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The Silence of the Lambs

Anthony Hopkins won a Best Actor Oscar for his role as Hannibal Lecter, even though he's only on screen for a little more than 16 minutes.

In the cage scene, right before Hannibal kills and eats the guards, he tells them to roll up the drawings. When the guard is doing that, look on the table...there's a copy of Bon Appetit magazine.

Michelle Pfeiffer was the first choice for the role of Clarice Starling but declined due to the film's violent subject matter.

When Anthony Hopkins was preparing to take on the role of Hannibal Lecter, he called Thomas Harris, the author of the Lecter trilogy, and gave him a sample of the Lecter voice. Harris was so frightened by the accuracy of it that he hung up on Hopkins.

Buffalo Bill was based on three real serial killers: Ed Gein, who skinned his victims and wore the skin; Ted Bundy, who wore a cast to appear crippled and lure unsuspecting, sympathetic women; Gary Heidnick, a man who kept the women he abducted in a pit in his basement.

Ever get a weird feeling of nostalgia when you see the other psychopaths in Hannibal's ward? That's because one of them is them is played by Don Brockett (who played Chef Brockett on the children show "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" from 1967-1995)).

None of the moths seen in the film are actual Death Head moths. In the interest of avoiding the hassle involved with actually shipping moth eggs over, then halting filming so they could be raised to the proper level of maturity, the production crew simply went with a similar looking domestic breed of moth, and glued false fingernails painted with the trademark skull like visage onto their bodies.

The Silence of the Lambs is the only horror movie ever to win the Oscar for Best Picture.

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The late Gene Siskel was one critic who was not overly impressed with the film. When Anthony Hopkins picked up his award, he jokingly proclaimed, 'What's Gene Siskel's address? Someone give it to me please? I'd love to visit him. I'll see you soon, Gene.'

The female dead body in the funeral home was a real actress, not a mannequin. Because the bug cocoon would be placed in her mouth until it is taken out in the middle of the examination, the prop master made the bug cocoon out of a mixture of tootsie rolls and gummie bears. This way if she accidentally swallowed it, it wouldn't do her any harm.

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FBI agent John Douglas made Scott Glenn (the actor who plays Jack Crawford) cry, when Glenn was at the Behavioral Sciences Unit (now called Investigative Support Unit) in Quantico, Virginia. He played a tape (sound, not video) of killers Lawrence Bittaker and Roy Norris torturing, raping and killing young girls (between 13-18 years old) in the back of their van. Before the encounter, Glenn was firmly against capital punishment.

During the film's production, while Anthony Hopkins was playing Hannibal Lecter, Brian Cox (who played the character in "Manhunter") was playing King Lear at the National Theater. Ironically, during the production of "Manhunter" five years earlier, Hopkins was playing King Lear at the same theater.

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The role of Hannibal Lecter was originally offered to Sean Connery, who turned it down.

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The Silence of the Lambs mistake picture

Director George A. Romero appears as the bearded man who accompanies Dr. Chilton and two guards to escort Clarice out after she sneaks in to see Dr. Lector.

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At one point Brain Cox was asked to reprise his role as Hannibal Lecter but turned it down because he didn't do sequels.

Only the third movie to win all five major Oscars (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Actress, and Screenplay). The others are "It Happened One Night" (1934) and "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (1975).

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Quotes

Hannibal Lecter: I do wish we could chat longer, but I'm having an old friend for dinner.

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Mistakes

At the end of the film, when Hannibal is telling Clarice about having "an old friend for dinner" a camera crew can is reflected in his sunglasses.

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