'The Silence of the Lambs' is one of the best movies made in the nineties. Most memorable is probably Anthony Hopkins' performance as mass murderer Hannibal Lecter, also known as Hannibal the Cannibal. The first time we see his character is one of the creepiest moments I have seen in modern movies, which is almost strange since his character is in a prison cell at that time.
He is visited by Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), another famous name in the movies. She, a young woman who is still at the academy to become an FBI-agent, is send by FBI-man Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) who is on the case of Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine), another mass murderer who skins his young female victims. Crawford thinks Lecter can help with the case and uses Starling to manipulate the smart Lecter, who was a psychiatrist who ate his victims. Doctor Lecter decides to help Starling, sort of, but she has to tell personal things to him, not that smart with a psycho psychiatrist. Slowly she comes closer to catch Buffalo Bill, although the head of the institution where Lecter is held, Dr. Chilton (Anthony Heald), is responsible for some unexpected events I will not reveal, although you probably can guess the main event since there is a sequel with the name 'Hannibal'.
This movie is not only good because it has suspense, although it is one of the most suspenseful movies I know. The movie is more than a thriller. It gives us an interesting view of a woman in world filled with men, it shows a psychological study on a killer and an agent, is has memorable characters, terrific performances and it is perfectly directed by Jonathan Demme. Hopkins is the most memorable since his character is so interesting and creepy at the same time. Foster is as good as Hopkins, and probably Heald as well, but their characters are a little more usual.
When you talk about movies with suspense, like 'Psycho' or 'The Exorcist', you can not forget 'The Silence of the Lambs'. It is not a strange thing that this movie won the five major Academy Awards (Best Picture, Best Director, both Best Actor and Best Actress and Best Adapted Screenplay).
Cast overview, first billed only:
Jodie Foster .... Clarice Starling
Anthony Hopkins .... Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Scott Glenn .... Jack Crawford
Anthony Heald .... Dr. Frederick Chilton
Ted Levine .... Jame 'Buffalo Bill' Gumb
Frankie Faison .... Barney Matthews
Kasi Lemmons .... Ardelia Mapp
Brooke Smith .... Catherine Martin
Paul Lazar .... Pilcher
Dan Butler .... Roden
Lawrence T. Wrentz .... Agent Burroughs
Don Brockett .... Friendly Psychopath in Cell
Frank Seals Jr. .... Brooding Psychopath in Cell
Stuart Rudin .... Miggs
Masha Skorobogatov .... Young Clarice Starling