Silence of the Lambs

Silence of the Lambs1991

Director: Jonathan Demme
Stars: Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Lawrence A. Bonney, Kasi Lemmons, Lawrence T. Wrentz
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller
Rating: Unrated
Runtime: 118 minutes

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… more »

Hannibal Lecter:
First principles, Clarice. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?

Clarice Starling:
He kills women...

Hannibal Lecter:
No! That is incidental. What is the first and principal thing he does, what need does he serve by killing?

Clarice Starling:
Anger, social resentment, sexual frustration...

Hannibal Lecter:
No, he covets. That's his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer.

Clarice Starling:
No. We just...

Hannibal Lecter:
No. Precisely. We begin by coveting what we see every day. Don't you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice? And don't your eyes move over the things you want?

Rate this quote:4.7 / 17 votes

Share your thoughts on this Silence of the Lambs's quote with the community:

  • marshall_d
    I believe in the first principles idea. However, the fact that Buffalo Bill's victim was local does not seem so cut and dried. What if he saw his perfect full-figured female body on a recurring TV show and began fixating on the images? She could have been anywhere in the country. Once a man like that gets fixated on something/someone, he'll go to the ends of the earth to possess that which he "covets". Think of all the famous people who have problems with stalkers. 
    LikeReply1 year ago
    • nikkin.83678
      But the covet motivation was then paired with the fact that the third victim had been weighted down resulting in her being found later than the other two. Lector wrote Clarice a note on the map saying something like 'doesn't this seem like the elaborations of a bad liar?' So by weighing Bimmel down (but only her), Gumb drew attention to her making Clarice ask why he would do that. Those two clues together make the conclusion that she was someone Gumb knew a reasonable one. 
      LikeReply27 days ago
  • Darrell Barr
    Darrell Barr
    A lesson in analysis and discovery. What is something at its simplist root? This helps us peel back what things sometimes seem to be in order to find the true thing.
    LikeReply 44 years ago


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