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The Silence of the Lambs (Widescreen)

249 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons, Lawrence T. Wrentz
  • Directors: Jonathan Demme
  • Writers: Ted Tally, Thomas Harris
  • Producers: Edward Saxon, Gary Goetzman, Grace Blake, Kenneth Utt, Ronald M. Bozman
  • Format: AC-3, Special Edition, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: R
  • Studio: Obsolete
  • Release Date: June 3 1998
  • Run Time: 118 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (249 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6305050058
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #57,060 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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Product Description

Based on Thomas Harris's novel, this terrifying film by Jonathan Demme really only contains a couple of genuinely shocking moments (one involving an autopsy, the other a prison break). The rest of the film is a splatter-free visual and psychological descent into the hell of madness, redeemed astonishingly by an unlikely connection between a monster and a haunted young woman. Anthony Hopkins is extraordinary as the cannibalistic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal Lecter, virtually entombed in a subterranean prison for the criminally insane. At the behest of the FBI, agent-in-training Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) approaches Lecter, requesting his insights into the identity and methods of a serial killer named Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine). In exchange, Lecter demands the right to penetrate Starling's most painful memories, creating a bizarre but palpable intimacy that liberates them both under separate but equally horrific circumstances. Demme, a filmmaker with a uniquely populist vision (Melvin and Howard, Something Wild), also spent his early years making pulp for Roger Corman (Caged Heat), and he hasn't forgotten the significance of tone, atmosphere, and the unsettling nature of a crudely effective close-up. Much of the film, in fact, consists of actors staring straight into the camera (usually from Clarice's point of view), making every bridge between one set of eyes to another seem terribly dangerous. --Tom Keogh --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most helpful customer reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Lederman on Feb. 8 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
One star or five? Five for the work itself, well reviewed elsewhere. One star for's listing. lists this item correctly as a full screen edition. In Canada, buyer beware. The aspect ratio of the DVD for which this review is written is not stated in the listing info at the time of this writing, which I only discovered when the disc arrived. It is full screen. If you are looking for a widescreen version avoid the DVD listing where the aspect ratio is not stated. Sadly too, amazon still has not gotten themselves together enough to only post reviews for the specific product for which they were written and this review seems to be posted on all Silence Of The Lambs versions, which I would like to see not happen. A request too: could someone write a product review specifically about the 2 DVD Special Edition and what is on it?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Steven Aldersley TOP 50 REVIEWER on March 21 2012
Format: Blu-ray
It's rare for a film to win Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Picture, Best Director and Best Screenplay Oscars, but The Silence of the Lambs did just that. Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins) is often regarded at the top villain in cinema history and he's probably the first character that springs to mind when you think about the movie. It's hard to believe that Hopkins was only on the screen for about 16 minutes.

The story begins with Agent Clarice Starling (Foster). We see her tackling an obstacle course at the FBI's Quantico training center. Her boss, Jack Crawford, (Glenn), calls her in and asks her to visit Lecter. He's in a secure cell and the warnings she receives appear excessive, but they seem justified by the end of the movie.

Lecter is intelligent, polite and eloquent. Although he's a monster capable of eating people, he has a twisted sense of honor. It's clear that he likes Starling and he rewards some of her honest revelations with help and insight into how she might track down serial killer, Buffalo Bill (Ted Levine).

It's curious that the movie is often placed in the horror genre. I watched David Fincher's version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo recently, and compared the two films. Both are essentially investigations into murders as the protagonists attempt to track a serial killer. Each includes a colorful character, although one is a hero and the other a villain. If Lisbeth Salander and Hannibal Lecter were more conventional characters, the two movies would lose a lot of their power. I think it's wrong to label The Silence of the Lambs as a horror movie, but I understand why that's often the case.

The movie works because we love how monstrous Lecter is and how human Starling can be. Foster's performance made Starling seem incredibly vulnerable.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By William on Oct. 18 2003
Format: DVD
SOTL is as brilliant today as it was back in 1991. Look inside the mind of a serial killer, with non-stop suspense - and you have one hell of a film. Too frightening to watch on your own, this film boasts not only a well structured script, but fine performances all round.
Jodie Foster stars as Agent Starling who "consults" with Hannibal Lector (Anthony Hopkins) to work out the identity of a serial killer. This is Jodie's finest film, and one which you will return to time and time again.
DVD SUMMARY: Released now for the third time on DVD, after two attempts, which featured non-anamorphic transfers. The latest edition features a 5.1 remix and a beautiful anamorphic transfer. Missing however is the famed audio commentary from Foster which was one of the earlier DVD's. Oneday we will get a DELUXE version hopefully.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 26 2004
Format: DVD
I just bought the Widescreen Special Editon a month ago and I thought it was great! Anthony Hopkins played Hannibal Lecter like no one else!! Many people agree on this, too. He really killed the role.
The special features were good, too. It has a well-produced making-of documentary.(60 min) And 21 deleted scenes and more!
Too bad that it didn't have commentaries. It did have the commentaries in another edition of this movie.
Anyway...Buy this DVD!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By ZSky on Dec 9 2007
Format: DVD
This award-winning 1991 film was adapted by Ted Tally from the 1988 novel by Thomas Harris. The film is a faithful adaptation of the novel, except for some minor changes. Personally, I prefer the film because of its dramatic scenes as well the characters, especially the infamous Dr. Hannibal Lecter.

I agree with the reviewers here. This film is one of the best thrillers of the 20th century.
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Format: DVD
This is a great movie to watch in the dark. "The Silence of the Lambs." Jonathan Demme's tense thriller combines excellent actors and a wonderfully adapted screenplay to make, what seems to be one of the best, if not the best, thrillers of all time.

This film has three accounts and everyone knows the story. FBI trainee Starling is assigned to glean information from incarcerated serial killer, Dr Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) concerning the whereabouts of another serial killer on the loose, Buffalo Bill. A former patient of Lecters, he's killed and skinned several women. Starling and Lecter's interrogation sessions become a slowly spreading invasion within the background of Starling's emotionally fragile psyche. All the while Buffalo Bill has himself a new victim, and Lecter is already planning his escape.

First I will praise the film's merits. Yes it does have excellent performances. The scenes between Starling and Lecter are electrifying. They're the high-point of the whole film. And Demme does superb things with his camera. I like the way he shoots many of Clarice's scenes from her POV, like when she descends several staircases and goes through several doors at the asylum until she finally meets Dr Lecter. This movie is like no other. It combines tenses scenes with a cast like no other. Anthony Hopkins was born to be Hannibal, and why Michelle Pfeiffer was originally suggested for the role of Clarice over Jodie Foster is bizarre, but because Jodie Foster got the role, it doesn't really matter. When it comes to violence this film is very intense. There are some graphically violent scenes; however the worst violence in the film is the mental violence. Hannibal's ability to destroy someone mentally is incredibly disturbing, and the films motives are pretty full on. However this contributes to the films overall feel of horror, which is why "The Silence of the Lambs" is one of the most mentally frightening films of all time.
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