Tuesday Review: The Silence of the Lambs

Tuesday Review: The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs
1991 R 118 minutes

This just came available (to my knowledge) on Netflix streaming.

It’s just terrific. Seeing it again after a few years just reminds me that a movie doesn’t have to ooze special effects to have an impact. The movie is 20 year old and with very few exceptions (the quaint use of the “Police Fax” machine) it holds up very well.

The Silence of the Lambs is of course now part of our movie lexicon. But picture how daring it was 20 years ago to show a monster like “Buffalo Bill” as he dances for the camera with his manhood tucked between his legs.It makes you shiver. But, as I said it’s now fair game for parody:

This probably says more about the state of our society than anything else.

Jonathan Demme’s first major motion picture director credit was brought in for $19 million and has grossed more than a quarter of a billion, world wide. He went on to direct “Philedelphia” ansd a score of documentary efforts including Bruce Springsteen: The Complete Video Anthology 1978-2000 (Video 2001).

What Demme does best here is to use the amazing star power of Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins and Scott Glenn to his advantage. Foster as agent Starling is note perfect, Scott Glenn (Jack Crawford) exhibits just the right amount of daddy and sexual tension without being overt but the real star is the controlled psychosis of Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

What is amazing about his portrayal is the fact that he only on screen in the two hour movie for 16 minutes! It’s remarkable and a telling lesson soaked up by later actors (See Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight) Less is always more in every genre.

The movie is still not for the faint of heart. Jodie Foster saying “Cunt” was and is shocking. Ted Levine as Jame ‘Buffalo Bill’ Gumb is just plain out there.

The movie won Won 5 Oscars including:

Best Actor in a Leading Role
Anthony Hopkins

Best Actress in a Leading Role
Jodie Foster

Best Director
Jonathan Demme

They were all richly deserved.


The Rant D’Jour is about buffets. I am not a fan.

With all due apologies to the hundreds of restaurants in the area that serve buffets…The more


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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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