You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste. Good nutrition has given you some length of bone, but you're not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent Starling? And that accent you've tried so desperately to shed? Pure West Virginia. What's your father, dear? Is he a coal miner? Does he stink of the lamb? You know how quickly the boys found you... all those tedious sticky fumblings in the back seats of cars... while you could only dream of getting out... getting anywhere... getting all the way to the FBI.

Hannibal Lecter

annibal Lecter: First principles, Clarice. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?
Clarice Starling: He kills women...
Hannibal Lecter: No! That is incidental. What is the first and principal thing he does, what need does he serve by killing?
Clarice Starling: Anger, social resentment, sexual frustration...
Hannibal Lecter: No, he covets. That's his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer.
Clarice Starling: No. We just...
Hannibal Lecter: No. Precisely. We begin by coveting what we see every day. Don't you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice? And don't your eyes move over the things you want?

Clarice Starling: Did you do those drawings, Doctor?
Hannibal Lecter: Ah. That is the Duomo scene from the Belvedere. You know Florence?
Clarice Starling: All that detail just from memory?
Hannibal Lecter: Memory, Agent Starling, is what I have instead of a view.

A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.

Hannibal Lecter

Clarice Starling: Where are you, Dr. Lecter?
Hannibal Lecter: I've no plans to call on you, Clarice. The world is more interesting with you in it.

[to Hannibal Lecter] Your anagrams are showing, Doctor. Louis Friend? Iron sulfide, also known as fool's gold.

Clarice Starling

Hannibal Lecter: You still wake up sometimes, don't you? You wake up in the dark and hear the screaming of the lambs.
Clarice Starling: Yes.
Hannibal Lecter: And you think if you save poor Catherine, you could make them stop, don't you? You think if Catherine lives, you won't wake up in the dark ever again to that awful screaming of the lambs.

Hannibal Lecter: Why do you think he removes their skins, Agent Starling?
[sarcastically]
Hannibal Lecter: Enthrall me with your acumen.
Clarice Starling: It excites him. Most serial killers keep some sort of trophies from their victims.
Hannibal Lecter: I didn't.
Clarice Starling: No. No, you ate yours.

All good things to those who wait.

Hannibal Lecter

People will say we're in love.

Hannibal Lecter

Hannibal Lecter: Advancement, of course. Listen carefully. Look deep within yourself, Clarice Starling. Go seek out Miss Mofet, an old patient of mine. M-o-f-e-t. Go now, I don't think Miggs could manage again quite so soon, even though he is crazy.
[shouting]
Hannibal Lecter: Go now!

Clarice Starling: [Hannibal Lecter has escaped] He won't come after me.
Ardelia Mapp: Oh really. How do you know?
Clarice Starling: He won't. I can't explain it... he - he would consider that rude.

The Silence of the Lambs won four Oscars, including Best Picture and made a pop culture icon out of Hannibal Lecter.

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The Silence of the Lambs Quotes

Hannibal Lecter: Now then, tell me. What did Miggs say to you? Multiple Miggs in the next cell. He hissed at you. What did he say?
Clarice Starling: He said, "I can smell your cunt."
Hannibal Lecter: I see. I myself cannot. You use Evian skin cream, and sometimes you wear L'Air du Temps, but not today.

annibal Lecter: First principles, Clarice. Read Marcus Aurelius. Of each particular thing ask: what is it in itself? What is its nature? What does he do, this man you seek?
Clarice Starling: He kills women...
Hannibal Lecter: No! That is incidental. What is the first and principal thing he does, what need does he serve by killing?
Clarice Starling: Anger, social resentment, sexual frustration...
Hannibal Lecter: No, he covets. That's his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer.
Clarice Starling: No. We just...
Hannibal Lecter: No. Precisely. We begin by coveting what we see every day. Don't you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice? And don't your eyes move over the things you want?