CHANNEL 4 4SEVEN E4 MORE4 FILM4 4MUSIC 4oD

Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • 15
  • Drama, Music
  • 1990
  • 118 mins

The Silence Of The Lambs

The Silence Of The Lambs

Synopsis

FBI agent Clarice Starling's battle of wits with Dr Hannibal Lecter makes for compulsive viewing in this strange, seductive story of heroics, anti-heroics and serial killers

About

A modern thriller masterpiece that established intellectual murderer Dr Hannibal Lecter in the canon of cinematic monsters, as much for his manifest intelligence as for his violent and cannibalistic tendencies.

When a serial killer (dubbed 'Buffalo Bill') is on the loose, an FBI profiler approaches the imprisoned serial killer Lecter (Hopkins) for psychological advice on the murderer. Lecter refuses to work with anyone other than rookie agent Clarice Starling (Foster), offering her titbits of information in return for her life story. Her FBI boss, Jack Crawford (Glenn), warns her "Believe me, you don't want Hannibal Lecter inside your head," but that's where he's heading. The famous exchange that leads to her childhood memory that gives the film its title begins with him coercing painful reminiscences out of her. "After your father's murder, you were orphaned. You were ten years old. You went to live with cousins on a sheep and horse ranch in Montana. And...?"

A devious complex character, there's more to Lecter's agenda, however, than messing with Clarice's head. There's the small matter of his relationship with Buffalo Bill, and his plans for escape - which, of course, include him indulging his cannibalism.

Although some claim that the previous portrayal of Lecter (then spelt Lecktor) by Cox in Manhunter is superior, Hopkins makes the role his own. With flashes of urbanity, wit and fierce intelligence he creates an unforgettable grotesque. Against him, Foster is the embodiment of pluck, desperately fighting to understand Lecter's gnomic utterances and capture Buffalo Bill.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Anthony Heald, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A Bonney, Ted Levine, Jodie Foster, Frankie Faison, Scott Glenn
  • Director: Jonathan Demme
  • Screen Writer: Ted Tally
  • Producer: Edward Saxon, Ron Bozman, Kenneth Utt
  • Photographer: Tak Fujimoto
  • Composer: Howard Shore

In a nutshell

Director Demme loses the plot at the end with madmen, skins and yapping dogs, but this is a still wonderful example of classy storytelling and unforgettable characterisation.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Just Wright

    Just Wright

    Queen Latifah plays a physical therapist falling for Common's recovering basketball pro in this romantic comedy

    On Film4: 27 Jul 1:00PM

  • Film4 Grand Central

    Grand Central

    Gary (Tahar Rahim) falls into both a job and a love-triangle at a nuclear power plant, as he develops a powerful attraction to the fiancee (Léa Seydoux) of his new boss

  • Film4 Betty Blue

    Betty Blue on Film4

    Béatrice Dalle stars as the beautiful and unpredictable Betty Blue in Jean-Jacques Beineix's romantic drama on Film4

  • Film4 Sleepy Hollow

    Sleepy Hollow on Film4

    Johnny Depp stars in Tim Burton's spooky tale about a man named Ichabod Crane who is sent to investigate decapitations being attributed to the legendary Headless Horseman

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share