The Silence of the Lambs is a 1991 American horror-thriller film directed by Jonathan Demme and starring Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, and Scott Glenn. It was adapted by Ted Tally from Thomas Harris's 1988 novel of the same name. The novel was Harris's second to feature the character of Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer. The film was the second adaptation of a Harris novel to feature Lecter, preceded by the Michael Mann-directed Manhunter in 1986. In the film, Clarice Starling, a young U.S. FBI trainee, seeks the advice of the imprisoned Dr. Lecter to apprehend another serial killer, known only as "Buffalo Bill".
The Silence of the Lambs was released on February 14, 1991, and grossed $272.7 million worldwide against its $19 million budget. It was only the third film, the other two being It Happened One Night and One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, to win Academy Awards in all the top five categories: Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Director, and Adapted Screenplay. It is also the first (and so far only) Best Picture winner widely considered to be a horror film, and only the third such film to be nominated in the category, after The Exorcist in 1973 and Jaws in 1975. The film is considered "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant by the U.S. Library of Congress and was selected to be preserved in the National Film Registry in 2011. A sequel titled Hannibal was released in 2001, in which Hopkins reprised his role. It was followed by two prequels: Red Dragon (2002) and Hannibal Rising (2007).