It’s been nearly fifteen years since audiences were (re)introduced to serial killer and cannibal, Dr. Hannibal Lecter. Before Anthony Hopkins immortalized the role into pop culture legend, Brian Cox took on the part in Michael Mann‘s “Manhunter” in 1986, but neither that performance or film came close to the massive success of “The Silence Of The Lambs.” And while it went on to win five Oscars—sweeping the top categories—it pays to be reminded that from the outset, expectations had been quite low about ‘Lambs’ overall.
The in-depth documentary “Inside Story: The Silence Of The Lambs” digs deep into the making of the movie that originally hit theatres on Valentine’s Day in 1991 (hardly your prime Oscar contending slot). And this 90-minute look is packed with details, including nuggets like Gene Hackman originally bought the rights to the novel by Thomas Harris, intending to take the lead and direct; there was a general nervousness from many involved about Jonathan Demme directing since he had primarily be known for comedies until then; Demme himself was uncertain about Jodie Foster in the lead role; and folks like Sean Connery, Jack Nicholson and Dustin Hoffman were tossed about for the lead role before Anthony Hopkins came on board.
In short, it’s the story about how an unlikely group of players took a paperbook airplane thriller and made movie magic out of it. It’s fascinating stuff, featuring the participation of pretty much every key player, so watch below. [Make Film Teach Film]