Hello to everyone who has been following this blog for many years - I'm still blogging, I'm just moving over to https://www.claireheffer.com/blog - please continue to follow and let me take this opportunity to thank everyone who has been kind enough to visit over the years. May the lists continue...

Sunday 16 September 2018



TRIVIA: In preparation for his role, Sir Anthony Hopkins studied files of serial killers. Also, he visited prisons, and studied convicted murderers, and was present during some court hearings concerning gruesome murderers and serial killings.

Jodie Foster claims that during the first meeting between Lecter and Starling, Sir Anthony Hopkins' mocking of her southern accent was improvised on the spot. Foster's horrified reaction was genuine, she felt personally attacked. She later thanked Hopkins for generating such an honest reaction.

With twenty-four minutes and fifty-two seconds of screen time, Sir Anthony Hopkins' performance in this movie is the second shortest to ever win an Academy Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role, with David Niven in Separate Tables (1958) beating him, at twenty-three minutes and thirty-nine seconds.

After Jodie Foster first read the Thomas Harris novel, she tried to buy the rights herself, only to find Gene Hackman had beaten her to it.

Jame Gumb's dance was not included in the original draft of the screenplay, although it appears in the novel. It was added at the insistence of Ted Levine, who thought the scene was essential in defining the character.

One of the inspirations from whom Sir Anthony Hopkins borrowed for his interpretation of Hannibal Lecter was a friend of his in London who rarely blinked when speaking, which unnerved anyone around him.

Jodie Foster spent a great deal of time with FBI agent Mary Ann Krause prior to filming. Krause gave Foster the idea of Starling standing by her car crying. Krause told Foster that at times, the work just became so overwhelming that it was a good way to get an emotional release.

The production received full cooperation from the FBI, as they saw it as a potential recruiting tool to hire more female agents.

Clarice Starling was chosen by the American Film Institution as the sixth-greatest film hero (out of fifty), the highest ranked female on the list. Hannibal Lecter was chosen as the number one greatest film villain (also out of fifty).

Sir Anthony Hopkins said he saw Lecter as similar to H.A.L. 9000 in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968). A highly complex, highly intelligent, highly logical killing machine, who seems to know everything going on around him.

Sir Anthony Hopkins described his voice for Hannibal Lecter as "a combination of Truman Capote and Katharine Hepburn."

John Douglas, on whom the Jack Crawford character was based, achieved some fame of his own a few years after this film. He was hired by the parents of JonBenét Ramsey to investigate her death and apparent murder. Up until that point, the parents had been the chief suspects in the case. While Douglas did not fault the local police for investigating the family first, as in the film, investigators usually assume that victims know their killers, he became the first public official to proclaim their innocence.

The movie's poster was number sixteen of "The 25 Best Movie Posters Ever" by Premiere.

Fangoria magazine was declined the chance to cover the film because Orion and the filmmakers felt that the magazine's focus on the horror genre would stigmatize its awards season chances. They were also barred from covering Cape Fear (1991) for similar reasons.

Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.

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