Jonathan Demme

The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs

In this chilling adaptation of the best-selling novel by Thomas Harris, the astonishingly versatile director Jonathan Demme crafted a taut psychological thriller about an American obsession: serial murder. As Clarice Starling, an FBI trainee who enlists the help of the infamous Hannibal “the Cannibal” Lecter to gain insight into the mind of another killer, Jodie Foster subverts classic gender dynamics and gives one of the most memorable performances of her career. As her foil, Anthony Hopkins is the archetypal antihero—cultured, quick-witted, and savagely murderous—delivering a harrowing portrait of humanity gone terribly wrong. A gripping police procedural and a disquieting immersion into a twisted psyche, The Silence of the Lambs swept the Academy Awards® (best picture, director, screenplay, actress, actor) and remains a cultural touchstone.

Film Info

  • Jonathan Demme
  • United States
  • 1991
  • 118 minutes
  • Color
  • 1.85:1
  • English
  • Spine #13

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, approved by director of photography Tak Fujimoto, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 1994 featuring director Jonathan Demme, actors Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, screenwriter Ted Tally, and former FBI agent John Douglas
  • New interview with critic Maitland McDonagh
  • Thirty-eight minutes of deleted scenes
  • Four documentaries featuring hours of interviews with cast and crew
  • Behind-the-scenes featurette
  • Storyboards
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An introduction by Foster and an essay by critic Amy Taubin, and (Blu-ray only) pieces from 2000 and 2013 by author Thomas Harris on the origins of the character Hannibal Lecter and a 1991 interview with Demme

Design by Sean Freeman and Eve Steben, THERE IS

Purchase Options

Special Features

  • New 4K digital restoration, approved by director of photography Tak Fujimoto, with 2.0 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Alternate 5.1 surround DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack on the Blu-ray
  • Audio commentary from 1994 featuring director Jonathan Demme, actors Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins, screenwriter Ted Tally, and former FBI agent John Douglas
  • New interview with critic Maitland McDonagh
  • Thirty-eight minutes of deleted scenes
  • Four documentaries featuring hours of interviews with cast and crew
  • Behind-the-scenes featurette
  • Storyboards
  • Trailer
  • PLUS: An introduction by Foster and an essay by critic Amy Taubin, and (Blu-ray only) pieces from 2000 and 2013 by author Thomas Harris on the origins of the character Hannibal Lecter and a 1991 interview with Demme

Design by Sean Freeman and Eve Steben, THERE IS

The Silence of the Lambs
Cast
Jodie Foster
Clarice Starling
Anthony Hopkins
Dr. Hannibal Lecter
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
Tracy Walter
Lamar
Roger Corman
FBI Director
Ron Vawter
Paul Krendler
Danny Darst
Sgt. Tate
Frankie Faison
Barney
Paul Lazar
Pilcher
Dan Butler
Roden
Chris Isaak
SWAT commander
Darla
Precious
Credits
Director
Jonathan Demme
Produced by
Edward Saxon
Produced by
Kenneth Utt
Produced by
Ron Bozman
Screenplay by
Ted Tally
Executive producer
Gary Goetzman
Based on the novel by
Thomas Harris
Edited by
Craig McKay
Cinematography
Tak Fujimoto
Production design
Kristi Zea
Music
Howard Shore
Casting by
Howard Feuer
Still photographer
Ken Regan

From The Current

The Silence of the Lambs: A Hero of Our Time
The Silence of the Lambs: A Hero of Our Time

Jonathan Demme put an uncompromisingly feminist spin on the law-enforcement procedural with this wildly successful, Oscar-winning drama.

By Amy Taubin

On Film / Essays — Feb 19, 2018
Feminist Forensics in The Silence of the Lambs
Feminist Forensics in The Silence of the Lambs

Critic Maitland McDonagh incisively examines the character of Clarice in Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs and how her perspective as a woman informs the way she sees forensic evidence.

Inside Criterion / Sneak Peeks — Feb 16, 2018
Clea DuVall’s Top 10

Clea DuVall is an acclaimed actor whose credits over the past twenty years include the cult favorites But I’m a Cheerleader and The Faculty, Rodrigo Garcia’s Passengers, David Fincher’s Zodiac, and Ben Affleck’s Oscar-winning Argo.


Dec 9, 2016
Murderers Among Us
Murderers Among Us

Our first Friday Night Double Feature on the Criterion Channel pairs two chilling serial-killer films: Fritz Lang’s M and Jonathan Demme’s The Silence of the Lambs.

Bret Easton Ellis’s Top 10

Bret Easton Ellis sent us his ten favorite Criterion films in alphabetical order, with the caveat that his list “could have been different last week and it might be different next week.”


Apr 27, 2016
Paul Schneider’s Top 10

Actor, writer, and director Paul Schneider has long been a devotee of the Criterion Collection.


Feb 25, 2016
Daniel Lopatin’s Top 10

Daniel Lopatin, a.k.a. Oneohtrix Point Never, is a Brooklyn-based experimental musician. His fifth album, R Plus Seven, is now available from Warp Records.


Oct 4, 2013
John Taylor’s Top 10

John Taylor is a member of the British rock group Duran Duran.


Mar 13, 2012
Georgia Hubley’s Top 10

Georgia Hubley is one of the founding members of the Hoboken, New Jersey, band Yo La Tengo, whose The Sounds of Science, a score to eight Jean Painlevé shorts, is available on Criterion’s DVD set Science Is Fiction: 23 Films by Jean Painlevé.


Feb 17, 2011
Hopkins in Color

It may be news to many, but in addition to creating such larger-than-life characters as The Silence of the Lambs’ Hannibal Lecter and Howards End’s Henry Wilcox (not to mention, once upon a time, the titular protagonist in James Ivory’s Survivi…


Feb 16, 2010
The Silence of the Lambs
The Silence of the Lambs

A director who knows his genres, Jonathan Demme has never been able to resist turning them inside out. Starting in the film industry as a publicist, Demme was soon hired by Roger Corman as a scriptwriter and then as a director. Corman’s rules for f…

By Amy Taubin

On Film / Essays — Jul 15, 1998