The Silence of the Lambs (1991)

USA, 1990
35mm film, Eastmancolor, 1.85:1
Dolby SR, English

An American horror film directed by Jonathan Demme.

Plot Summary

FBI agent Clarice Starling consults caged psychopath Hannibal ‘The Cannibal’ Lector as part of the Bureau’s operation against serial killer Buffalo Bill. A strange relationship develops between Lector and Starling as she begins to close in on the killer. Lector meanwhile has plans of his own…


Director: Jonathan Demme
Strong Heart, Demme Productions, Orion
Executive Producer: Gary Goetzman
Producers: Edward Saxon, Kenneth Utt, Ron Bozman
Script: Ted Tally
Novel: Thomas Harris
Director of Photography: Tak Fujimoto
Editor: Craig McKay
Music: Howard Shore
Production Sound Mixer: Christopher Newman
Costume Designer: Colleen Atwood
Make Up: Allen Weisinger
Hair: Alan D’Angerio
Special Make Up Effects: Carl Fullerton, Neal Martz
Special Effects: Dwight Benjamin-Creel
Production Designer: Kristi Zea

Jodie Foster (Clarice Starling)
Anthony Hopkins (Dr Hannibal Lector)
Scott Glenn (Jack Crawford)
Ted Levine (Jame Gumb)
Anthony Heald (Dr Frederick Chilton)
Brooke Smith (Catherine Martin)
Diane Baker (Senator Ruth Martin)
Kasi Lemmons (Ardelia Mapp)
Charles Napier (Lt Boyle)
Tracey Walter (Lamar)
Roger Corman (FBI Director Hayden Burke)
Ron Vawter (Paul Krendler)
Danny Darst (Sgt Tate)
Frankie Faison (Barney)
Paul Lazar (Pilcher)
Dan Butler (Roden)
Chris Isaak (SWAT commander)

Sequel to
Manhunter (1986)

Hannibal (2001)
Clarice (2021)

Red Dragon (2002)
Hannibal Rising (2006)

Extracts included in
The Celluloid Closet (1995)

See also
Hannibal Lickter (1992)



  • Fantasynopsis no.4 pp.52-53 – review
  • New Musical Express 1 June 1991 p.28 – illustrated review
  • Variety 11 February 1991 – review


  • 100 American Horror Films by Barry Keith Grant pp.177-178
  • 101 Greatest Films of Mystery & Suspense by Otto Penzler pp.207-209
  • Anatomy of the Slasher Film: A Theoretical Analysis by Sotiris Petridis pp.55, 71
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.478
  • The BFI Companion to Crime pp.305-306 – review
  • Censored Screams: The British Ban on Hollywood Horror in the Thirties by Tom Johnson p.185 – note
  • The Encyclopedia of Novels Into Films second edition by John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh pp.411-412 – illustrated credits, review (by J.M. Welsh [James M. Welsh])
  • English Gothic: A Century of Horror Cinema by Jonathan Rigby pp.286, 300
  • Fear Itself: Horror on Screen and in Reality During the Depression and World War II by Melvin E. Matthews Jr pp.45
  • The Films of the Nineties: A Complete, Qualitative Filmography of Over 3000 Feature-Length English Language Films, Theatrical and Video-Only, Released Between January 1, 1990, and December 31, 1999 by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn L. Nowlan p.490
  • The Highway Horror Film by Bernice M. Murphy pp.68, 71
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.455
  • Horror Films of the 1990s by John Kenneth Muir pp.180-184
  • International Film Guide 1993 pp.10, 11 – note
  • The Pocket Essential Slasher Movies by Mark Whitehead pp.63-64
  • Serial Killer Cinema: An Analytical Filmography by Robert Cetti pp.412-415
  • Terror Tracks: Music, Sound and Horror Cinema by Philip Hayward (ed) pp.188, 190
  • Top 100 Horror Movies by Gary Gerani p.150 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Vampire in Science Fiction Film and Literature by Paul Meehan p.115

Other sources

BFI Southbank Guide October-November 2017 p.15 – illustrated listing