I love a good horror movie. One of my favorites is Silence of the Lambs - one of the three movies in the Hannibal Lecter trilogy. Oh, what a fine villain Hannibal is - a psychology enthusiasts dream. It is a brilliant study of the psychology of serial killers and a game of cat-and-mouse between Lecter and Starling – a convoluted game with rules that are clearly understood only by the incarcerated psychiatrist. What a brilliant film!
How many Hannibal Lecter fans do we have reading here? Want to take a little quiz, just for giggles? The answers will be down at the bottom of the post - don't cheat!
1. Who originated the role of Hannibal Lecter?
a. Sir Ian McKellan
b. Brian Cox
c. Sir Anthony Hopkins
d. Dame Judy Dench
2. Anthony Hopkins said the voice of Hannibal Lecter was a combination of:
a. Jodie Foster and Paul Newman
b. Wallace and Grommit
c. Humphrey Bogart and Margaret Thatcher
d. Truman Capote and Katherine Hepburn
3. On whose novels are "The Silence of the Lambs" and "Red Dragon" films based?
a. Joseph Campbell
b. Ed Harris
c. Thomas Harris
d. Anne Rice
4. Another Thomas Harris novel was the basis for a disaster film from the 1970's. What was its title?
a. Black Sunday
b. Poseidon Adventure
c. The Big Bus
d. Towering Inferno
5. In a cameo as the FBI Director, what famous Hollywood producer/filmmaker spiced up scenes with Jody Foster?
a. James Toback
b. Robert Rodriguez
c. Roger Corman
d. Dino De Laurentiis
6. In which film did Anthony Hopkins first appear?
a. The White Bus
b. Silence of the Lambs
c. Meet Joe Black
d. The Lion In Winter
7. Jodie Foster played FBI Agent Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs. However, director Jonathan Demme first offered the role to another actress. Who was she?
a. Susan Sarandon
b. Michelle Pfeiffer
c. Rosie O'Donnell
d. Meryl Streep
8. What event in young Clarice Starling's life shocked her into temporarily running away from home?
a. Catching mommy kissing Santa Claus
b. Losing her favorite pet
c. Seeing livestock slaughtered
d. Getting a big tattoo
9. Jodie Foster started her acting career at the age of two, but she didn't direct until she was nearly 30. What film from the early '90s did she direct?
a. Little Man Tate
b. Malcolm X
10. In Silence of the Lambs, what did the killer look for in a victim?
a. green eyes
b. nice car
c. soft skin
d. upbeat personality
1-b Brian Cox originated the role, in 1986's Manhunter, but turned down The Silence of the Lambs. The part was offered to Gene Hackman who was slated to direct the film until Jonathan Demme took over.
2-d Capote's nasal sneer and Hepburn's throaty tone gave Lecter his characteristically frightening, if somewhat annoying, voice.
3-c Anne Rice might wish she'd written the Hannibal Lecter trilogy, but Thomas Harris was the real father of this horror masterpiece.
4-a Thomas Harris wrote the novel on which 1977's Black Sunday was based. This is his only film not based on Hannibal Lecter.
5-c Roger Corman, who produced more than 300 films, played the role of the FBI Director. Some say it's his best work.
6-a While often thought of as his first film, Anthony Hopkins's breakthrough role in The Lion in Winter wasn't his first time on screen. His first film role was the character Brechtian in the 1967 short film The White Bus.
7-b Michelle Pfeiffer, and later Meg Ryan were offered the role before Jodie Foster was even considered.
8-c While the idea of mommy and Santa Claus is scary, too, Clarice ran away because she saw lambs being killed.
9-a She directed and acted in Little Man Tate.
10-c The serial killer "Buffalo Bill" was interested in wearing his victims' skin.
Ahhh, such memorable moments - the dark basement scene with the infrared goggles, the Italian cop's demise over the Piazza, the dinner with Ray Liota, the murderous pigs, Hannibal's escape from custody, the death head moth lodged in the dead girls throat...they go on and on. I think I might just have to rent them this weekend.
My favorite quote from these films?
"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti." - Dr. Hannibal Lecter