The Silence of the Lambs

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By Walker Rise

The Silence of the Lambs is just one of three films in history to win the Academy Award’s Big Five. This is Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, and Best Writing. I truly believe that it was deserving in all these categories because this film is really great. Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter is one of the most terrifying characters ever put to film. The fact that his character has so little screen time really shows how impressive Hopkins’ performance and the writing are. Jodie Foster’s Clarice Starling is focus of the film, and her performance also extremely impressive.

Clarice Starling is still in training at the FBI academy when she receives a chance to interview Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Lecter is locked away in the Baltimore State Hospital after killing and eating several people. Lecter is incredibly intelligent and sends chills down your spine with every line of dialogue. Before Starling leaves Lecter gives her a riddle that leads her to a storage unit, where she finds a severed head. Lecter links the head to Buffalo Bill. Buffalo Bill is a serial killer, who has yet to be identified. We then see Buffalo Bill abduct his next victim, who happens to be a Senator’s daughter. The Buffalo Bill case becomes a national priority, and Starling and Lecter become part of the investigation. The rest of the film is incredibly thrilling, as the investigation plays out.

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Lecter plays a very minor part in this film, but Hopkins’ performance is so great he steals every scene he is in. He won the Best Actor Oscar despite only having 16 minutes of screen time. Hannibal will always be one of the most memorable characters ever for me. The fact that he is neither the main protagonist nor antagonist of this film, but is what most people will immediately think when they think about this film shows how iconic this character is. Starling, who is the main protagonist of the film, is also a great character and definitely has the audience rooting for her . The American Film Institute ranked Lecter as the greatest film villain of all time, but also put Clarice Starling as the sixth greatest film hero.

I think is film is really great and would recommend it anyone despite its terrifying and thrilling moments. I can’t think of another film that has two characters as iconic as Lecter and Starling. Whenever they speak they are both trying to get something from the other, which makes all of their interactions exciting as they both try to trick the other to get what they want throughout. I have seen this film countless times and read the book, but I still enjoy it at every watch because it is so great.

Here is a great review of the film and here is the AFI list of the greatest heroes and villains if you are interested.

 

 

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10 Responses to The Silence of the Lambs

  1. mediaphiles says:

    Wow–I really appreciate this film and have seen it multiple times, but never realized that Hannibal only has 16 minutes of screen time. It is crazy, because as you said, he is the first thing that I think of when picture the film. it is truly a one of a kind movie that leaves you uncomfortably intrigued.

    -Maddie Turner

  2. mediaphiles says:

    I’ve been longing to see this film in full, but for some reason – despite being a horror/ thriller junkie – I haven’t. I was shocked to find out that Lecter only took up 16 minutes of the entire film – he definitely steals the show, as you put it, in every scene where he appears. It’s truly speaks to the power of his acting.

    -Meg Schmit

  3. mediaphiles says:

    Although I’ve never seen this film, I’ve heard amazing things. Usually I tend to avoid thrill and gore, but this one sounds complex and thought-provoking. It’s amazing that someone with such little screen time was able to win Best Actor. I agree that is a true testament to his performance. -Caitlin Herlihy

  4. mediaphiles says:

    Believe it or not, I haven’t seen this film yet. I had no idea Hannibal Lector was such a major/minor part of the film. That is extremely interesting to me and I can’t wait to see how he interacts with his cell and the main actress, I’ve heard those scenes are some of the best in the film. Thanks for your review!

    – Russell Lawrence

  5. mediaphiles says:

    This movie just absorbs me in and won’t let go. It is calm and psychologically scary, no jump scare BS. Hannibal just makes my bones chill. Jodie Foster is great, and Hopkin is a treasure, I totally agree. One of the top tier thrillers out there.
    -Kevin Yu

  6. mediaphiles says:

    It’s been a long time since I’ve seen Silence of the Lambs, but I will never forget the intensely complex looks that Anthony Hopkins gives as Hannibal Lector. He so perfectly encapsulates the character and his intensity and intelligence that he brings to the character is thrilling to watch.

    -Cal

  7. mediaphiles says:

    I’m also shocked that Hannibal Lector only has 16 minutes on screen. What?! I definitely always thought of his as pretty much equal to Jodie Foster’s character. This film is so great because Lector is such a unique villain/criminal in how brilliant yet terrifying he is all at once. I haven’t seen this film in a while but id love to watch it again!

    -Kendra Thornton

  8. mediaphiles says:

    Anthony Hopkins delivers a powerful performance in this film. His menacing glare just sends chills down my spine. It is a well done performance and deserves all the accolades he was nominated for. Overall, I think the film is amazing and I cannot help, but keep the image of Buffalo Bill in my head (*shivers*).

    -Shelby Halliman

  9. mediaphiles says:

    Walker, what a great film! This is such a classic and I fully agree with your comment that when I think of Silence of the Lambs, Hannibal’s name and mask immediately come to mind! Thank you so much for enlightening me on the Big Five, as I am absolutely amazed by Silence of the Lambs’ prowess in this regard!

    -Luke Dellorso

  10. mediaphiles says:

    As someone who absolutely hates scary movies, I love Silence of the Lambs! And, I think it is because of the standout performances in this film. There’s nothing quite like it.
    -Lydia

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