The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

R | 120 mins | Drama | 14 February 1991

Director:

Jonathan Demme

Writer:

Ted Tally

Cinematographer:

Tak Fujimoto

Editor:

Craig McKay

Production Designer:

Kristi Zea

Production Company:

Strong Heart Productions
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HISTORY

A 16 Oct 1988 LAT news brief announced that Orion Pictures had optioned film rights to Thomas Harris’s 1988 novel, The Silence of the Lambs, for Gene Hackman to write, direct and star as “Hannibal Lecter.” In the 23 Dec 1988 Publishers Weekly, the option price was estimated to be in the “very high six figures” with “large-scale bonuses” for Thomas Harris. The project was set to be Gene Hackman’s feature film directorial debut, with shooting expected to begin by late summer or early fall 1988.
       Screenwriter Ted Tally initially met Thomas Harris through Tally’s wife, and was given a galley copy of the book before it was published. Although Gene Hackman wrote a first draft of the script, Tally vied for a meeting with Hackman in Nov 1988 and was subsequently hired on as screenwriter. In a 31 Jan 1992 NYT article, Tally noted that the book was told from multiple points of view, including “Hannibal Lecter’s,” “Jame Gumb’s,” and “Jack Crawford’s,” but he chose to concentrate the screenplay on “Clarice Starling’s” point of view.
       A 5 May 1989 DV item announced that Gene Hackman had stepped down as director, and instead, would star in the upcoming Narrow Margin (1990, see entry). According to a 25 Feb 1991 People news item, Hackman left the project because he wanted to “distance himself from the public’s perception that he always plays violent characters.” However, the 7 Jul 1989 LAHExam cited “cold feet” as his reason for leaving.
       In the wake of Hackman’s departure, Orion sent the book to director Jonathan Demme, as ... More Less

A 16 Oct 1988 LAT news brief announced that Orion Pictures had optioned film rights to Thomas Harris’s 1988 novel, The Silence of the Lambs, for Gene Hackman to write, direct and star as “Hannibal Lecter.” In the 23 Dec 1988 Publishers Weekly, the option price was estimated to be in the “very high six figures” with “large-scale bonuses” for Thomas Harris. The project was set to be Gene Hackman’s feature film directorial debut, with shooting expected to begin by late summer or early fall 1988.
       Screenwriter Ted Tally initially met Thomas Harris through Tally’s wife, and was given a galley copy of the book before it was published. Although Gene Hackman wrote a first draft of the script, Tally vied for a meeting with Hackman in Nov 1988 and was subsequently hired on as screenwriter. In a 31 Jan 1992 NYT article, Tally noted that the book was told from multiple points of view, including “Hannibal Lecter’s,” “Jame Gumb’s,” and “Jack Crawford’s,” but he chose to concentrate the screenplay on “Clarice Starling’s” point of view.
       A 5 May 1989 DV item announced that Gene Hackman had stepped down as director, and instead, would star in the upcoming Narrow Margin (1990, see entry). According to a 25 Feb 1991 People news item, Hackman left the project because he wanted to “distance himself from the public’s perception that he always plays violent characters.” However, the 7 Jul 1989 LAHExam cited “cold feet” as his reason for leaving.
       In the wake of Hackman’s departure, Orion sent the book to director Jonathan Demme, as noted in a 25 Mar 1990 NYT article. Demme immediately took an interest and his company, Strong Heart Productions, devised a $19 million production budget. Michelle Pfeiffer, with whom Demme had worked on Married to the Mob (1988, see entry), was named as the frontrunner to play Clarice Starling in the 7 Jul 1989 LAHExam, however Jodie Foster and Meg Ryan were listed as contenders for the role in a 16 Jul 1989 LAT brief, which stated that Jack Nicholson was in negotiations to play Hannibal Lecter. Both Pfeiffer and Nicholson fell out. The 9 Aug 1989 LAHExam stated that Pfeiffer left because her $2 million salary demands were not met. The following day, LAHExam confirmed that Jodie Foster would star. Demme reportedly fought for Anthony Hopkins to play Hannibal Lecter, while Orion Pictures preferred Robert Duvall for the role. Hopkins’s casting was announced in the 15 Sep 1989 DV .
       Principal photography began 15 Nov 1989 in Washington, D.C. There, U.S. Secretary of Labor Elizabeth Dole lent her office for a scene set at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) headquarters. Filming also took place at the FBI Academy in Quantico, VA, and concluded in Pittsburgh, PA, where locations included the Allegheny Soldiers and Sailors War Memorial in Pittsburgh, which stood in for the Memphis, TN, building where Hannibal Lecter was held in a makeshift cell. A 4 Jan 1990 HR brief announced the end of principal photography.
       A 17 Feb 1991 LAT item noted that over 300 Tobacco Horn Worm Moths were used in the film, some of them fitted with painted body shields to resemble Asian Death Head Moths, named for their skull and crossbones markings. Some, if not all, of the moths were provided by the University of North Carolina.
       Shortly before the theatrical release, a 4 Feb 1991 LAT article reported that several gay and lesbian groups protested The Silence of the Lambs for perpetuating gay stereotypes and exploiting violence against women. A 20 Sep 1991 HR noted that gay and lesbian activists were organizing a “March on Hollywood” to coincide with the late Feb-early Mar 1992 American Film Market (AFM), and The Silence of the Lambs was one of two offending films, along with the upcoming Basic Instinct (1992, see entry), cited as the inspiration for the march. The 19 Mar 1992 SFChron noted plans for another protest at the Academy Awards, organized by HASH (Homosexuals Against Stereotypes of Hollywood), Queer Nation, ACT UP, and other groups, again naming Silence of the Lambs, Basic Instinct, and Oliver Stone’s JFK (1991, see entry) as the offending films.
       Seven benefit premieres took place, including the Los Angeles, CA, gala premiere on 1 Feb 1991, which raised money for AIDS Project Los Angeles, as noted in an 18 Jan 1991 DV brief. A 2 Feb 1991 sneak preview at forty-five Los Angeles-area theaters was advertised in the LAT.
       The Silence of the Lambs was a critical and box-office success. Its final domestic box-office gross was listed as $137 million in an 8 Apr 1992 HR item. In London, England, it set a world record for the largest single-screen opening, grossing roughly £158,904, or $269,832, at the Odeon Leicester Square Theatre.
       The film won a multitude of awards, including Academy Awards for Best Picture, Actor in a Leading Role (Anthony Hopkins), Actress in a Leading Role (Jodie Foster), Directing, and Writing (Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published); making it one of only three films, as of Jul 2015, to have won the “Big Five” Academy Awards, along with It Happened One Night (1934, see entry) and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975, see entry). The Silence of the Lambs was also named Best Film of 1991 by the New York Film Critics Circle, the National Board of Review, Chicago Film Critics Awards, and the Boston Society of Film Critics. As noted in a 27 Feb 1992 DV item, producers Edward Saxon, Kenneth Utt, and Ron Bozman won the Producers Guild of America (PGA) Darryl F. Zanuck Producer of the Year Award.
       The film’s Academy Award success was unexpected due to its early release date. As noted in a 1 Apr 1992 LAT article, in the preceding twenty years, only two other films that opened early in the year had won Oscars for Best Picture: 1972’s The Godfather and 1977’s Annie Hall (see entries). LAT noted that the highly publicized arrest of serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer in Jul 1991 helped keep The Silence of the Lambs on the minds of Academy voters, as did the film’s successful home video debut on 24 Oct 1991.
       Despite the $230 million combined grosses of The Silence of the Lambs and Dances with Wolves (1990, see entry), a 15 Apr 1991 Time item reported that Orion Pictures had been forced to declare bankruptcy due to a two-year “losing streak.” However, according to a 20 Dec 1991 HR story, the financial crisis did not keep the studio from spending more than $100,000 on an Academy Award campaign. At the time, Orion reportedly still owed Jonathan Demme $364,000.
       To capitalize on its Academy Award wins, an 8 Apr 1992 HR item reported that Orion reissued The Silence of the Lambs the weekend of 3 Apr 1992 in 230 theaters. The reissue was a failure, with an opening weekend per screen average of less than $1,000.
       Producer Dino De Laurentiis brought a $25 million lawsuit against Universal Pictures, as noted in a 1 Sep 1992 HR item, claiming the studio blackmailed him by withholding distribution on Sam Raimi’s Army of Darkness (1992, see entry) until De Laurentiis agreed to give Universal distribution rights on a sequel to The Silence of the Lambs, which was yet to be written by Thomas Harris. Universal countersued, and the dispute was settled with an agreement which gave Universal “the opportunity to obtain domestic distribution rights” to the sequel and shared first rights to Thomas Harris’s next book featuring Hannibal Lecter. The sequel, titled Hannibal, was eventually released in 2001 (see entry), produced and directed by Ridley Scott, with Anthony Hopkins reprising his role as Hannibal Lecter. In place of Jodie Foster, Julianne Moore starred as Clarice Starling.
       Silence! The Musical, a musical parody based on the film, premiered on 19 Aug 2005 at the Lucille Lortel Theatre as part of the New York International Fringe Festival. The musical went on to show at two off-Broadway theaters, in London, England, and in Los Angeles, CA, as noted in a 29 Aug 2012 LAT article.
       The Silence of the Lambs was ranked 74th on AFI's 2007 100 Years…100 Movies--10th Anniversary Edition list of the greatest American films, down from the 65th position it held on AFI's 1997 list. It was also ranked fifth on AFI’s 2001 100 Years…100 Thrills list, and Hannibal Lecter was named the number one villain on AFI’s 2003 100 Greatest Heroes & Villains list.
       End credits include the following statements: “For their invaluable cooperation in the making of this motion picture, the producers are grateful to the Federal Burea of Investigation. We are especially grateful to the Behavioral Science Unit for their vital assistance. The producers also wish to thank the following: The drivers and officials of Teamsters Local No. 249 (Pittsburgh) and the Teamsters Local No. 639 (Washington, DC), affiliated with International Brotherhood of Teamsters; The carpenters and scenic artists of I.A.T.S.E., Local 3 (Pittsburgh); The town of Rural Valley, PA; The city of Pittsburgh, PA; Allegheny County Soldiers and Sailors Memorial Hall; The United States Department of Defense; The Air National Guard; The 171st Air Refueling Wing, Greater Pittsburgh National Airport, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; The 146th Tactical Airlift Wing, Channel Islands Air National Guard Base, Port Hueneme, California; Beechcraft provided by Edward F. Sobota; C-130 aerial sequences filmed by Cine/Exec Aviation, Inc. with Vectorvision by Nettmann, Pilots/Jeff Senour and Jim Deeth, Camera operator/Mark Streapy, Technician/Robert Vogt; John Douglas; Les Freres Parent; Carnegie Museum of Natural History; Pennsylvania Film Bureau; Virginia Film Office; The Mayor’s Office of Motion Picture & Television Development, Washington, DC; Bahamas Film Promotions Bureau; The Island of Bimini, Bahamas; Cerruti; Roberta Weissburg/Breakdown Leathers; George Walden of The Albert G. Ruben Insurance Co., Inc.; The Completion Bond Company; Nikon, Inc.; Adelle, Bobby and the rest of the gang at Bufa’s”; and, “Dedicated to Trey Wilson.” Also in end credits is the Portugese phrase, “A luta continua,” meaning “the struggle continues,” in reference to Mozambique’s war for independence. Director Jonathan Demme included the phrase in the credits of three other films: Something Wild, Married to the Mob, and Philadelphia (1986, 1988, and 1993, respectively, see entries). More Less

SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
5 May 1989.
---
Daily Variety
15 Jan 1991.
---
Daily Variety
18 Jan 1991.
---
Daily Variety
4 Feb 1991
p. 2, 20.
Daily Variety
27 Dec 1991.
---
Daily Variety
27 Feb 1992.
---
Daily Variety
6 Mar 1992.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Jan 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
27 Feb 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
7 Mar 1990.
---
Hollywood Reporter
4 Feb 1991
p. 9, 43.
Hollywood Reporter
20 Sep 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
20 Dec 1991.
---
Hollywood Reporter
15 Jan 1992
p. 12.
Hollywood Reporter
8 Apr 1992
p. 1, 7.
Hollywood Reporter
1 Sep 1992
p. 4, 8.
LAHExam
7 Jul 1989.
---
LAHExam
25 Jul 1989.
---
LAHExam
9 Aug 1989.
---
LAHExam
10 Aug 1989.
---
Los Angeles Times
16 Oct 1988.
---
Los Angeles Times
16 Jul 1989.
---
Los Angeles Times
2 Feb 1991.
---
Los Angeles Times
4 Feb 1991
Calendar, p. 9.
Los Angeles Times
13 Feb 1991
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
17 Feb 1991
Calendar, p. 36.
Los Angeles Times
1 Apr 1992
Calendar, p. 1.
Los Angeles Times
20 Aug 2005
Calendar, p. 2.
Los Angeles Times
29 Aug 2012
Calendar, p. 3.
New York Times
25 Mar 1990
Section A, p. 17.
New York Times
14 Feb 1991
Section C, p. 17.
New York Times
31 Jan 1992
Section C, p. 6.
People
25 Feb 1991.
---
Publishers Weekly
23 Dec 1988.
---
San Francisco Chronicle
19 Mar 1992
Section E, p. 2.
Time
15 Apr 1991.
---
Variety
11 Feb 1991.
---
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
+
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
An Orion® Pictures Release
A Strong Heart/Demme Production
A Jonathan Demme Picture
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Unit prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
Addl 1st asst dir
2d 2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
Scr
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Key grip
Gaffer
Cam op
1st asst cam
Dolly grip
Steadicam op
2d asst cam
Still photographs by
Best boy elec
Elec
Elec
Cam trainee
Addl cam asst
Addl cam asst
Video eng
ART DIRECTORS
Prod des
Art dir
Asst art dir
Asst art dir
Storyboard artist
Storyboard artist
Art dept coord
FILM EDITORS
Assoc ed
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Apprentice film ed
Apprentice film ed
Apprentice film ed
Negative matching by
SET DECORATORS
Set dec
Set dresser
Prop master
Asst props
Asst props
Const coord
Asst set dec
Stand-by dresser
Set dresser
Set dresser
Master scenic artist
Key scenic artist
Stand-by scenic artist/Spec drawings
COSTUMES
Cost des
Asst cost des
Ward supv
Ward supv
Ward asst
MUSIC
Mus ed
Asst mus ed
Asst mus ed
Rec eng
Mus supv
SOUND
Prod sd mixer
Re-rec mixer
Sd des
Sd rec
FX ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Dial ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley ed
Foley artist
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
Apprentice sd ed
A.D.R. ed
A.D.R. ed
A.D.R. rec
A.D.R. boom op
Asst A.D.R. ed
Sd eff and foleys prod at
Re-rec
Sd mixed at
Dolby Stereo consultant
VISUAL EFFECTS
Main titles des by
Titles and opt eff by
MAKEUP
Spec makeup eff created by
Spec makeup eff created by
Hair styles des by
Makeup created by
PRODUCTION MISC
Casting
Continuity
Transportation capt
Transportation co-capt
Moth wrangler and stylist
Dog trainer
Locations
Locations
Asst to Mr. Demme
Asst to Mr. Saxon
Financial representative
Prod auditor
Unit pub
Addl casting/Pittsburgh
Extras casting/Pittsburgh
Extras casting/Virginia
Asst moth wrangler and stylist
Craft services
Asst to Mr. Utt
Asst to Ms. Foster
Asst prod auditor
Loc coord/Washington, DC
Loc coord/Bimini, Bahamas
Dialect consultant
Entomological consultant
Entomological consultant
Spec prod asst
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coord
Asst prod coords
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Prod asst
Accounting asst
Accounting asst
Stage mgr
Police consultant
Post prod supv
Post prod asst
Post prod asst
Post prod asst
Loc equip supplied by
STAND INS
Stunt coord
Stuntman
Stuntman
Stuntman
COLOR PERSONNEL
Col timing by
SOURCES
LITERARY
Based on the novel The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris (New York, 1988).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"American Girl," performed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, written by T. Petty, courtesy of Gone Gator Records
"Alone," performed by Colin Newman, written by C. Newman, G. Lewis, courtesy of Beggars Banquet Records Limited
"Sunny Day," performed by Book of Love, written by T. Ottaviano, courtesy of Sire Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
+
SONGS
"American Girl," performed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, written by T. Petty, courtesy of Gone Gator Records
"Alone," performed by Colin Newman, written by C. Newman, G. Lewis, courtesy of Beggars Banquet Records Limited
"Sunny Day," performed by Book of Love, written by T. Ottaviano, courtesy of Sire Records, by arrangement with Warner Special Products
"Real Men," performed by Savage Republic, written by B. Licher, M. Erskine, J. Long, courtesy of Independent Project Records
"Goldberg Variations," performed by Jerry Zimmerman, written by J.S. Bach
"Goodbye Horses," performed by Q. Lazzarus, written by W. Garvey
"Hip Priest," performed by The Fall, written by M.E. Smith, M. Riley, S. Hanley, C. Scanlon, P. Hanley, courtesy of Situation Two/Beggars Banquet Records Limited
"Lammo Nan Zile A," performed and written by Les Freres Parent.
+
DETAILS
Release Date:
14 February 1991
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles premiere: 1 February 1991
New York and Los Angeles openings: 14 February 1991
Production Date:
15 November 1989--early January 1990
Copyright Claimant:
Orion Pictures Corp.
Copyright Date:
29 March 1991
Copyright Number:
PA512637
Physical Properties:
Sound
Spectral Recording® Dolby Stereo SR in Selected Theatres
Color
Widescreen/ratio
1.85:1
Lenses
Lenses and Panaflex Cameras by Panavision; Filmed in Panavision
Prints
Prints by DeLuxe®
Duration(in mins):
120
MPAA Rating:
R
Country:
United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
30301
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Clarice Starling, a top student at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Academy in Quantico, Virginia, is summoned by Jack Crawford of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Services Department to partake in a special assignment. Crawford tells Clarice, a former student of his at the University of Virginia, that the FBI is collecting data on all imprisoned serial killers, but thus far, they have had no luck with Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist who ate his murder victims, earning the nickname “Hannibal the Cannibal.” Clarice suspects the assignment is related to an ongoing investigation of “Buffalo Bill,” a wanted serial killer who skins his female victims, but Crawford denies it. In Maryland, at the Baltimore State Forensic Hospital headed by the self-important Dr. Frederick Chilton, Clarice is warned upon arrival that Dr. Hannibal Lecter is a “pure psychopath.” Eyeing her lasciviously, Dr. Chilton suggests Jack Crawford is attempting to manipulate Lecter by sending an attractive woman to question him. Clarice is led to a maximum-security corridor in the basement, where Lecter is being held in a glassed-in cell. Clarice introduces herself, and Lecter sniffs the air, guessing the type of lotion and perfume she uses. He attempts to psychoanalyze Clarice, guessing by her accent and clothing that she is from West Virginia and only one generation removed from “poor white trash.” When she asks him to fill out an FBI questionnaire, he loses patience with her and sends her away. Clarice walks past a neighboring cell, where a prisoner named Miggs masturbates and throws semen in her face. Lecter overhears and calls Clarice back. Apologizing for Miggs’s rudeness, he offers Clarice a clue, urging her, “Look deep within yourself.” He ... +


Clarice Starling, a top student at the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Academy in Quantico, Virginia, is summoned by Jack Crawford of the FBI’s Behavioral Science Services Department to partake in a special assignment. Crawford tells Clarice, a former student of his at the University of Virginia, that the FBI is collecting data on all imprisoned serial killers, but thus far, they have had no luck with Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist who ate his murder victims, earning the nickname “Hannibal the Cannibal.” Clarice suspects the assignment is related to an ongoing investigation of “Buffalo Bill,” a wanted serial killer who skins his female victims, but Crawford denies it. In Maryland, at the Baltimore State Forensic Hospital headed by the self-important Dr. Frederick Chilton, Clarice is warned upon arrival that Dr. Hannibal Lecter is a “pure psychopath.” Eyeing her lasciviously, Dr. Chilton suggests Jack Crawford is attempting to manipulate Lecter by sending an attractive woman to question him. Clarice is led to a maximum-security corridor in the basement, where Lecter is being held in a glassed-in cell. Clarice introduces herself, and Lecter sniffs the air, guessing the type of lotion and perfume she uses. He attempts to psychoanalyze Clarice, guessing by her accent and clothing that she is from West Virginia and only one generation removed from “poor white trash.” When she asks him to fill out an FBI questionnaire, he loses patience with her and sends her away. Clarice walks past a neighboring cell, where a prisoner named Miggs masturbates and throws semen in her face. Lecter overhears and calls Clarice back. Apologizing for Miggs’s rudeness, he offers Clarice a clue, urging her, “Look deep within yourself.” He also instructs her to look up his former client, Miss Moffet. Later, Jack Crawford tells Clarice that Lecter retaliated against Miggs by verbally tormenting him until he swallowed his own tongue. Based on Lecter’s clue, Clarice finds a business called Your Self Storage, where a storage unit has been rented for the past ten years under the name Hester Moffet. There, Clarice discovers a transvestite’s disembodied head inside a jar. She returns to the Baltimore State Forensic Hospital and questions Lecter again, pointing out that the name “Hester Moffet” is an anagram for “the rest of me.” Lecter identifies the disembodied head as belonging to Benjamin Raspail, a former client; however, he denies killing the man, and reveals that Raspail was the victim of a fledgling killer interested in transformation. Clarice guesses the killer could be Buffalo Bill and presses for more information, but Lecter demands to be transferred to a new hospital and given a cell with a view. In exchange, he offers a complete psychological profile on Buffalo Bill. Meanwhile, in Memphis, Tennessee, Buffalo Bill kidnaps Catherine Martin, the daughter of U.S. Senator Ruth Martin. When the body of another victim is found in Clay County, West Virginia, Jack Crawford takes Clarice with him to view it. On the way there, they examine photographs of Buffalo Bill’s former victims, all overweight young women missing large swaths of skin. At a funeral home, Clarice discovers a cocoon lodged in the victim’s throat. The cocoon is found to be a Death’s Head Moth, a rare insect indigenous to Asia. Clarice visits Lecter again, and offers him a transfer to a Veterans Affairs (VA) hospital in upstate New York and a yearly vacation at Plum Island, but only if he helps the FBI find Buffalo Bill in time to save Catherine Martin. She gives Lecter a case file, and he agrees to help in exchange for personal information about Clarice. She confesses that her mother died very young, and her father, a policeman, was killed in the line of duty when she was ten years old, leaving her orphaned. She went to live with relatives on a farm in Montana, although she ran away after two months. Turning the conversation back to Buffalo Bill, Clarice asks about the significance of the moth, which was found in Benjamin Raspail’s head as well as the latest victim’s, and Lecter says it is a symbol of change. Although Buffalo Bill is not a transsexual, he says it is one of many identities the killer has tried on in an effort to escape his own terrifying pathology. Meanwhile, at Buffalo Bill’s house, Catherine Martin is held at the bottom of a well in the basement. Referring to her as “it,” Buffalo Bill sends lotion down the well and forces her to rub it on her skin. Catherine cries and begs to see her mother, then screams in terror when she sees a fingernail embedded in the well wall. Later, Dr. Frederick Chilton visits Lecter, who is restrained inside his cell. Chilton reclines on Lecter’s bed and informs him that the deal Clarice offered was bogus. Unwittingly leaving his pen behind on the bed, Chilton claims he made a legitimate deal with Senator Ruth Martin, who has offered Lecter a transfer to a Tennessee prison. Soon, Lecter is strapped to an upright stretcher, restrained with a face mask, and flown to Memphis, where he meets Ruth Martin at the airport. He informs the senator that the killer is “Louis Friend,” a former lover of Benjamin Raspail. He also gives a physical description, then insults Martin by asking her if she breastfed Catherine and suggesting her nipples must tingle when her daughter is in peril. Clarice goes to the Memphis building where Lecter is being held overnight in a makeshift cell. She accuses him of using another anagram with Louis Friend, which stands for Iron Sulfide, also known as “Fool’s Gold.” She begs him to give her the killer’s real name, but he insists Clarice has everything she needs to know in the case file. He presses her for more personal information, and she reveals the reason she ran away from the farm in Montana: One night, she woke to a frightening noise and discovered lambs being slaughtered in the barn; she tried to save them and was sent to an orphanage as punishment. In turn, Lecter describes Buffalo Bill as someone driven by a covetous nature, and explains that a person begins to covet what he or she sees every day. Later, Lecter uses the pen Dr. Chilton dropped in his cell to break free from handcuffs and attack two police guards, Lieutenant Boyle and Sergeant Pembry, murdering them and posing as a wounded Pembry to escape the building. Back in Quantico, Clarice finds Lecter’s notations on a map of locations where the victims’ bodies were found, describing the spots as “desperately random.” Clarice recalls what he said about coveting and deduces that Buffalo Bill must have known his first victim, Fredrica Bimmel. She goes to Bimmel’s home in Belvedere, Ohio, and discovers that the girl was a seamstress. She reasons that Buffalo Bill must also be a tailor creating a dress made of women’s skin. She calls Crawford to share her theory, but he responds that the FBI has already identified Buffalo Bill, who goes by the names Jame Gumb and John Grant, and they are on their way to arrest him at home in Calumet City, Illinois. Despite the news, Clarice continues her investigation in Belvedere. She finds Stacy, a friend of Fredrica Bimmel’s, who does not recall Fredrica having any male friends but says she often did tailoring for an older woman named Mrs. Littman. Clarice goes to Littman’s house just as Crawford and a SWAT team surround the house in Calumet City and find it empty. Clarice rings the doorbell, and Buffalo Bill answers the door. He identifies himself as Jack Gordon and leads her inside. Clarice observes his odd behavior and notices a moth flying around spools of yarn. She orders him to freeze at gunpoint, but Bill flees into the basement. Clarice follows, discovers Catherine Martin in the well, and assures her she is safe. Catherine begs Clarice not to leave her alone, but Clarice goes in search of Buffalo Bill. She discovers a dress form draped in an unfinished “dress” made from human skin, resembling a woman’s body. The lights are shut off and Clarice fumbles in the dark. Using infrared goggles to stalk her, Buffalo Bill creeps up behind Clarice, but she hears him cock his gun and reflexively turns and shoots him dead. Police arrive and escort Catherine Martin and Clarice outside. Sometime later, Jack Crawford watches Clarice graduate and congratulates her afterward. She is told she has a phone call, and recognizes Dr. Hannibal Lecter’s voice on the line. Calling from an undisclosed tropical location, Lecter promises not to attack her, saying the world is more interesting with her in it. Just before hanging up, he claims he is “having an old friend for dinner” as he watches Dr. Frederick Chilton disembark from a small plane. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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