The Silence of the Lambs

BookThe Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs

Devil's Advocates


October 29th, 2013

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The 1991 film The Silence of the Lambs, based on Thomas Harris's bestseller, was a game-changer in the fields of both horror and crime cinema. FBI trainee Clarice Starling was a new kind of heroine, vulnerable, intuitive, and in a deeply unhealthy relationship with her monstrous helper/opponent, the serial killer Hannibal Lecter.
Jonathan Demme's film skillfully appropriated the tropes of police procedural, gothic melodrama and contemporary horror and produced something entirely new. The resulting film was both critically acclaimed and massively popular, and went on to have an enormous influence on 1990s genre cinema. Crime and horror authority Barry Forshaw closely examines the factors that contributed to the film's impact, including the revelatory performances of Jodie Foster and Anthony Hopkins in the lead roles.

Author Information

Barry Forshaw is a London-based critic and author, most recently of Death in a Cold Climate.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Hannibal's Precursors12
The Ascent of Hannibal Lecter16
Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs28
Making Horror Respectable62
After the Silence74
Lecter's Progeny90
Legacy of the Lambs98
Appendix: The Principal Actors100