The Silence of the Lambs

Continuity mistake: Immediately following the bit where Chilton has to sign without his precious pen, there is an establishing shot of the Memphis airport runway. Look at the Senator's limo, and her staff; she has three men with coats (1 grey 1 blue 1 camel) to her right, and to her left a man in a blue coat and one in a white coat at great mutual distance. But in the following close-up on Senator Ruth Martin and her posse, the two men on her left are one attached to the other, and the men on her right overlap starting in positions inconsistent with before. (01:02:25)

Sammo Premium member

The Silence of the Lambs mistake picture

Continuity mistake: Dr. Frederick Chilton infamously leaves a pen on Hannibal's bed. The pen changes position between shots in a rather obvious way, doing almost a 180° turn. (01:00:15)

Sammo Premium member

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)

Sammo Premium member

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)

Sammo Premium member

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)

Sammo Premium member

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)

Sammo Premium member

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)

Sammo Premium member

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)

Sammo Premium member

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)

Sammo Premium member

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)

Sammo Premium member

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)

Sammo Premium member

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)

Sammo Premium member

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)

Sammo Premium member

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)

Sammo Premium member

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.

KeyZOid

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)

Sammo Premium member

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)

Sammo Premium member

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.

kh1616

Jack Crawford: Believe me, you do not want Hannibal Lecter inside your head.

More quotes from The Silence of the Lambs

Trivia: 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, you can see a copy of Bon Appetit magazine on the table.

More trivia for The Silence of the Lambs

Question: I can not figure out how in the world agent Starling makes the connection about where Buffalo Bill lives. I don't understand the connection she makes at the house where she finds the pictures and says "you covet what you see" It has driven me crazy for years and I need help. How does she figure it all out?

Answer: In Frederika's bedroom Clarice sees the dress being made and recognises that the pieces of material are the same shape as the pieces of skin missing from the victims' bodies. In the bank, where Clarice meets Frederika's friend, Stacy tells her the address of 'Mrs Lippman' whom Frederika used to work with. Presumably Buffalo Bill is related to, or is, Mrs. Lippman since that is where Clarice finds him.

jle

He's not Mrs Lippman. He did, however, kill her. As Clarice chases him through the cellar, the woman's decomposing body is in a tub.

Answer: "You covet what you see": Agent Starling looks out the window of the girl's house to see who the neighbors are, who may have been watching the girl.

More questions & answers from The Silence of the Lambs

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.