Thursday, February 18, 2016

Where are they now? The Silence of the Lambs

By +Brad Naylor

Can you remember which movie you saw last week? Well I doubt you can remember what was in theaters 25 years ago. For those of you that read the title of this post, I put a big clue up there, for everyone else, the answer is The Silence of the Lambs.

The Silence of the Lambs
25 years later, that moth is still freaky
An FBI student, Clarice Starling, seeks the help of a convicted cannibalistic serial killer to catch another serial killer known as Buffalo Bill. Hannibal 'The Cannibal' Lecter offers his intellectual insight in exchange for traumatic stories from Clarice's past, on a 'quid pro quo' basis. He also uses Clarice to get a transfer from the asylum run by mean old Dr Chilton.

Clarice slowly unravels the cryptic clues given to her by Lecter and begins to track down Buffalo Bill, unaware of Lecter's personal agenda. A few twists and double crosses eventually unwind to reveal the murderer, as well as Lecter's escape plan. Starling ultimately tracks down the serial killer and kills him after a few suspenseful moments in a darkened basement.

Days later during the FBI graduation party Clarice receives a phone call from Hannibal Lecter who is chilling out in the Bahamas. Lecter confesses that he has no plans to pursue her further, and that he is "having an old friend for dinner" before pursuing the mean old Dr Chilton through the streets.

Clarice Starling was the fresh faced female FBI agent charged with charming Hannibal Lecter out of his serial killer secrets and hunting down Buffalo Bill. Jodie Foster had already been acting for over 20 years when she took on this role, but none of that wealth of acting experience prepared her for getting a shot of warm jizz across her face after meeting Dr Lecter. Except maybe the pie fight in Bugsy Malone.

Scott Glenn played Starling's superior and set her up to meet Lecter. His career started just 44 years before Jodie's, but he was happy to play the craggy faced supporting role rather than taking a lead. His resumé lists many classic movies such as Apocolypse Now, The Hunt for Red October, and a couple of Jason Bourne movies, but the highlight for me has to be 2011's Green Screen masterpiece, Sucker Punch.

Anthony Heald is another actor who started their career in the 60s even though his early years were a little quiet, he broke out into the mainstream in The Silence of the Lambs, playing the career crazed Doctor Chilton, who enjoyed tormenting the inmates at the asylum. He then broke back into obscurity after a few more mediocre movie roles, and settled for TV work until Doctor Chilton was resurrected for the prequel, Red Dragon.

Even though Hannibal Lecter was a secondary character in the story, Anthony Hopkins' powerful and frightening performance made Hannibal the Cannibal a household name. He also single handedly increased Chianti sales by 45% during the 1990s. Like everyone else in this movie, Hopkins began acting in the mid 60s and has covered pretty much every genre available in his career. He is absolutely one of the finest actors of his time.

Ted Levine is way down the credits list for The Silence of the Lambs, even though he played the bad guy. Compared to the rest of the cast, Ted was a late starter, with his first acting role coming in 1983. His career has not amounted to much so far, with forgettable roles in Wild Wild West, The Fast and the Furious, Shutter Island, and Flubber punctuating his resumé. His bad guy role was definitely overshadowed by Hopkins in this movie.

This movie had very few big names other than those listed above, which is fine because our analysis shows that most people have stopped reading before they even get this far. Overall, The Silence of the Lambs is a very impressive movie which people still make reference to in today's society. The only thing that bugs me is the lack of oenological research for the movie. According to one of our guest writers, and self professed wine expert, Morgan David, the perfect accompaniment for liver and fava beans would be Cabernet Franc rather than Chianti. He told me, "I would have eaten his liver with fava beans and a nice Chinon."

When is the last time you watched The Silence of the Lambs? Perhaps it's time to open up a nice Chianti (or Chinon) and have an old friend for dinner, and then settle down to catch up on the exploits of Clarice and Hannibal. What would you drink with liver and fava beans? Share your experiences with cannibalism in the comments section below.

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