The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American thriller film that blends elements of the crime and horror genres. It was directed by Jonathan Demme and stars Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Ted Levine, and Scott Glenn. It is based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris, his second to feature Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer.

In the film, Clarice Starling, a young FBI trainee, seeks the advice of the imprisoned Dr. Lecter to apprehend another serial killer, known only as "Buffalo Bill".

The Silence of the Lambs was released on February 14, 1991, and grossed over $272 million. The film was the third film to win Oscars in all the top five categories: Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Actor, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay. The film is considered "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant by the US Library of Congress and has been selected to be preserved in the National Film Registry.

Awards and honours

Academy Awards record

  • Best Picture, Edward Saxon, Kenneth Utt, Ronald M. Bozman
  • Best Director, Jonathan Demme
  • Best Actor, Anthony Hopkins
  • Best Actress, Jodie Foster
  • Best Adapted Screenplay, Ted Tally

Golden Globe Awards record

  • Best Actress, Jodie Foster

BAFTA Awards record

  • Best Actor, Anthony Hopkins
  • Best Actress, Jodie Foster

The film won five major Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actress (Foster), Best Actor (Hopkins), Best Director (Demme) and Best Adapted Screenplay (Ted Tally), making it the third film in history to receive the "Big Five" Academy Awards. It was also nominated for Best Sound (Tom Fleischman and Christopher Newman) and Best Film Editing, but lost to Terminator 2: Judgment Day and JFK, respectively.

Other awards include best picture from the National Board of Review, CHI Awards and PEO Awards. Demme won the Silver Bear for Best Director at the 41st Berlin International Film Festival and was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Director. The film was nominated as best film by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards. Screenwriter Ted Tally received an Edgar Award for Best Motion Picture Screenplay. The film was awarded Best Horror Film of the Year during the 2nd Horror Hall of Fame telecast, with Vincent Price presenting the award to the film's executive producer Gary Goetzman.

In 1998, the film was listed as one of the 100 greatest movies in the past 100 years by the American Film Institute. In 2006, at the Key Art Awards, the original poster for The Silence of the Lambs was named best film poster "of the past 35 years".

The Silence of the Lambs placed seventh on Bravo's 100 Scariest Movie Moments for Lecter's infamous escape scene. The American Film Institute named Hannibal Lecter (as portrayed by Hopkins) the number one film villain of all time and Clarice Starling (as portrayed by Foster) the sixth greatest film hero of all time.

Poster: