Theatrical release: February 13, 1991.
Filmed on location in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Washington, DC.
Shooting began on November 15, 1989, and wrapped on March 1, 1990.
Estimated budget: $19 million.
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS is number 65 on the American Film Institute's list of America's 100 Greatest Movies.
To perfect the voice of Hannibal, Anthony Hopkins based his speech on the dry voice of the Hal 9000 computer from 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY.
Hopkins won the Best Actor Oscar despite being in the film for no more than 30 minutes, the shortest screen appearance for any Best Actor winner.
THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS actually features the second screen appearance of Hannibal Lecter. Played by Brian Cox, the character first appears in Michael Mann's MANHUNTER, which is based on the Thomas Harris novel RED DRAGON.
Roger Corman plays FBI Director Hayden Burke in the film.
Demme regular Charles Napier plays Boyle.
Chris Isaak appears briefly as a SWAT commander.
Try to catch how many times Anthony Hopkins blinks in various scenes....
The sequel, HANNIBAL, opened on February 9, 2001. Ridley Scott took over the direction, and Julianne Moore played Clarice Starling instead of Jodie Foster. Hopkins again played Hannibal, deliciously.
"...Superbly crafted....THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS slams you like a sudden blast of bone-chilling, pulse-pounding terror..." - 03/07/1991 Rolling Stone, p.87-8
"...A sombre masterpiece....The film creates a world drained of light, counterpointed by a sinister and unsettling score..." - 06/01/1991 Sight and Sound, p.62-3
"...[A] superbly crafted, unsettling movie....Demme pumps up the tension to a deafening din..." -- 4 out of 4 stars - 02/14/1991 USA Today, p.1D
"LAMBS remains a great film. A groundbreaking film." -- Grade: A - 02/02/2007 Entertainment Weekly, p.111
"...Hopkins' performance may be the film's bravura showpiece, but Foster's goes the whole distance, steadfast, controlled, heartbreakingly insightful, a fine addition to her gallery of characterizations..." - 02/13/1991 Los Angeles Times, p.F1
"Hopkins's portrayal of the world's most urbane serial killer is a wonder of both actorly invention and villainous instinct." - 04/01/2004 Premiere, p.70
4 stars out of 5 -- "[S]till the definitive upmarket serial killer thriller, achieving the almost unprecedented feat of winning all five major Oscar categories..." - 03/01/2006 Uncut, p.134
5 stars out of 5 -- "[A] rare horror that transcends the genre and has arguably become a modern classic." - 03/01/2007 Ultimate DVD, p.114
5 stars out of 5 -- "One of Demmes great skills is his sense of balance; set pieces are alternately propelled by ratcheting tension and slow, mounting dread, while his exquisite match cuts between parallel storylines keep the pace nimble." - 11/05/2017 The Guardian