Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy 20th Anniversary, SILENCE OF THE LAMBS

It's true, 20 years ago on Valentine's Day, 1991, a little movie called THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS went into wide release in the U.S.

The film's ostensible star was Jodie Foster, but it was Welsh actor Anthony Hopkins (who had been working regularly for over 30 years but was still far from a household name) that fascinated and captivated audiences with his enthralling portrayal of Dr. Hannibal Lecter. While author Thomas Harris' character had been brought to the screen back in 1986 in fine form by Brian Cox in Michael Mann's MANHUNTER (based on Harris' novel RED DRAGON), director Jonathan Demme and screenwriter Ted Tally realized the potential that existed for Lecter, giving Hopkins the showcase he and the character deserved.

The film did huge box office business and would later go on to become the third film in history to win the quadruple crown of Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor and Best Actress at the 1992 Oscars, a feat all the more amazing when one realizes that the Academy was honoring a film that had been released over a year prior to the ceremony.

So, as you celebrate with your loved one today, raise a glass of chianti to one of the finest moments of counterprogramming on record (right up there with releasing THE EXORCIST on Christmas Day, 1973)!

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