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The Silence Of The Lambs (Widescreen Special Edition)

par Jonathan Demme (Director), Ted Tally (Screenwriter)

Autres auteurs: Diane Baker (Actor), Jodie Foster (Actor), Scott Glenn (Actor), Anthony Heald (Actor), Anthony Hopkins (Actor)3 plus, Ted Levine (Actor), Howard Shore (Compositeur(-trice)), Brooke Smith (Actor)

Séries: Hannibal Lecter Films (1991)

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4741039,534 (4.28)5
FBI agent Clarice Starling is assigned to help find a missing woman to save her from a psychopathic serial killer who skins his victims. Clarice attempts to gain a better insight into the twisted mind of the killer by talking to another psychopath Hannibal Lecter, who used to be a respected psychiatrist.… (plus d'informations)
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A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims.
  SHASS_HFO | Jul 24, 2021 |
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

Anthony Hopkins – Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Jodie Foster – Clarice Starling

Scott Glenn – Jack Crawford
Ted Levine – Jame Gumb
Frankie Faison – Barney
Anthony Heald – Dr. Frederick Chilton
Brooke Smith – Catherine Martin
Diane Baker – Senator Ruth Martin
Kasi Lemmons – Ardelia Mapp

Screenplay by Ted Tally, based on the novel (1988) by Thomas Harris
Directed by Jonathan Demme

Colour. 118 min

=========================================

Believe me, you don’t want Hannibal Lecter inside your head.

Some actors are simply born to play certain roles. I won’t say their performances are “definitive”, for I hate that word as much as Tybalt hates “peace”, but it’s definitely hard to imagine anybody else in their place. Personal examples include Humphrey Bogart as Rick Blaine and Sam Spade, Claude Rains as Captain Renault, Edward Robinson as Johnny Rocco, Marlon Brando as Stanley Kowalski, Laurence Olivier as Richard III, Jack Nicholson as the Joker, Al Pacino as Michael Corleone, Tony Montana and Col. Frank Slade, Sean Connery as Henry Jones Sr, and Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter[1].

It’s hard to believe this last is on-screen for less than 25 minutes. He dominates the movie completely. Granted generous help from Thomas Harris, it was Anthony Hopkins who turned Hannibal Lecter into a household name. I don’t know how Jodie Foster felt while shooting those scenes with him, but I’ve seldom been more terrified than every time I watch them. And yet, there is an irresistible personality underneath the psychopathic surface. I guess that’s what makes Lecter such a compelling character, the idea that even complete insanity sometimes goes hand in hand with incredible intelligence, charisma, patience, honesty, common sense, wit, wisdom and, yes, even charm.

Whether or not you, or at least I, want it, Hannibal Lecter gets inside your, or at least my, head once this movie is seen. He never leaves. And, of course, he has one of the greatest last lines in movie history (if you don’t count Starling’s repeated “Dr Lecter”):

I do wish we could chat longer, but... I’m having an old friend for dinner. Bye.

All this is not to say Anthony Hopkins is the only great thing about this movie. Far from it! This is actually a perfect movie. It has everything. Even the score by Howard Shore is haunting. The first and most important ingredient of the great movie, namely the script, is a subtle abridgement of, and improvement on, an excellent novel. Thomas Harris must get the credit for the startlingly original character Hannibal Lecter is. Had anybody ever before combined cannibalism and psychoanalysis in such a sophisticated way? If anybody had, I’ve never heard about it. But Ted Tally certainly made the plot tighter, the dialogue more dramatic, and the characters more vivid. Too bad there aren’t many adaptations like that!

The supporting cast is flawless. Jodie Foster does a beautiful job with Clarice. Even Julianne Moore in fine form couldn’t replace her. Lecter-Clarice is a love story, one of the strangest and most twisted ever seen, but a love story nonetheless. Sir Anthony never lets you forget that, and neither does Jodie. Scott Glenn is ultra cool as Crawford, the FBI guru who might have a thing for Clarice, as Lecter suggests, but he keeps it low. Anthony Heald is perfectly obnoxious as the shrink who thinks he owns Lecter, which adds a special flavour to that final line. Ted Levine is brilliant as that terribly confused boy who loves Asian moths and American girls. Even the smallest parts are done with distinction, like Barney the kind jailer and Senator Ruth Martin for instance. Remember Diane Baker in Hitchcock’s Marnie 27 years earlier? She has aged beautifully and can still make an impression even with very little screen time.

Jonathan Demme shapes the whole thing with a masterful hand, intense close-ups, unusual points of view and all. He keeps the pace brisk and the tension high, yet he has time for some pure visual poetry, even if it is of the bleakest possible kind (e.g. Lecter’s cell and that hellish corridor that leads to it). He has a sharp eye for telling details, too. The only time Lecter and Clarice touch each other is the most obvious example, but there are plenty of others (e.g. Lecter’s acute sense of smell in the beginning). I still cherish the outrageous notion that directors are the least important parts of great movies. Nevertheless, it’s very nice to have one who knows his job. The fact that Jonathan Demme directed only one true classic more shows you how rare great scripts and casts to do them justice are.

_________________________________________________
[1] Since we live in the Glorious Age of Political Correctness, in which a list of men only is “sexist”, here is a list of women for the satisfaction of militant feminists: Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara and Blanche Dubois, Elizabeth Taylor as Maggie, Martha and Cleopatra, Barbara Stanwyck as Phyllis Dietrichson and Sugarpuss O’Shea, Audrey Hepburn as Sabrina, Joan Crawford as Sadie Thompson. ( )
1 voter Waldstein | Jul 1, 2020 |
El FBI busca a "Buffalo Bill", un asesino en serie que mata a sus víctimas, todas adolescentes, después de prepararlas minuciosamente y arrancarles la piel. Para poder atraparlo recurren a Clarice Starling, una brillante licenciada universitaria, experta en conductas psicópatas, que aspira a formar parte del FBI. Siguiendo las instrucciones de su jefe, Jack Crawford, Clarice visita la cárcel de alta seguridad donde el gobierno mantiene encerrado al Dr. Hannibal Lecter, antiguo psicoanalista y asesino, dotado de una inteligencia superior a la normal. Su misión será intentar sacarle información sobre los patrones de conducta del asesino que están buscando.
  bibliest | Apr 12, 2018 |
A young F.B.I. cadet must receive the help of an incarcerated and manipulative cannibal killer to help catch another serial killer, a madman who skins his victims. And a really scary film! (IMDb) ( )
  DrLed | Nov 4, 2017 |
An FBI cadet interviews an incarcerated serial killer, hoping to catch a different serial killer.

Proof that people who make horror movies about ghosts and zombies have no idea what is actually scary.

Concept: B
Story: B
Characters: A
Dialog: A
Pacing: B
Cinematography: B
Special effects/design: A
Acting: A
Music: C

Enjoyment: A

GPA: 3.4/4

(Sep. 2010) ( )
1 voter comfypants | Jan 28, 2016 |
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Nom de l'auteur(e)RôleType d'auteurŒuvre ?Statut
Demme, JonathanDirectorauteur(e) principal(e)toutes les éditionsconfirmé
Tally, TedScreenwriterauteur principaltoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Baker, DianeActorauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Foster, JodieActorauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Glenn, ScottActorauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Heald, AnthonyActorauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Hopkins, AnthonyActorauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Levine, TedActorauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Shore, HowardCompositeur(-trice)auteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
Smith, BrookeActorauteur secondairetoutes les éditionsconfirmé
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FBI agent Clarice Starling is assigned to help find a missing woman to save her from a psychopathic serial killer who skins his victims. Clarice attempts to gain a better insight into the twisted mind of the killer by talking to another psychopath Hannibal Lecter, who used to be a respected psychiatrist.

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