The Silence of the Lambs

The Silence of the Lambs quotes

55 total quotes (ID: 538)

Clarice Starling
Dr. Frederick Chilton
Dr. Hannibal Lecter
Jame "Buffalo Bill" Gumb
Multiple Characters


Dr. Chilton: I am going to show you why we insist on such precautions. On the evening of July 8th, 1981, he complained of chest pains and was taken to the dispensary. His mouthpiece and restraints were removed for an EKG. When the nurse leaned over him, he did this to her. [pulls out photo] The doctors managed to reset her jaw more or less. Saved one of her eyes. His pulse never got above 85, even when he ate her tongue.


Jack Crawford: Believe me, you don't want Hannibal Lecter inside your head.

Miggs: I bit my wrists so I can diiiiie!

Miggs: I can smell your ****.

Ardelia: Is this Lecter's handwriting? "Clarice, doesn't this random scattering of sites seem desperately random – like the elaborations of a bad liar? Ta, Hannibal Lecter."
Clarice: "Desperately random." What does he mean?
Ardelia: Not random at all, maybe. Like there's some pattern here ...?
Clarice: But there is no pattern, or the computers would've nailed it. They're even found in random order.
Ardelia: Random because of the one girl. The one he weighted down.
Clarice: Oh, Fredrica Bimmel, from ... Belvedere, Ohio. First girl taken, third body found. Why?
Ardelia: 'Cause she didn't drift. He weighted her down.
Clarice: What did Lecter say about ... "first principles"?
Ardelia: Simplicity ...
Clarice: What does this guy do? He "covets". How do we first start to covet?
Ardelia: "We covet what we see ..."
Clarice: "... every day."
Ardelia: Hot damn, Clarice.
Clarice: He knew her.

Clarice: Did you do those drawings, Doctor?
Dr. Lecter: Ah. That is the Duomo seen from the Belvedere. You know Florence?
Clarice: All that detail just from memory?
Dr. Lecter: Memory, Agent Starling, is what I have instead of a view.

Clarice: Good afternoon. Sorry to bother you. I'm looking for Mrs Lippman's family.
Jame Gumb: No, Lippmans don't live here any more.
Clarice: Excuse me. I really need to speak with you.
Jame Gumb: What's the problem, officer?
Clarice: I'm investigating the death of Fredrica Bimmel. Your name is?
Jame: Oh, uh, Jack Gordon.
Clarice: Mr. Gordon, good, uh ... well, Frederica used to work for Mrs. Lippman. Did you know her?
Jame: No, nuh-uh. Oh, wait ... was she a great, big, fat person?
Clarice: Yeah, she was a big girl, sir.
Jame: Yeah, I may've ... no, I read about her in the newspaper. Um, Mrs. Lippman had a son, though, maybe he could help you. I got his card in here someplace. Do you wanna come in while I look for it?
Clarice: May I?
Jame: Yeah, sure. Are you close to catching somebody, you think?
Clarice: Yes. We may be. Did you ... take over this place after Mrs. Lippman died, is that right?
Jame: Yeah, I – I bought this house ... two years ago.
Clarice: [looking around] Did she leave any records? Any business records, tax forms, lists of employees?
Jame: No, nothing like that at all. Say, does the FBI learn something? The police around here don't seem to have the first clue.
[Clarice notices a moth]
Jame: ... I mean, have you got, like, a description, fingerprints, anything like that?
Clarice: No. No, I don't.
[Clarice unbuttons her gun holster]
Jame: Oh, here's that number!
Clarice: Very good, Mr. Gordon. May I use your phone, please?
Jame: [starts laughing] Sure you can use me phone.
Clarice: [draws her gun] Freeze! Put your hands over your head and turn around! Spread your legs! Spread your legs! Put your hands in the back ... thumbs up – freeze!
[Jame runs off]

Clarice: He won't come after me.
Ardelia: Oh, really. How do you know?
Clarice: He won't. I can't explain it ... he – he would consider that rude.

Clarice: If you didn't kill him, then who did, sir?
Dr. Lecter: Who can say? Best thing for him, really. His therapy was going nowhere.

Dr. Chilton: Crawford is very clever, isn't he, using you?
Clarice: What do you mean, sir?
Dr. Chilton: A pretty young woman to turn him on. I don't believe Lecter's even seen a woman in eight years. And, oh, are you ever his taste. So to speak.

Dr. Chilton: What you are doing? Miss Starling is coming into my hospital to conduct an interview, and refusing to share information with me, for the third time.
Clarice: Sir, I told you, this is just a routine follow-up on the Raspail case.
Dr. Chilton: He is my patient. I have rights.
Clarice: I understand that, Sir.
Dr. Chilton: Look, I am not just some turn-key, Miss Starling.
Clarice: This is the number for the US attorney's office. Please, either you discuss this with him or you let me do my job, understand?

Dr. Lecter: [shouts] No! [normal voice] I will listen now. After your father's murder, you were orphaned. You were ten years old. You went to live with cousins on a sheep and horse ranch in Montana. And ...?
Clarice: [tears begin forming in her eyes] And one morning, I just ran away.
Dr. Lecter: Not "just", Clarice. What set you off? You started at what time?
Clarice: Early, still dark.
Dr. Lecter: Then something woke you, didn't it? Was it a dream? What was it?
Clarice: I heard a strange noise.
Dr. Lecter: What was it?
Clarice: It was ... screaming. Some kind of screaming, like a child's voice.
Dr. Lecter: What did you do?
Clarice: I went downstairs, outside. I crept up into the barn. I was so scared to look inside, but I had to.
Dr. Lecter: And what did you see, Clarice? What did you see?
Clarice: Lambs. And they were screaming.
Dr. Lecter: They were slaughtering the spring lambs?
Clarice: And they were screaming.
Dr. Lecter: And you ran away?
Clarice: No. First I tried to free them. I ... I opened the gate to their pen, but they wouldn't run. They just stood there, confused. They wouldn't run.
Dr. Lecter: But you could and you did, didn't you?
Clarice: Yes. I took one lamb, and I ran away as fast as I could.
Dr. Lecter: Where were you going, Clarice?
Clarice: I don't know. I didn't have any food, any water, and it was very cold, very cold. I thought, I thought if I could save just one, but ... he was so heavy. So heavy. I didn't get more than a few miles when the sheriff's car picked me up. The rancher was so angry he sent me to live at the Lutheran orphanage in Bozeman. I never saw the ranch again.
Dr. Lecter: What became of your lamb, Clarice?
Clarice: They killed him.
Dr. Lecter: You still wake up sometimes, don't you? You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the lambs.
Clarice: Yes.
Dr. Lecter: And you think if you save poor Catherine, you could make them stop, don't you? You think if Catherine lives, you won't wake up in the dark ever again to that awful screaming of the lambs.
Clarice: I don't know. I don't know.
Dr. Lecter: Thank you, Clarice. Thank you.
Clarice: Tell me his name, Doctor.
Dr. Lecter: ... Dr. Chilton, I presume. I think you know each other.
Dr. Chilton: Okay. Let's go.
Clarice: It's your turn, Doctor.
Dr. Chilton: Out!
Clarice: Tell me his name!
Boyle: I'm sorry, ma'am. We've got orders. We have to put you on a plane. Come on, now.
[Chilton and the guards start leading Clarice out]
Dr. Lecter: Brave Clarice. You will let me know when those lambs stop screaming, won't you?
Clarice: Tell me his name, Doctor!
Dr. Lecter: Clarice, your case file. Goodbye, Clarice.

Dr. Lecter: First principles, Clarice. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing, ask: What is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?
Clarice: He kills women.
Dr. Lecter: No, that is incidental. What is the first and principal thing he does, what needs does he serve by killing?
Clarice: Anger, social resentment, sexual frustration ...
Dr. Lecter: No, he covets. That's his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer, now.
Clarice: No. We just ...
Dr. Lecter: No. We begin by coveting what we see every day. Don't you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice? And don't your eyes seek out the things you want?

Dr. Lecter: Jack Crawford is helping your career, isn't he? Apparently he likes you, and you like him too.
Clarice: I never thought about it.
Dr. Lecter: Do you think that Jack Crawford wants you sexually? True, he is much older, but do you think he visualizes scenarios, exchanges, ****ing you?
Clarice: That doesn't interest me, Doctor, and frankly, it's ... it's the sort of thing that Miggs would say.
Dr. Lecter: Not anymore.

Dr. Lecter: Now then, tell me. What did Miggs say to you? Multiple Miggs in the next cell. He hissed at you. What did he say?
Clarice: He said, "I can smell your ****."
Dr. Lecter: I see. I, myself, cannot. You use Evian skin cream, and sometimes you wear L'Air du Temps ... but not today.