Clarice Starling, Meet Dr. Hannibal Lecter – a Scene Analysis .. She's focused on his reaction to the questionnaire, as this is her entire goal. . The competitive quid-pro-quo relationship between the two is echoed in the. But in the novel, the relationships are far more complex: Hannibal hopes Why was Hannibal Lecter interested in Clarice Starling in The Silence of the Lambs? Rude being his biggest pet peeve, and were considered his primary targets. The relationship between Lecter and Starling is fascinating because it that serves their purpose (fascination, identity, fame, sex, power, love).
Hannibal is taken aback that Jack Crawford has sent a trainee to him. Again we notice the shot-countershot technique employed by Demme. All of these composition are practically identical. Shots 12 — 17 are all OtS, all of similar composition with Lecter on the left of the screen and Clarice on the right, and only the target is in focus. He asks her to sit. She has been disarmed by his charm and is excited that she is making progress with her task.
The camera tracks slightly as Clarice sits, some of the only character movement we will see in this sequence. Clarice has sat down. She looks slightly smaller now. Lecter will exploit this later. Lecter is very large. He is offering an opening volley, asking Clarice what Multiple Miggs hissed at her. Medium shot as Clarice answers an embarrassing question. Notice her size on the screen, relative to Lecter.
Back to Lecter being large, but this time his presence will be realized through one of the few. To the point that Clarice has to look away. Lecter triumphant and pleased with himself. He has successfully disarmed Clarice, and has scored his first point. In shots 18 — 24, the parallelism of the compositions has started to break down and shift towards Lecter, who is larger, occupies a more closed frame, and continues to stare directly into the camera.
This stretch of the sequence is still organized in a shot-countershot motif, though not all of them are direct match cuts anymore. This distances Clarice and Lecter for the first time. A medium two shot showing both Lecter and Clarice. This is the only shot in the entire sequence where both characters are in focus.
Shot 25 is a pause, a catching of the breath and resetting of the scene. It is also a very clear separator between the introductory conversation and the second act of the sequence, where Lecter and Clarice will test each other more pointedly. The composition of the shot further suggests that Lecter will begin this tilt with the upper hand, a dominance which will be continuously communicated by the eye-lines of the respective characters. This shot is again notable for its movement.
Medium shot of Clarice. This shot is a little weird, and there will be more. And Clarice does not look directly to camera, removing the earlier empathy we felt towards Lecter. Lecter still looms large in the center of the shot. Outside the ambulance, we see the vehicle continuing down the interstate normally until it begins to swerve and veer, almost to a complete stop.
As other drivers honk at the emergency vehicle, it begins to jerk back into motion as the sirens are turned off and the camera focuses on a sign: Inside the ambulance, Dr. Lecter dries his bloody face with gauze. We see a hunched-over Young Clarice in the snow clutching her lamb. Utterly resigned, she rises up and turns back the way she came.
We next see her in the headlights of the Sheriff, walking slowly to the car with her lamb. Back at the ranch, as she steps from the car, the rancher abruptly grab the lamb from her, leaving her with an expressionless affect. We follow her POV as she looks into the barn to find her lamb stretched over the killing table. Her gaze moves from the shiny, blood-stained knife to the face of the rancher, which is now Dr. He flashes a vicious smile. She looks stricken, devastated, and lets the receiver drop from her hand.
We next see her scrubbing herself clean in the shower with a desperate fervor. Back in her room as she dries herself off, Ardelia is explaining that Dr. Lecter parked the ambulance in a garage at the airport, and also killed a tourist and made off with his clothes and money. Now, he could be anywhere. Clarice is less concerned with her own safety than she is angry at her inability to understand what Dr.
Lecter saw in the case file that continues to elude her. In the laundry room Clarice and Ardelia go over the Buffalo Bill case file with new determination. All four are reaching their breaking point, and tensions are high. Clarice shares here theory about Buffalo Bill and Fredrica Bimmel, but director Burke is having none of it.
Burke shouts them all down, and suspends Clarice from the academy. He also relieves Crawford of the Buffalo Bill task force, and tells him to go home and care for his wife.
Outside the building, Clarice continues pleading her case to Crawford. She thinks that, as a woman, she has an advantage over men while investigating Fredrica Bimmel. Furthermore, she wants to turn the tables on Bill — and hunt him like he hunts other women. Clarice is having none of it — she is now just a citizen after being suspended from the academy. Crawford hesitates, thinking over the stakes of this decision.
Clarice wants to hug him, touch his face, but cannot. She hails a cab to the airport.
The Silence of the Lambs
We see the macabre tools that Gumb has prepared for the day: Despite calling for his dog multiple times, Precious will not come. Eventually, Gumb goes looking for the dog, and is disturbed to find that he has fallen into the pit with Catherine.
As Precious whines, Gum takes aim at Catherine with his pistol, but she places the dog in the line-of-fire. Gumb is irate, but cannot fire the pistol. As they walk inside his house, he explains that he has nothing new to tell her — he has already dealt with law enforcement officials multiple times.
In the closet, Clarice is surprised to find an extensive wardrobe and a wide collection of sewing supplies. One very large dress still has sewing patterns pinned to the back: A voice-over from Dr. Lecter and flashbacks to the floated found in West Virginia connect the dots for Clarice: Downstairs in the Bimmel house, Clarice talks to Crawford over the phone. Crawford reveals that he is on an airplane and that they are on their way to Bill right now! A cross-reference also identified him as the person signing for live caterpillars from Suriname.
They have two addresses and are going to hit them both within the hour. Crucially, Crawford credits Clarice for the major breakthroughs, but tells her that it is important to link Gumb to the Bimmel girl.
She thanks him for the recognition, and though she is a little disappointed to be on a side-trail, she is determined to find a connection. Clarice first asks Mr. Bimmel if Fredrica had any male friends who could sew. Lippman, who was often in demand for skilled sewers. Clarice is disappointed to hear that Mrs Lippman moved to Florida a couple of years ago and has since died, but she gets her address anyway.
On a residential street, we see the dark-clad figures of a Hostage Rescue Team creeping towards a seemingly normal house. We then cut to Mr. We cut back to the street and see individual HRT members inching towards the house and keying their rifle sights on the door.
This inter-cutting continues between the two locales: Just as Gumb goes to pull the trigger, his door buzzer screams. Furious, he looks towards his front door.
- In “The Silence of the Lambs,” how does Clarice represent the struggle for female empowerment
As Gumb opens his door, we see Clarice peering in, and she inquires about Mrs. Gumb tries to deflect, explaining that the Lippmans do not live here anymore. Crawford and Burroughs race towards the open door. As before, we cut between these two situations: Clarice asks more pointed questions of Gumb regarding Mrs. Lippman, more members of the HRT burst into the residence through windows and doors, Clarice asks if Gumb knew Fredrica Bimmel, the HRT discovers that the house they have just raided is empty, and Gumb invites Clarice in while he search for Mrs.
As frustrated cops file out of the raided house, Crawford stops dead in his tracks, suddenly worried for Clarice. Clarice is gazing around the room and making note of its peculiarities, so she fails to see the moth until the last moment — upon which she noticeably freezes. As she raises her gun and points it at Gumb, who she has now identified as Buffalo Bill, the man smiles and darts back into the kitchen. Clarice hesitates for a split second, but that is enough to allow Gumb to escape downstairs with his Colt Python.
The lighting is dim, and we hear screaming and a dog barking.
Clarice heads towards the noise and notes that there are many rooms and doors —and Gumb could be behind any of them. As Clarice enters the pit chamber, she notes that there are two other doors that lead to hallways besides the one she entered with, furthering her concern of an ambush. She glances down the pit and sees Catherine holding a small white dog. Clarice tries to reassure the girl, but Catherine is hysterical.
Clarice tells her that the other officers will be there shortly, but that she has to leave to find Gumb. Clarice moves down one of the passageways towards a new room. A click behind her causes her to spin quickly, but it is only a small refrigerator cycling on. Clarice moves on from the workroom.
In the skinning room, Clarice moves past the mannequins — all naked now — and creeps towards a closed armoire, prepared to fire into it. Its doors ease open, and it is shown to be empty. She walks past the counter populated by several knives and the rows of chemical jars, heading towards a closed door. Instead of opening it, she grabs a wooden chair and wedges it under the doorknob.
She makes an about-face and starts retracing her steps. Passing back through the workroom, Clarice listens through a curtained room for any movement and hears nothing.
She then crosses to a bathroom door and listens for any noise behind it. Hearing nothing, she opens it quickly, and sees an old-fashioned bathroom with a big, free-standing tub covered by an opaque shower curtain. Clarice aims her gun at the curtain and yanks it aside. No one is standing in the tub, but lower she sees a female hand and wrist suspended in hard red plaster. As Clarice is reacting in horror to this, the lights go out.
Clarice stumbles in the inky darkness. Clarice emerges from the bathroom back into the workroom, arms-out in from of her as she nervously jerks them back-and-forth in the darkness. In the pitch black, all of the sounds are magnified, and unseen moths fly into her face. She keep walking, gun outstretched before her as she creeps directly in front of — and then past — Mr. Gumb, who has flattened himself against a wall and is watching Clarice stumble through the dark. There, Gumb holds his Colt Python, and under his kimono he has donned his half-completed woman suit.
When he cocks the hammer, there is a large metallic click that informs Clarice of his position. She spins and fires her weapon immediately, the muzzle flashes illuminating the workroom for isolated instants. On the floor and in the dark, Clarice hears a tortured whistling sound, which she crawls towards.
There, she finds Mr. Gumb, breathing his last breaths and reaching is arm upwards to the ceiling, where he has fixed his gaze.
Once his arm falls limp, Clarice confirms his death and rolls onto her own back, gazing up at the same spot.
“The Silence of the Lambs” Script Analysis: Scene-by-Scene Breakdown – Plot and Theme
TV lights, police and ambulance flashers, and myriad cars congest the street. Clarice emerges from the house beside Catherine, who is being wheeled on a gurney. As the EMTs put Catherine in the back of the ambulance, Crawford climbs out of the back of a patrol car and anxiously seeks out Clarice.
When they finally see each other, Crawford is overcome with pride. Still, he is tortured by the ordeal that Clarice has just gone through. At a loss for words initially, he finally comforts Clarice by telling her that her father sees her. Clarice and Ardelia exchange a two-handed shake and Clarice searches the audience for Crawford, who offers a quick, proud smile and salute. Clarice grins back, happier than we have ever seen her. In an academy dorm room, a raucous party is underway.
Ardelia weaves her way through the crowd to reach Clarice, who is flanked by her two guests: Ardelia tells Clarice that there is a telephone call waiting for her. Clarice picks up the dangling phone, and is surprised to hear Dr. Lecter on the other side asking her if the lambs have stopped screaming. Clarice tries to get the attention of Ardelia, but cannot. He looks quite different — a beard, glasses, some noticeably cosmetic surgery.
He informs Clarice that he has no intention on calling on her, and asks for the same courtesy — which Clarice clearly cannot promise. Lecter wishes Clarice a fond Goodbye, and comments on the beauty of the blue suit she wore to graduation.
Clarice Starling, Meet Dr. Hannibal Lecter – a Scene Analysis – Plot and Theme
Back in the dorm, Clarice reacts to the full weight of this revelation, but hears only a dial tone. Back on the moonlit patio, Dr. When another victim is kidnapped, the race is on to find Buffalo Bill before he kills again. Overall Story Backstory A male criminal with a confused sexual identity, refused for sex reassignment surgery, has wreaked vengeance on five women. Buffalo Bill has murdered and partially skinned them.
The FBI is unable to find any useful clues. Brilliant psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter is in prison for murdering and eating nine people. Clarice, whose town marshal father was killed in the line of duty, is determined to become an FBI agent. Silence of the Lambs opens with a defining image of Clarice Starling as a woman of action: Doing Main Character Concern Clarice wants to do her job the best she can and even outdo her fatherand will do whatever it takes, even if it means retrieving preserved heads from storage lockers and attending gruesome autopsies.
As the wise Lecter tells her: Everything you need to find him is right in these pages. Main Character Thematic Conflict Enlightenment vs. Wisdom It is only by combining her female intuitive qualities with the expanded comprehension Lecter imparts that Clarice succeeds in finding the killer. Innocents are forever victimized, and Clarice will never run out of people to save from criminals. Ending Main Character Solution If serial killers would stop victimizing innocents, and lambs were safe from men with knives, Clarice and society could sleep easy at night.
Wake up in the dark, and hear the screaming of the lambs? You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. And oh, how quickly the boys found you! All those tedious, sticky fumblings, in the back seats of cars, while you could only dream of getting out.
What is your worst memory of childhood? The death of my father. Was he killed outright? He was very strong… he lasted almost a month. I was ten years old. Chilton and the Senator. Thought Influence Character Issue Though Lecter knows his captors will never let him out of his cell alive, his thoughts still allow him to dream of a room with a view.
Apparently he likes you. And you like him, too. I never thought about it. Do you think Crawford wants you, sexually? Influence Character Thematic Conflict Thought vs. Cause Influence Character Problem Hannibal Lecter is driven to cause pain to people, pain both physical and psychological in nature. As a sign on a tree reads: I have no plans to call on you, Clarice, the world being more interesting with you in it.