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Hannibal Lecter FAQ v1.3 (Modified 1/10/98)

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Archive-name: movies/hannibal-lecter
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                         Frequently Asked Questions

   * Tell me about this FAQ.
   * What Is This FAQ?
   * What Isn't This FAQ?
   * Is Hannibal Lecter Real?
   * Is There Really an "Anthrax Island"?
   * What Do The Newspapers Say?
   * Will There Be a Sequel to Silence of the Lambs?
   * Was Lecter in Any Other Books or Movies?
   * What other movies have a lot of Lambs actors?
   * Why is it ironic that Jodie Foster should be in a serial killer movie?
   * What Lecter/Lambs-related products are there?
   * What Hannibal Lecter/Anthony Hopkins/Thomas Harris Resources Are There
     on the Net?
   * What's that cool music that Buffallo Bill dances to?
   * What's that cool music that Lecter kills to?
   * What's that cool music that ********* ?
   * What awards did Silence of the Lambs win?
   * What actors were the first choices for Silence of the Lambs?
   * How can you like a murderer?
   * Why do you devote all this time and energy to Lecter?
   * Why do you like Lecter?
   * Who can I go to if I want to ask an infrequently asked question?


About the FAQ

This FAQ is maintained by The Hannibal Lecter Homepage

The text version may be found at
The html version may be found at

What this FAQ is:

   * An attempt to put answer oft-asked questions.


What this FAQ is not:

   * An attempt to lessen my email. I'm a nerd who lives on the net, and
     being recognized as the world's expert on anything gives me a much
     needed ego boost.
   * A way for me not to have to answer stupid questions: I love answering
     email, and besides, there are no stupid questions... (Well, maybe "You
     inherit five million dollars the same day aliens land on the earth and
     say they're gonna blow it up in two days. What do you do?")
   * Part of my conspiracy to take over the world.. (actually, it is.)
   * The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.


Is Hannibal Lecter Real?

     "If Mighty Mouse and Hannibal Lecter got in a fight, who do you
     think would win?"
     "What are you, stupid? Mighty Mouse is a cartoon. Lecter is a
     real guy!"

Of all the frequently asked questions, this question is the most frequent.
Not a week goes by that I'm not asked about the fictional nature of Lecter.
And sadly, it is my duty to say that Hannibal Lecter is only the creation
of Thomas Harris.

There's hope, though. Although fictional, Lecter does combine qualities
that have been found in other serial killers. Ted Bundy was a well educated
law student serial killer who had a lot of charisma. Cannibalism is
relatively common among serial killers, and while most cannibals prefer
their dinners raw, there have been cases of killers enjoying specially
cooked meals.

What Lecter was to serial murderers, the Unabomber was to serial bombers.
Intelligent, insightful, with Lecter's same flair for in-jokes and hidden
meanings. Of course the Unabomber was more anal than Lecter, but then
bombers are more anal than murderers, so I think it works out.

Every time I have to break it to someone that Lecter is indeed fictional,
I'm always concerned that they might be embarassed at having believed him
to real. But there really is no reason to feel stupid. It's an easy
mistake, and I know that I, by refering to Lecter as real person through
the page, only help to confuse people.

But don't think you're the only one who's been through this. Former Vice
President Dan "Mr. Potato Head" Quayle never could figure out the
difference between fact and fiction. After insulting Murphy Brown, he sent
her baby a toy. The studio donated the stuffed animal to Toys for Tots "so
that a real child could enjoy it".


Is there really an "Anthrax Island" ?

Yes! Plum Island Animal Disease Research Center, of the USDA's Agricultural
Research Service, is home to such fasinating Foot and Mouth Disease
Research Unit, the African Swine Fever Research Unit, and lastly, the
Molecular Pathology Research Unit.

Plum Island has all sorts of gnarly diseases stored there, because the
goverment deems them too deadly to be studied on the mainland. You might
have read about Plum Island in 1996 when researchers there made a big leap
towards an African Swine Fever vaccine.

Plum Island is also home to a wild life refuge, and is noted for, among
other things, its vast diversity of bird species.


What Do Those Newspapers Say?

There is a scene in Lambs where Clarice is in a library reading mircofiche
news articles about Lecter. The first two articles have only headlines
legible, "Balitmore Psychiatrist Recieves Highest Honor", followed by a
later article entitled "Reknown Psychiatrist Charged in Murder." The last
article has a fair portion of readable text:

                     "New Horrors in "Cannibal Trial"

 The Doctor of Death cooked his victims for gourmet meals, then served them
                              to his friends.
            Ron Boz of city council among those at dinner table

At the trial of "Hannibal the Cannibal," more horrifying details of the
doctor's crimes were made publich, as well as the AMA's official expulsion
document. As it was read, victims' families cheered. Judge Dextor, who has
presided over a courtroom that has sometimes tured into a carnival of
hatred and gore, ordered the families removed. Afterwards, Lecter was
dispatched ---


Are any other Silence of the Lambs places real?

Clarice offers Lecter a transfer to the VA hospital at Oneida Park,

Later, Chilton offers Lecter a transfer to the Brushy Mountain State
Penitentary in Tennessee. This is a real maximum security prison with a
homepage at .


Will There Be a Sequel to The Silence of the Lambs?

Firstly, the only person who knows this for sure is Thomas Harris, and he
could always have a stroke or be eaten by a lion or something, so until
it's on the shelves, the answer is "I don't know" .

Now that we've got things out of the way, supposedly, Thomas Harris IS
working on a new Lecter book. I first heard that in 95, so who knows when
the book will be done. Harris does average 7 years to write a book, though
(Not exactly Stephen King, is he?).

As to what will be in it, who can say? I'd imagine that it'd start with
Lecter's attacking Chilton, and Lecter might even be the main killer in it.

According to some unconfirmed sources, Harris's new book will be entitled
"Morbidity of the Soul", and it will involve Lecter contacting Starling and
asking for help (protection?) with "an old enemy". The name Morbidity of
Soul is pretty common and I've heard it several different places, and it
DOES fit the Harris's title style. I do believe any new book would indeed
involve Lecter contacting Starling, but I simply cannot believe that he
would need to ask for help.

Then there's the real question: will there be another movie? I'm pretty
sure that a book is in the works, but I really have no idea if another
full-scale movie would be made out of it. In a July 97 interview with Larry
King, Jodie Foster all but signed a contract saying she'd be involved if a
new movie was in the works.

Ultimately, when asked if there will be a sequel, I have to answer "I don't


Was Lecter in Any Other Books or Movies

Yes. Hannibal Lecter first appeared in Thomas Harris's book Red Dragon.
Similar in plot to Silence, Lecter is consulted by the FBI, which is trying
to capture a rampant serial killer. Lecter's role is smaller, but he does
confront Will Graham, who originally captured him. Again, Lecter's big
theme is that Graham was able to capture him because Graham could identify
with Lecter, not quantify him.

The book was later turned into a called Manhunter. In it, Lecter is played
not by Anthony Hopkins, but by Brian Cox, who I understand is quite good.
Frankie Faison, who plays Barney in Lambs, is a police officer in
Manhunter. Additionally, Dan Butler, Lamb's great entomology nerd Roden,
was an FBI fingerprint expert in Manhunter.

You may have noticed that I haven't mentioned this movie much in the page.
Well, that's because the embarassing truth is that I haven't been able to
actually get my hands on a copy of the movie. I suppose I'll have to end up
ordering it, but I'm a poor pauper of a man. Anyone wishing to send me a
copy will have my eternal love and devotion.

What Other Movies were the Actors In?

(Clarice) Jodie Foster

"Lecter" / Anthony Hopkins

Hopkins has been pretty much everywhere after Lambs. After playing Lecter,
he went on to such characters of questionable sanity such as Professor Van
Helsing, C.S. Lewis, Richard Nixon, Picasso, and in '98, Zorro!
A list of all the Hopkins films is at

(Crawford) Scott Glenn

(Barney) Frankie Faison

Faison played Lt. Fisk in the original Lecter movie, Manhunter. His films
list may be found at


"Lt. Boyle" / Charles Napier

Napier is probably one of the more well known of movie policmen. He has
played either a police officer, military officer, or corrections officer in
over 30 movies during the past two decades. Of note, he recently played a
cop under the influence of sociopath Jim Carey in 1996's The Cable Guy (a
film which also featured Lambs references and the actress who played
Senator Martin) .
A complete list of Napier's films can be found at

"Senator Martin" / Diane Baker

Baker, for those of you Mystery Science fans, was Jenny back in the old
film Journey to the Center of the Earth . After Lambs, Baker got that
mother role down, going on to The Joy Luck Club, becoming the senile mother
from The Net, and then, interestingly, playing Mathew Broderick's mother in
The Cable Guy.
A complete list of her films can be found at


What Other Movies Have Tons of Lambs Actors?

     Married to the Mob

Jonathan Demme's film prior to Lamb, the film has eight actors that were
also in Lambs-- among them, the actors who played Lt. Boyle, Pilcher,
Lamar, and Dr. Akin.


After Lambs, Demme went on to do that happy little film Philadelphia--
which features a full _18_ actors who were also in Lambs, including Lt.
Boyle, Pilcher, Lamar, Dr. Akin, and even Q. Lazarus!

     The Cable Guy

Not only does Jim Carey put chicken skin on his face and do Lecter
impressions in this film, but both Lt. Boyle and Senator Martin have quite
large roles.


Why is It Interesting That Jodie Foster Should Be in a Serial Killer Movie?

In case you were in a coma during the early 80s (and weren't we all), Jodie
Foster's first real film was Taxi Driver, in which Robert De Niro goes
nuts, stalks a politican, and ends up shooting people. It was a very
popular movie, and a lot of people saw it, including John Hinkley, who
became obsessed with Jodie Foster, and ended up shooting Reagan in an
attempt to impress her.

There is a fair amount of irony in the fact that Jodie Foster should play
the role of an FBI agent who tracks down a serial killer, since she kinda
owes the country one. Of course, even braver of Foster was when she
appeared on The X-Files, playing the voice inside an insane man's head.


What Lecter/Lambs-related products are there?

Movie Poster
Books: Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs
Lecter "Charicature-Style" figure from Attack of the Clay People, PO Box
193, Streamwood IL, 60107
"Lecter on Cart" model kit from Monsters in Motion,
"Lecter & Boyle" model kit from Killer Kits, 47 Hungerford Rd. Crewe
Cheshire CW1 5EQ England. Tel: 44 01270 587754


What Hannibal Lecter / Anthony Hopkins / Thomas Harris Resources Are There
on the Net?

There's only one: The Hannibal Lecter Homepage

You may also have heard about there being a marvelous page called The
Anthony Hopkins Homepage
( or perhaps someone
told you that there's also a Thomas Harris Homepage
( Well, don't
listen to them, they're lying. There's no such page by those names. So to
even bother click on the links to them.

Really, The Hannibal Lecter Homepage (
is the only page that is even remotely applicable.

... ... ... You're not buying it are you??

Okay, actually, there's TONS of stuff about Lecter on the net. And rather
than copy down the list, I refer you to The Hannibal Lecter Homepage's
"Links Section" at


What mistakes are there in Silence of the Lambs?

Crawford comments that Starling graduated from UVA with a double major in
Psych and Criminology.. UVA has never offered a major in Criminology.

The examination of the West Virginia body perportedly violates many
forensic procedures. For example, they fail to remove the grit under the
fingernails before fingerprinting the body.

In Fredrica's room, Clarice opens a music box, slowing down the playback
speed. The notes become deeper in pitch as would happen if you slowed down
a record player, but since a music box relies on vibrating pieces of metal
to produce sound, the music would slow only in tempo-- not deepen in pitch.

In Jame Gumb's cellar, hinges switch which side of the door they are on.


Where can I find this picture/sound/music/movie from Silence of the Lambs

Every picture, sound, music, and movie I know of is indexed at the Hannibal
Lecter Gallery,


What's that cool music Buffallo Bill dances to?

The song is Goodbye Horses, by the German band Q. Lazarus. The lyrics to
the song are:

                        You told me, I see you rise
                            But, it always falls
                        I see you come, I see you go
                 You say, "All things pass into the night"
               And I say, "Oh no sir I must say you're wrong
            I must disagree, oh no sir, I must say you're wrong"
                          Won't you listen to me

                    You told me, I've seen it all before
                 Been there, I've seen my hopes and dreams
                           A lying on the ground

                    I've seen the sky just begin to fall
               And you say, "All things pass into the night"
              And I say, "Oh no sir, I must say you're wrong
            I must disagree, oh no sir, I must say you're wrong"
                           Won't you listen to me

                    Good-bye horses I'm lying over you
                    Good-bye horses I'm lying over you

   Q. Lazzarus also played an obscure, uncredited song "Heaven" which was
                  feature in the 1994 movie Phildelphia.


What's that cool music that Lecter kills to?

Lecter slaughters Lt. Boyle and Sgt. Pembrey while Bach's Goldberg
Variations plays in the background.

Information about the Goldberg Variations, as well as a midi recording,
maybe be found at


What's that cool music that ____________________ ?

The Silence of the Lambs soundtrack contain the following songs:

   * "American Girl"
     Performed by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
     Written by T. Petty
     Courtesy of Gone Gator Records

   * "Alone"
     Performed by Colin Newman
     Written by C. Newman, G. Lewis
     Courtesy of Beggars Banquet Records Limited

   * "Sunny Day"
     Performed by Book of Love
     Written by T. Ottaviano
     Courtesy of Sire Records
     By arrangement with Warner Special Products

   * "Real Men"
     Performed by Savage Republic
     Written by B. Licher, M. Erskine, J. Long
     Courtesy of Independent Project Records

   * "Goldberg Variations"
     Performed by Jerry Zimmerman
     Written by J.S. Bach

   * "Goodbye Horses"
     Performed by Q. Lazzarus
     Written by W. Garvey

   * "Hip Priest"
     Performed by The Fall
     Written by M.E. Smith, M. Riley, S. Hanley, C. Scanlon, P. Hanley
     Courtesy of Situation Two / Beggars Banquet Records Limited

   * "Lanmo Nan Ziie A"
     Performed and Written by Les Freses Parents

The Silence of the Lambs soundtrack information may be ordered at

What awards did Silence of the Lambs win?

Silence of the Lambs won the Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actor
(Hopkins), Best Actress (Foster), Best Director (Demme), and Best
Screenplay Adapted from Other Medium (Tally). The only other film to
recieve these awards is One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (at least if i
understood the Final Jeopardy question right).

And let's not forget that shortly after the release of Silence of the
Lambs, Anthony Hopkins became Sir Anthony Hopkins-- is that an award or
what? And all for playing a canibalistic serial killer.


What actors were the first choices for Silence of the Lambs?

Believe it or not, Jodie Foster wasn't the first pick for Clarice
Starling-- Michele Pfeiffer was! (gag)

More believable is that for the role of Hannibal Lecter, Anthony Hopkins
replaced veteran supervillian Gene Hackman.

Looking back, I can't think of a single actor who should have been replaced
in the movie. Maybe Hackman could have done a decent Lecter, but certainly
not the same one we all know and love. And Pfeiffer as West Virginia
Refugee Starling??? Come on!

You're sick! How can you like a murderer

I've always been a bit concerned about offending someone whose family,
friends, or self has been the victim of violent crime, and recently I've
gotten mail from a couple fitting that qualification.

How can I like a serial killer?? Simple: He's a really cool serial killer.
He's intelligent, insightful, and just. Unlike real life serial killers,
Lecter's victims pretty much deserve it. The police he kills only because
he's trying to escape. He talks of killing Chilton, who somewhat tortured
Lecter. And let's face it: who wouldn't want to kill a census taker every
now and then.


Why do you devote all this time to a fictional killer??

Why do I do it? Oh, that's easy to explain. It's because.. because.. I like


So why do you like Lecter?

First of all, we all have an evil side. So, on the one hand, anyone who'd
enjoy the anything from The Crow to Rocky Horror would like Lecter. Anyone
who is addicted to true crime or murder novels would love Lecter. And
anyone who's pure counter culture or just being a non-conformist just like
all the non-conformists would probably dig him.

Unfortunately, I am not really any of the the above. I guess I like Lecter
because-- if I were going to be a serial killer, that's probably who I'd
be. Let's face it: Lecter's a nerd.


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