Silence of the Lambs (1991)
IMDB Rating 8.6/10 118 min - Rated 18 Thriller | Drama
Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins Director: Jonathan Demme
When the FBI fail to develop any leads as to the identity of a brutal serial killer operating in the mid-west, chief Jack Crawford (Glen) assigns trainee agent Clarice Starling (Foster) to interview convicted psychopath, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins). Crawford hopes to wrong-foot the dangerous cannibal by sending an unworthy trainee and Starling must attempt to gain profiling information from Lecter without revealing too much of herself. When it became only the third film to sweep the five most coveted Academy Awards (picture, director, actor, actress, adapted screenplay) at the 1992 Oscar ceremony, few people can have realized how different the film could have been. Originally to be directed by Gene Hackman, numerous people were above Anthony Hopkins, the film's trump card, on the list of potential Lecters that Hackman wanted. Brian Cox (Lecktor in Manhunter), Jeremy Irons, Robert Duvall and (inevitably) Robert De Niro are all said to have turned down the role before Hopkins, thankfully, accepted. He is the first reason to see the film, totally convincing in a role that makes the skin crawl, particularly the early prison scenes between him and Starling when the tension gets so extreme as to become stifling. The second reason is the huge achievement of disguising suc a violent and upsetting horror as a thriller, and smuggling it into the theatres before anyone noticed, and all without having to compromise a single, brutal frame — and it is brutal. Buffalo Bill's (Levine) basement prison is the stuff of nightmares, and Lecter's eventual escape features some horrendous bloodletting and violence. Slick, intelligent, stunningly photographed and suspenseful to the end, this is a horror film that earned its huge success, and mainstream audience.