Factual error: Many of the vehicles in the movie have Pennsylvania inspection stickers on the lower driver's side windshield. This is not surprising being that most of the movie was filmed in Pennsylvania. However, they should have been removed when the car is suppose to be from another state. For example, the Senator's daughter, just before her abduction in Tennessee, is seen driving a car with Pennsylvania inspection stickers. Also, the driver for Yourself Storage in Baltimore also has Pennsylvania stickers on his car.
Continuity mistake: When they find out Lecter is on the elevator, they look down the shaft at him and there is quite a lot of blood on his back, so much that it even reaches down to his belt. However when they open the elevator shaft and the body falls down, there is only a small amount of blood on his back.
Continuity mistake: While travelling from the post mortem examination, Clarice is in the back seat speaking to her boss. In going back and forth in conversation, her hair changes from being curled up to being curled under, all in one swift change. This is a different style and not done as could be by running your fingers through your hair as the camera cut away.
Revealing mistake: When Clarice is at the archive, she sees two articles, one entitled "Baltimore Psychiatrist Receives Highest Honor" and "New horrors in 'Cannibal Trial'." The column beneath both titles to the right is exactly the same, and in the first article, that same column is repeated at the leftmost and rightmost columns and in the second, is repeated at the rightmost column. That same column is scattered on every article she sees.
Other mistake: After Clarice is finished interviewing Frederica Bimmel's friend, they cut to the abandoned house in Calumet City IL. The front yard is full of leaves, but yet there is only 1 lone (pine) tree in the yard, and the homes on either side do not have visible trees either.
Add timeBrad Solberg
Continuity mistake: When Lecter is in the ambulance, wearing another man's face, as the ambulance officer has his back to Lecter, Lecter takes the large dressing off his face and pulls the oxygen mask down, then sits up, but when he does, the oxygen mask would be in the way; it is around his neck, he would have had to pull it over his head to get rid of it, but he didn't do this - the oxygen mask vanishes.
Plot hole: When Clarice visits Lecter in his new makeshift cell, she brings his drawings, which were left behind in Baltimore. She tells him how she saw the lambs being killed and heard them screaming, taking one lamb with her when she ran away. As the guards approached his cell after she leaves, the camera pans across the cell, taking in the drawings Clarice had brought, and the top one is a very detailed drawing of Clarice holding a spring lamb. She only told just told Lecter about the lamb, not enough time for him to have done that drawing.
Continuity mistake: When Lecter is in the Memphis jail cell, trying to escape, there is a shot of him eating the face of Sgt. Pembry, and a nano-second later, you see Lecter trying to completely shove the jail door on him. No way these two events could have transpired so quickly.
Factual error: When Starling leaves from Memphis, the jet shown taking off is in St Louis, not Memphis. This can be noted by not just the McDonnell Douglas sign, but the fact that the sign is on their Headquarters Hangar, which is in St. Louis. I have lived in St louis all my life: there is no mistaking this sign and building (even in the dark) for another hangar or sign in another city. It also helps to know McDonnell Douglas had no hangar in Memphis, nor any buildings with any signage at the time of the movie at all.