The Silence of the Lambs

Continuity mistake: When Buffalo Bill lowers the basket towards Catherine, the hair on her forehead changes wildly position between shots several times. (00:58:45)

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Revealing mistake: In the examination of the corpse at the funeral house, a bug is removed from the throat of the victim. The bug is lodged deeply into the throat of the girl, to the point that when they pull it out, air is released from the throat it obstructed. But if you look at the first shot when Agent Terry puts his tweezers in the girl's mouth, you can already spot by the molar the tip of the cocoon - the bug is not that big, if the agent had already pulled it by that much the gas release would have happened already. (00:45:15)

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Continuity mistake: Agent Terry drops the bug cocoon in the glass container 'face' (the end with the proboscis) down. In the next shot, Clarice is looking at the jar she closed, and the pupa is 'looking up'. (00:45:45)

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Revealing mistake: During the autopsy at the funeral house, Agent Ray Terry is taking pictures, aided by the funeral home assistant, Lamar. The actress playing the dead body does a great job throughout the scene, but exactly when it's time to take the first picture you can see her blink right as Lamar's hands pass over her eyes. (00:44:35)

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Continuity mistake: En route to the funeral home, Crawford praises Clarice's profile and asks her if she has any question. Behind Jodie Foster there are several cars and a pretty characteristic configuration of the wood and hill. Brief cut to Jack Crawford, and when the camera is back on Jodie Foster, the landscape behind her has changed completely. (00:38:05)

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Audio problem: On the plane, Crawford is talking about the first victim. He's out of frame as he mentions that she was the only victim he took the trouble to weigh down. Except for a brief moment, when you can see his lips, not in sync with his voice. (00:36:35)

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Other mistake: Clarice on the plane with Crawford is flipping through the report about the first victim (third found). Despite being a report on a victim of a case already thoroughly analyzed, it is lacking pretty much every detail about the victim other than the name and an incomplete address, and the data about the coroner in its second page point at Cleveland but with a California 408 area code (this page is realistically visible in detail only through slow motion, even if the relevant aspects - zip code and town name - can be spotted at normal speed). Finally, when Clarice turns page in the next shot to get to the photo part, the page is different. (00:36:15)

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Continuity mistake: In her second visit to his cell, Clarice asks Hannibal Lecter "What did you mean by 'transformation', doctor?" When he answers the towel on the sink has shifted, even if slightly, to the left, it is suddenly wrinkled as opposed to being almost perfectly straight earlier. (00:30:35)

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Continuity mistake: Clarice uses the car jack to lift the storage unit door. In close-up, the blue part of the jack is dimly lit, but the car lights in the wider shots cast a much stronger light on it. Moreover, when she operates it in the shot between the close-up and the one when she says it got stuck, there's a string dangling by the jack that was not there earlier. (00:24:15)

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Continuity mistake: Clarice is looking through the archived articles. She turns the knob of the microfilm reader, then it cuts to a close-up; the pen she holds between her teeth did a 180° turn, as shown by the metal clip switching side. (00:21:40)

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Continuity mistake: Agent Starling is hit by Miggs' produce, which left no trace on his hand, and despite landing on her hair and eyelashes leaves no trace on her face in the next shot, but suddenly some drips on her jacket in the last close-up - again gone when she hastes back to Hannibal. (00:19:00)

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Factual error: Jack Crawford lists Clarice Starling's accomplishments saying that she has a double major in Psych (ology) and Criminology and graduated "magna." Clarice talking with the creepy Dr. Chilton establishes further that she graduated from UVA, where she also followed Crawford's seminar. Problem is, the University of Virginia did not offer a Criminology major in the 90s (does now, but began only in the 00s) and to this day it does not have Latin honors. (00:06:30)

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Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Some colleges/universities allow "self-designed" majors. If UVA offered enough Criminology courses at the time, it would be possible for Clarice to have this double major.

WHAT?

Continuity mistake: Clarice is waiting for Jack Crawford in his office at the beginning of the movie. In the close-up of the newspapers clippings (but also in the wider shot before that) you can see that the rightmost article ("FBI links Skinning" etc) and the white paper sheet it rests on are tucked underneath the main clipping at the center. However when Crawford actually enters the office and sits at his desk, behind him the clippings have changed position; the leftmost one is now touching the central one (it was a couple inches apart earlier) and the rightmost one overlaps it. (00:05:50)

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The Silence of the Lambs mistake picture

Continuity mistake: Clarice Starling is interrupted during her training course, and her clothes are sweaty, with a stain that goes under the breast and the "FBI Academy" logo. She rushes back to the building, and her jersey dried sufficiently up to be clean all the way above the logo. Even more obviously, when she gets in the elevator the V patterned sweat stain goes all the way to the middle of her back, but when she is making her way through the corridors leading to Jack Crawford's office, again the stain has dried off considerably. (00:02:55)

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Continuity mistake: In Hannibal's cell, the distance between the papers and Chilton's leather bag varies without him touching either. (01:00:20)

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Other mistake: Exterior views of Buffalo Bill's house showed the house was not very big and his yard space was limited. The amount of rooms, their sizes, and hall space purportedly in the basement were too excessive to believably be under that house. (00:49:20)

WHAT?

Continuity mistake: When Hannibal is moved to another city, and shots are heard, 5 police officers go up to investigate, but when they burst into the room, now there are 6.

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Jack Crawford: Starling?
Clarice Starling: Sir?
Jack Crawford: Miggs is dead.
Clarice Starling: Dead? How?
Jack Crawford: Well, the orderly heard Lecter whispering to him all afterrnoon and Miggs crying. They found him at bed check. He swallowed his own tongue.

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Trivia: 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.

More trivia for The Silence of the Lambs

Question: What was that rotting corpse lying in the bath at Buffalo Bill's basement, minutes before the light is shut down? Who did it belong to and what has happened to it?

Answer: The body in the bathtub is Mrs. Lippman, the previous owner of Jame Gumb's home. Notice the long grey hair coming from the scalp. He would have wanted someone young, large, and whole.

More questions & answers from The Silence of the Lambs

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