Silence of The Lambs: Unrelenting Terror

Produced in 1991 and directed by Jonathan Demme, this terrifying film was based on a novel of the same name written by Thomas Harris. The plot centers on a young and brilliant FBI agent, Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), and her quest to save a missing woman from the grasp of a psychopathic killer with the help of another killer, Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). This film is one of only three in the history of the cinema to win the five top Oscars (Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, Best Picture and Best Screenplay). The other two films were “ It Happened One Night” (1934) and “One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest” (1975).

A powerful masterpiece of terror, this film is superb on many levels, not the least of which is the interaction between Foster’s character and Hopkins’s, all the more amazing because they only share a few scenes. Hopkins’s appearance totals little more than 16 minutes of screen time, and comprises the shortest performance on record to ever win a leading actor Oscar. He described the voice he perfected for Hannibal Lecher as a combination of Truman Capote and Katherine Hepburn!

An excellent supporting cast hallmarks the film. Serial killer, Buffalo Bill (played deftly by Ted Levine), is the real life combination of three actual serial killers: Ed Gein, who skinned his victims, Ted Bundy, who used a cast on his arm to lure women into his car and Gary Heidnick who kept kidnapped women in a pit in his basement. Although the terror never stops for an instant, it does have its humorous moments, notably a copy of “Bon Appetit” magazine that can be seen in Lecter’s temporary cell.

This film is a must see for all lovers of the thriller genre. But prepare for a nightmare or two afterwards. It is inevitable.

This entry was posted in Movies and tagged by Marjorie Dorfman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Marjorie Dorfman

Marjorie Dorfman is a freelance writer and former teacher originally from Brooklyn, New York. A graduate of New York University School of Education, she now lives in Doylestown, PA, with quite a few cats that keep her on her toes at all times. Originally a writer of ghostly and horror fiction, she has branched out into the world of humorous non-fiction writing in the last decade. Many of her stories have been published in various small presses throughout the country during the last twenty years. Her book of stories, "Tales For A Dark And Rainy Night", reflects her love and respect for the horror and ghost genre.