself formidable. Lecter, on the other hand, has all the tools he needs right there in his brain. He is the smartest character in the film and he knows it and he loves it. He is so charismatic that he can enter the mind of anyone, no matter how hard they resist. This makes Lecter scary even when he is off-camera. Buffalo Bill is not really all that scary even when he's on camera; he's more just plain gross.

The thrill of this movie is psychological. We don't feel thrilled because of cool action sequences or original plot ideas but rather because of the fear that we can relate to and the mind games that Lecter plays. Something of a void is left in scenes in the latter half of the film, where Lecter is absent. (Here, I agree with Ebert.) Nonetheless, Foster's performance makes up for that. Even in the final showdown with Buffalo Bill, the thrill is still there because we feel Starling's fear, even though the audience has not been particularly scared of Buffalo Bill up until now. (Here, I disagree with Ebert, who feels the showdown is lacking.)

"The Silence of the Lambs" is thrilling and chilling. The main villain is a lightweight, but the secondary villain is among the most menacing and evil in cinema history. I think that after we walk away from this film, we somehow are left with the feeling that, at least for those 2 hours, Hannibal Lecter managed to get inside our own minds as well.
Superb Psycho-Thriller
Director Jonathan Demme and author/screenwriter Harris/Tally are all very talented, but they really outdid themselves here. The more I watch this film, the better it gets. Just the close-up shots of Hannibal Lecter's (Anthony Hopkins) and Clarisse Starling's (Jodie Foster) faces.

I recently saw it for the 5th time with my daughter, who saw it for the 1st time. She was on the edge of her seat just as I remember, while I enjoyed the deft plotting, the great characterization, even of side-characters (like the self-absorbed psychiatrist Chilton), who were painted with sparse but knowing strokes.

Hopkins and Foster are just perfectly cast, doing the perfect mannerisms, the perfect accents, the perfect everything. The supporting cast is also outstanding, from Starling's boss, who uses her as bait to engage dangerous psychopath Lecter to solve a serial murder case, to the unpleasant psychiatrist Chilton, to the victim held captive in a pit by the serial killer, all the way to the psychopathic serial killer who is sowing himself a female identity out of his victim's skins.

The clues abound, and while obvious in hindsight, are subtle enough to be interesting: Southeast Asian moth = criminal is a Vietnam War veteran. Seamstress patterns in closets to reveal where the perpetrator must have learned the sowing trade.

Although the gore is very sparse in this film, it is really shocking, and built up just right to cause maximum suspense and "yech" factor. The director manages to make you wince even when you don't get to see all that much.

So why "only" 9/10? After many viewings, I think more and more that the cutting between Starling and her boss at the end, when he enters the wrong house, is too cheap a trick to show that he ended up tracking the wrong person. Likewise, the "break into the storage" scene lays on the difficulties with forced entry a bit much. Hitchcock would have stayed away from such low-grade suspense devices. Sometimes less is more. Still, this film is better than a few of the grandmaster's thrillers, and that's saying something coming from a fan who saw his first Hitch while the grandmaster was still filming them!
A most unusual treat.
"The Silence of the Lambs" will have to go down in history as one of the most ingenious movies of all time. After a string of bizarre murders, FBI agent-in-training Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is hired to interview psychopath Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to find the perpetrator. In the process, we get to learn some very interesting things about both Starling and Lecter. The main thing is that, despite how vile Lecter is, we can't help but admire him. And I don't mean just because he's helping Clarice; something about the guy, you just gotta love him.

In case you're squeamish, I should remind you that this movie contains some very ugly scenes. But don't worry, director Jonathan Demme knows how to handle them. This masterful combination of acting, directing and writing helped "The Silence of the Lambs" win the top five Academy Awards, putting it in a league with only "It Happened One Night" and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest". Watching the movie, you will agree that the movie deserved these awards. In fact, you just might want to have an old friend (over) for dinner.
Thrill Ride
Anthony Hopkins is just wild in his Academy Award winning performance. I find it amazing that I was getting chills up my spine just from watching him play Lecter. This is the best of his Lecter performances, as the other movies, Hannibal and Red Dragon lack storyline and he needed a strong character like Jodie Foster who is incredible. Clarice is a vulnerable character that pulls off a believable FBI trainee. You believe she has the strength to do the job but are constantly concerned for her safety. Jodie Foster is as always and incredible actor. The scenes with Foster and Hopkins are undeniably the strength of this movie. Hopkins picks away at Foster's inner demons, forcing her to open up her troubling past. In exchange, he reveals more and more information on the identity of a notorious serial killer. Foster's desperation does nothing to budge Hopkins from his request, and her vulnerability is more and more present as their scenes progress. They are both remarkable in this movie. A classic thriller of a movie that never lets up on the suspense.
Outstading Drama with a Thrilling Storyline and Superb Performances,
The Silence of the Lambs is a fantastic movie with a very well developed storyline and an outstanding cast. It is a pure thriller and likely one of the best ever made, it doesn't just rely on being creepy, but also on strong performances which I don't think thrillers do often enough. Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins's performances are absolutely outstanding, Foster is a very likable and believable police officer, and Anthony Hopkins completely becomes his character, Hannibal Lecter didn't seem like an easy role to do, but he did it so naturally, with no hesitation. This film won five Academy Awards and is only the third film to win the Big Five, which it completely deserved, it isn't a movie that you would expect to win Best Picture, but I am very happy it did. Dramatic, terrifying at times and without a doubt, film gold, I would recommend Silence of the Lambs to anyone looking for a good thriller or drama.

A young FBI agent must meet with a psychopathic serial killer in order to catch one who is still on the loose.

Best Performance: Anthony Hopkins
Class Act
With Silence of the Lambs comes some much needed recognition for the horror genre. It is a first-rate production all around. It boasts a witty and suspenseful script based on the Thomas Harris novel, full of great lines. It has marvelous direction from Demme. Demme creates suspense very well throughout and uses some great directorial shots such as the twin frames of Clarice ringing a doorbell and the FBI men breaking into a home. The two lead actors won oscars for their performances...each deserved. Foster is very good in her role, but it is Anthony Hopkins that literally lights up the screen with his complex portrayal of a complex serial killer. Hopkins does the seemingly impossible. He frightens you with his outrageousness and yet illicts some pity/compassion(albeit not a lot) for his situation. He says his lines with reservedness when needed and brashness when needed. The rest of the cast is also quite good with Anthony Heald a standout as a unethical, petty doctor in charge of Hopkins. Of course the story of the other killer is very very chilling as well. A quality film in all aspects!
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