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Funny / The Silence of the Lambs

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  • "Precious? Are you up there you little shit?" [trying desperately to make a kissy-face]
  • Of the darkly comic variety, the wit of Hannibal Lecter:
    • His gleeful assessment of Chilton: "Gruesome, isn't he? He fumbles at your head, like a freshman pulling at a panty girdle."
    • When Clarice questions him about one of his former patients.
      Starling: If you didn't kill him, then who did, sir?
      Lecter: Who can say? Best thing for him, really. His therapy was going nowhere.
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    • "Oh, and senator just one more thing! [beat] Love your suit."
    • "I'm having an old friend for dinner."
    • And earlier, when questioned about feeding Raspail to his dinner guests. "Haven't you had company coming and no time to shop? You have to make do with what's in the fridge." Literal Fridge Horror, there.
    • In the film, Lecter gives the Senator Bill's name as "Louis Friend," which Clarice figures out is an anagram for Iron Sulfide, or Fool's Gold. In the book, the name he gives is Billy Rubin. It's revealed later in the book that "bilirubin" is a pigment produced in the bile ducts, and gives shit its colour. It's also the colour of Chilton's hair. Hand it to Lecter to go to the most roundabout possible way of calling Chilton a shithead.
  • Near the end of the film, after Clarice tells Catherine she's safe, then runs off to find Buffalo Bill.
    Starling: Where is he?
    Catherine: How the fuck should I know?
    (Starling looks over the rim of the hole, then backs away to keep looking for Bill)
    Catherine: Don't you leave me here, you fuckin' bitch! NOOOOOO!
    • Mood Whiplash, though, as Catherine's fear and exhaustion creep back into her voice.
  • When Starling brings the moth cocoon to the Smithsonian in the film, Dr. Pilcher gets comfortable quickly.
    Pilcher: What do you do when you're not detecting, Agent Starling?
    Starling: I try to be a student, Dr. Pilcher.
    Pilcher: Ever go out for cheeseburgers and beer? Or the amusing house wine?
    Starling: (coquettishly) Are you hitting on me, Doctor?
    Pilcher: Yes.
    • Added bonus: at the end of the novel, Clarice and Pilcher actually do hook up!
  • From the novel:
    Jack Crawford: You think nuts don't apply to the FBI? We get 'em all the time. A man in a Moe hairpiece applied in St. Louis last week. He had a bazooka, two rockets, and a bearskin shako in his golf bag.
    Dr. Danielson: Did you hire him?
  • In the book, Clarice has a scene with Barney, where they discuss Lecter just before Clarice takes the doctor's drawings. Barney gets a good line in before they part ways.
    When you get Buffalo Bill, don't bring him to me just because I've got an opening, okay?
  • Also in the book, upon the discovery of the body in the storage, Lecter is questioned by the senior officer of Baltimore County. His response?
    He had refused to speak, but responded by folding for them an origami chicken that pecked when the tail was manipulated up and down. The senior officer, furious, had crushed the chicken in the lobby ashtray as he gestured for Starling to go in.
  • In the film, when Starling rings Buffalo Bill's bell and he stumbles upstairs, muttering, "All right! I'm coming!" There's something vaguely amusing about seeing this psycho just as annoyed as anyone else about an incessant knock at the door.
    • Gumb's attempt at acting casual zooms quickly into Acting Unnatural when asked about Catherine.
    Jame Gumb: ...oh wait. Was she a great big fat person?
    Clarice: [beat] Yes, she was a big girl, sir.


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