HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Watch List
Giraffe
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
   
 
Newest Articles
For God's Sake Strap Yourselves Down: Flash Gordon on 4K UHD Collector's Edition
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
   
 
  Silence of the Lambs, The The Killing Kind Of Mind
Year: 1991
Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine, Brooke Smith, Anthony Heald, Kasi Lemmons, Diane Baker, Frankie Faison, Dan Butler, Lawrence T. Wrentz, Charles Napier, Pat McNamara, Tracey Walter, Chris Isaak, Daniel von Bargen, Roger Corman
Genre: Horror, ThrillerBuy from Amazon
Rating:  8 (from 2 votes)
Review: Trainee FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is exercising on the assault course when she receives word that her boss, Crawford (Scott Glenn), wishes to see her. Without stopping to change, she heads straight over to his office, although she still has to wait, giving her time to survey the news clippings on the wall, all of which concern a current case. The man they are trying to track is known only as Buffalo Bill, and he has been kidnapping and murdering young women around the West Virginia area. Crawford believes Starling can assist - but she must talk to someone first.

If you don't know who that someone is then you have somehow managed not to hear about the most famous villain of the nineties, and the film that influenced horrors and thrillers for decades to come. It started with Thomas Harris's bestselling novel, his follow-up to the equally bestselling Red Dragon, which was made into a flop as Manhunter during the eighties, but went on to gather a cult following once The Silence of the Lambs had become a sensation. The character who caught the public imagination in a way that had not in the previous film was Hannibal Lecter, played with matter of fact menace in the Michael Mann work but here more akin to the Demon King in panto.

Anthony Hopkins was the star bringing such gusto to what on the page had been far less showy, but his instincts had been correct: to convey the overwhelming threat of the character, it needed to be tempered with sly humour and a needling quality, so that we were aware even before his first scene was over that Lecter was capable of everything the audience, and the characters, were anxious about. That sequence where Clarice meets him in his dungeon-like cell is envisaged as some kind of perverse date, where they both want something from the other but have to negotiate to get it; Lecter claims he wants better privileges, like a window, and Clarice claims she wants a profile - but of Buffalo Bill, not the man before her.

That atmosphere of sinister sexuality ran through the whole film, but it was sinister because it was male. Clarice's femininity is both her strength and her liability as the men around her, and they are mostly men aside from Kasi Lemmons' rather pat best friend, exhibit a fascination with her that they barely understand - why is this woman so intent on braving such a masculine preserve of detection and investigation? They try to intimidate her, from Lecter to Crawford to, finally, Buffalo Bill, but due to a superb performance that gives only as much away as it needs to, Foster displays such reserves of strength that we can perceive she is the best person in this for saving her fellow females from the men.

This fear of the men reaches from small details like being chatted up when she's trying to work to the needs of the villains, both Lecter and Bill (Ted Levine). The former wishes to conquer Starling's mind for his own power games, the latter because he "covets" women to the extent that he has turned to drastic measures, yet again and again it's our heroine who illustrates that she knows her own mind, and those of her gender, better than any of the opposite sex. The Silence of the Lambs became the first horror movie to win the Best Picture Oscar, and more, yet the effect it had on genre entertainment was perhaps not as beneficial as one would like with the prevalence of groaning new clich├ęs as the genius serial killer and the police procedural with gruesome trappings, but if you can look past the imitations and the parodies - not easy, granted - then the original was a fine example not only of adapting a cracking read, but bringing gravity to what could have been a simple, lurid thrill ride without being afraid to be darkly humorous, a mix director Jonathan Demme achieved with great poise. Music by Howard Shore.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2277 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Jonathan Demme  (1944 - 2017)

American director with a exploitation beginnings who carved out a successful Hollywood career as a caring exponent of a variety of characters. Worked in the early 70s as a writer on films like Black Mama, White Mama before directing his first picture for producer Roger Corman, the women-in-prison gem Caged Heat. Demme's mainstream debut was the 1977 CB drama Handle With Care (aka Citizens Band), which were followed by such great films as the thriller Last Embrace, tenderhearted biopic Melvin and Howard, wartime drama Swing Shift, classic Talking Heads concert film Stop Making Sense, and black comedies Something Wild and Married to the Mob.

Demme's Thomas Harris adaptation The Silence of the Lambs was one of 1991's most successful films, making Hannibal Lecter a household name, while the worthy AIDS drama Philadelphia was equally popular. Since then, Demme has floundered somewhat - Beloved and The Truth About Charlie were critical and commercial failures, although 2004's remake of The Manchurian Candidate was a box office hit. Rachel Getting Married also has its fans, though Meryl Streep vehicle Ricki and the Flash was not a great one to go out on. He was also an advocate of the documentary form, especially music: his final release was a Justin Timberlake concert.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: