Continuity mistake: In the scene when Rinaldo Pazzi (the Italian investigator later disembowelled by Hannibal) is searching on the internet, he types in a search "Hannibal Lecter reward", which returns one match. The match contains the URL and a preview of the page, which gives the first sentence. That sentence however, incorrectly identifies the year of Hannibal's escape as being 1992; however when Rinaldo clicks on the link, the actual page lists the correct date as being 1990 in exactly the same sentence. [An extra comment - if you look closely, as soon as he clicks on the link the page opens, and we see a close-up of Lecter's face - just visible at the top right you can see the date 1992 mentioned. Then it cuts out to a wider shot of the whole page, and the date's magically changed to 1990]. (00:41:17)
Continuity mistake: When Inspector Pazzi is in the phone booth calling the FBI at 1-212-555-0118, he doesn't dial the correct number. (00:47:53)
Continuity mistake: Dr. Lecter signs M.D. with small letters, but when Clarice is reading it, the letters are much bigger. Also, he originally only does a line across the top of "Lecter", but when she gets the letter it's across his whole name. There's also a hyphen between Hannibal Lecter and M.D. in the received version, but not when he sends it. Note: This is nothing to do with the re-mailing service - all they did was send the letter to a different location, not re-write it. (00:34:12)
Continuity mistake: When Hannibal attacks Francesco after the lecture, their shadows, as well as the entire body of the hanged man in the projected picture, are seen overlapping each other in a close up of the projection screen. This is not possible, as the picture is projected from a slide projector behind them. In preceding and following long shots their shadows are correctly blocking the lower half of the body of the hanged man in the projection. (01:11:45)
Continuity mistake: In the flashback seen where Dr. Lecter suggests to Mason Verger peel off his own face, Dr.Lecter picks up the broken mirror piece with a navy or black cloth. Then in the next scene, when he hands it to Mason, there is no cloth. Then, when Mason starts to scrape away at his face, the cloth reappears in Mason's hand.
Continuity mistake: The first time we hear Dr. Chilton's tapes of Lecter's conversations with Starling, Hannibal's exact words are, Agent Starling is a deep roller, Barney. And yet, later in the movie we hear Clarice listen to the same conversation once more only this time he leaves out the name Barney after his question. This is infact an entirely different soundbyte, but it is supposed to be the same tape. (01:31:11)
Continuity mistake: When the Italian Police Inspector is on the phone in the middle of the street with Verger's answering machine, you can see in three consecutive shots the same extra crossing the plaza (a young brunette with a black spaghetti string top). (00:48:35)
Continuity mistake: When Evelda Drumgo's henchmen discover the presence of the police there is a coffee cup and a light blue holdall on the bonnet of their car. The car then reverses at high speed and the cup falls off but the bag shows no signs of budging. Then, a split-second later, the scene cuts to the car reversing into a parked white van. The blue bag has mysteriously disappeared. But, a few cuts later (just after the one where an agent is showered with sparks) you see the car speeding towards the camera and both the coffee cup and the bag have reappeared (although you have to be quick to spot it). (00:08:46)
Continuity mistake: When Clarice got the tapes from Barney, he told her that the doctor had started taping her AFTER her first session with Hannibal. Some of the conversations that she listens to took place on her very first visit to see him so there shouldn't be any tapes at all of those. (00:27:15)
Continuity mistake: In the scene where Pazzi goes to pick up Dr. Fell's belongings from Hannibal Lector at the Palazzo Capponi, when the camera is first on Lector he is wearing tracksuit bottoms, and then the camera switches to Pazzi and back to Lector, and he is wearing different trousers - pyjama type. (00:51:19)
Continuity mistake: Right before Paul says grace, Dr. Lecter checks the time on the grandfather clock. We see a long shot, and the hand's on about 46 minutes. Then there is a closeup of the clock moving past 50 minutes after the hour. When it cuts back to the table, the clock is immediately back to 46. (01:56:19)
Continuity mistake: While Hannibal narrates what Clarice is reading on his letter, Hannibal concludes by saying, "I imagine you sitting in a dark basement room, bent over papers and computer screens. Is that accurate? Please tell me truly, Special Agent Starling. Your old pal, Hannibal Lecter, M.D." But on the letter's second page he writes, "... 200 hawk, one wiring hanging down. Is that fairly accurate? Tell me truly, Special Agent Starling. Regards, Hannibal Lecter, M.D." (00:35:20)
Continuity mistake: During the brains-for-dinner scene, Clarice sneaks her knife under the table to use against Lecter. A few lines of dialogue and camera angles later, the knife is back on the table, and Clarice sneaks it under the table - again.