Silence of the Lambs, The
The Silence of the Lambs is the 1991 thriller that was the feature film adaptation of the novel of the same name by Thomas Harris and marked the first appearance of Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter. In the film, FBI recruit Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is asked by the Bureau to elicit Lecter's help in tracking down a notorious serial killer who has kidnapped a US Senator's daughter. Directed by Jonathan Demme (The Manchurian Candidate), the film would make history as one of only three in Hollywood (with 1934's It Happened One Night and 1975's One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest) to win all of "the Big Five" Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Actor (Hopkins), Best Actress (Foster), Best Director (Demme) and Best Screenplay. Although the role of Hannibal Lecter had first been played by Brian Cox in Michael Mann's 1986 film Manhunter, Hopkins's performance made the character a household name, and he would reprise the role in two more films: Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002). The movie was selected in 2011 by the U.S. Library of Congress for preservation in the National Film Registry. In order for a movie to be selected for preservation in the NFR it has to be deemed "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant". Nearly 30 years later, the story of Starling would continue in Clarice, a broadcast television series adaptation starring Rebecca Breeds as Starling that premiered in the US on CBS in February of 2021.
The following weapons were used in the film The Silence of the Lambs:
Smith & Wesson Model 13
FBI recruit Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) carries the then-standard FBI-issue Smith & Wesson Model 13. This .357 Magnum, 3" barrel revolver was the last revolver issued by the FBI (usually loaded with .38 Special +P .158 gr lead LHP ammo). Starling is shown being issued her Model 13 and training with it on the range in several deleted scenes. She is also seen doing a quick reload of her revolver with a speedloader after she opens fire on a suspect and expends all 6 rounds. When Starling fires her weapon at the suspect, there is noticeable recoil and she flinches. However, when she fires it on the range in the deleted scenes, there is absolutely no recoil, and she keeps her eyes open. This could indicate multiple weapons were used on the set.
As they close in on Lecter, one of the SWAT officers is seen with a Browning Hi-Power with Target sights before he opens the elevator access panel. Another SWAT officer appears to use a Browning HP to shoot a motionless suspect in the leg.
Colt Government Model
One of the FBI instructors uses a deactivated Colt Government Model to demonstrate to Clarice and the recruits what went wrong during an exercise. (Clarice failed to check the corner of the room, which could have led to her death in real life.)
Jame Gumb a.k.a "Buffalo Bill" (Ted Levine) uses a 6" barreled, stainless steel Colt Python with black rubber Pachmyr Presentation grips as his personal sidearm. In the book, it is said that Gumb loads the gun with .38 Special lead wadcutters.
Smith & Wesson Model 10HB
Heckler & Koch P7
A Heckler & Koch P7 is briefly seen in the hands of an FBI HRT agent as Crawford and his men breach the suspected house of Buffalo Bill.
FBI Special Agent Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn) prepares to assault the possible residence of Buffalo Bill armed with a Remington 870 shotgun. According to Scott Glenn's commentary on the Blu-Ray edition, the shotgun originally had an 18 inch barrel, but Glenn insisted upon having a 14 inch barrel since that was what the FBI was using at the time. The armorer explained that making it shorter would not be legal, but finally relented and cut down the barrel down to 14 inches shortly before the scene was shot.
Several variants of the Ithaca 37 shotguns are carried by the Memphis P.D. SWAT officers that respond to Hannibal's prison break. An FBI agent is also seen wielding an Ithaca when Hannibal Lecter arrives in Memphis.
Heckler & Koch MP5K (Replica)
SWAT officers are shown holding what appears to be an airsoft replica of the Heckler & Koch MP5K as they prepare to take down Lecter in the elevator.
Soldiers of the Tennessee National Guard are seen armed with M16A1 rifles at Memphis Airport when Dr. Hannibal Lecter arrived in Memphis to assist federal agents. National Guardsmen tasked with guarding Dr. Lecter at the makeshift prison he was incarcerated in were also seen armed with M16A1 rifles.
Responding to an incident involving Lecter, the SWAT team negotiator (Daniel von Bargen) is seen carrying what appears to be a Remington 700PSS rifle. FBI HRT snipers who close in on the suspected house of Buffalo Bill also appear to be armed Remington 700PSS sniper rifles.
The Hannibal Lecter Franchise
|Brian Cox||Manhunter (1986)|
|Anthony Hopkins||The Silence of the Lambs (1991) • Hannibal (2001) • Red Dragon (2002)|
|Gaspard Ulliel||Hannibal Rising (2007)|
|Mads Mikkelsen||Hannibal (2013-2015)|