Urban Cinefile  
 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Tuesday September 15, 2020 


Clarice Starling (Foster) is an FBI Agent-in-training, who is sent to interview a prisoner as an assignment. Dr. Hanibal Lecter (Hopkins) is intelligent, insightful—and totally insane. But Lecter’s psychiatric insight—and first-hand knowledge of the criminal mind—could prove vital in capturing Buffalo Bill, a serial killer with five murders to his name and a sixth in the works. Lecter agrees to help, but the price of his cooperation is that Starling feed his morbid curiosity by revealing details of her personal life, a pact which draws the two into a twisted relationship that will alter both their lives.

What is there to say about this multiple Oscar winner that hasn’t been said already? Buy it, watch it, watch it again. Ten years after its theatrical release, Lambs already looks like a timeless classic. Anthony Hopkins’ perversely sympathetic performance as the psycho psychiatrist is even better than you remember. The script crackles with greatness as he berates Starling, underplayed nicely by Foster, for her “good bag and cheap shoes.”

This special DVD edition has plenty to commend it. Glossily packaged (although points off for failing to list subtitle options on the jacket) it’s a two-disc set: one for the movie, one for the extras. There is no audio commentary, which is a shame because it would have been great to view the film through director Jonathan Demme’s eyes, but the hour-long making of documentary is a gem. Did you know that Demme originally wanted Michelle Pfeiffer to play Starling? Or that Hopkins slipped his slurping “fuffuffuffuffuff” into the movie half jokingly, imagining that it would be cut? Or that the moths were given flying harnesses by the FX team? The doco reveals all this and tackles both the feminist praise and gay community outrage that greeted the film’s release.

A total of 21 deleted scenes are included, the best of which is footage from the meetings between Lecter and Starling that was left on the cutting room floor. More of Hopkins is always welcome, but it’s also enlightening to see what detail Demme decided was superfluous to the story. Elsewhere on the disc you’ll find the light-hearted side of darkness, with a series of comic outtakes (including a bloodied Hopkins impersonating Sylvester Stallone) and a chilling answer phone message from Hannibal Lecter himself. Settle back and enjoy—with a nice Chianti, of course.
Stuart Whitmore

Published August 23, 2001

Email this article

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS (Special Edition) (MA 15+)

CAST: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Scott Glenn, Ted Levine

DIRECTOR: Jonathan Demme

RUNNING TIME: 115 minutes

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Fox Home Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: August 8, 2001

Widescreen feature presentation; Making of Documentary “Inside the Labyrinth”; Featurette; Stills Gallery; Deleted scenes; TV spots; Trailer; Teaser trailer; Anthony Hopkins phone message; Outtakes; Languages: English; Subtitles: English, English for the hard of hearing, Swedish, Finnish, Norwegian, Danish, Portuguese, Polish, Greek, Hungarian, Croatian, Hebrew, Turkish, Czech

© Urban Cinefile 1997 - 2020