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Tear Jerker / The Silence of the Lambs

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  • Clarice's backstory.
  • Catherine's captivity by Buffalo Bill. Made all the worse by the fact that the film takes great pains to make her a sympathetic character who the audience desperately wants to see saved. The worst scene is probably her desperately sobbing and begging Gumb to let her go, saying that she wants to go home and see her mother again.
  • Everything related to Bella in the book is a tearjerker, but especially her death. After Bella dies, Crawford simply holds her for a while then dresses Bella in her favorite bed gown. And then:
    Crawford tried going into the next room—he still could turn when he wanted to and see her through the open door, composed in the warm light of the bedside lamp. He was waiting for her body to become a ceremonial object apart from him, separate from the person he had held upon the bed and separate from the life's companion he had held now in his mind. So he could call them to come for her.
    His empty hands hanging palms forward at his sides, he stood at the window looking to the empty east. He did not look for dawn; east was only the way the window faced.
    • His last words to her also count. Bella wakes up one last time and Crawford stays by her side even though she might not even be aware of him or be able to hear him. Crawford makes sure to let her know how much she is loved and that he is there for her till the end.
      Crawford: Bella, I love you, kid.
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  • In the film, there's the moment after Clarice's first meeting with Lecter, where she was mentally picked apart by Lecter and sexually assaulted by Miggs. At first Clarice stoically walks out of the building to her car. As she does, she has a flashback to a happier time in her childhood of her father coming home from work. When the flashback ends, the scene cuts back to Clarice in the present standing next to her car and sobbing. Made even sadder by the fact that crying in the privacy of a car is apparently something common among real life FBI agents as a way to cope with the stress of their jobs, as Jodie Foster learned while researching her role.

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