Note: This is the overall critique. For scene by scene critique click here
Note: This is the synthesis. See scene by scene analysis here
|Plot||8.8||97||A Quiet Place: 8.7||Silence of the lambs: 8.8|
|Structure||8.69||96||John wick: 8.66||Silence of the lambs: 8.69|
|Story Forward||8.8||95||Squid Game: 8.7||Silence of the lambs: 8.8|
|Formatting||9.31||94||Suits: 9.26||Silence of the lambs: 9.31|
|High Stakes||8.9||90||The matrix: 8.8||Silence of the lambs: 8.9|
|Overall||8.6||90||Birdman: 8.5||Titanic: 8.6|
|External Goal||8.44||89||Suits: 8.41||Silence of the lambs: 8.44|
|Internal Goal||8.34||81||Suits: 8.33||Silence of the lambs: 8.34|
|Conflict Level||8.5||81||Everything Everywhere All at Once: 8.2||Avatar: 8.5|
|Engagement||8.78||80||Back to the future: 8.77||Silence of the lambs: 8.78|
|Character Changes||6.5||73||Breaking bad, episode 306: 6.4||Dr. Jekyll and Mr Hyde : 6.5|
|Emotional Impact||7.7||72||Mr Robot: 7.6||sense 8: 7.7|
|Originality||6.84||61||John wick: 6.75||Silence of the lambs: 6.84|
|Pacing||8.44||56||Breaking bad, episode 306: 8.43||Silence of the lambs: 8.44|
|Concept||7.8||51||Stranger things: 7.7||Get Out: 7.8|
|Characters||8.1||40||Narcos: 8.0||Everything everywhere all at once: 8.1|
|Dialogue||7.4||30||The sweet hereafter: 7.3||the dark knight rises: 7.4|
|Story Content||Character Development||Scene Elements||Audience Engagement||Technical Aspects|
|Scene Number||Full Analysis||Tone||Overall Grade||Concept||Plot||Originality Score||Characters||Character Changes||Internal Goal||External Goal||Conflict||Opposition||High stakes||Story forward||Twist||Emotional Impact||Dialogue||Engagement||Pacing||Formatting||Structure|
|3||Interview at the Asylum||"Tense"||8||7||8||8||9||5||8||9||8||0||9||8||0||6||7||9||8||10||9|
|4||Clarice Interviews Dr. Hannibal Lecter||"Tense"||8||7||9||8||8||6||8||9||9||0||7||8||0||8||9||9||7||9||8|
|5||Confrontation and Reflection||"Tense, emotional"||8||7||8||6||9||7||9||8||9||0||7||8||0||8||7||7||9||10||8|
|7||Investigating the Storage Unit||"Tense"||9||8||9||6||7||5||8||9||8||0||7||9||0||6||8||9||8||8||7|
|8||Gruesome Discovery||"Dark, Suspenseful"||9||7||9||6||8||8||9||8||9||0||10||9||0||8||6||8||9||9||8|
|9||Negotiations and Revelations||"Tense"||9||8||9||9||10||9||8||8||9||0||10||9||0||8||8||9||8||10||9|
|11||Preparation and Revelation||"Dark, Suspenseful"||9||8||9||7||8||6||8||9||6||0||9||9||0||8||7||9||8||9||8|
|13||Arrival at the Funeral Home||"Tense"||7.5||7||8||4||7||5||8||7||6||0||6||7||0||6||7||8||8||9||8|
|14||Investigating the New Victim||"Suspenseful"||8||8||9||5||7||5||8||8||7||0||8||9||0||6||6||8||8||9||9|
|15||Investigating the Funeral Home||"Intense"||9||8||9||6||7||6||9||8||9||0||10||9||0||9||6||9||8||10||9|
|16||Investigating the Victim||"Tense"||9||8||9||0||8||6||0||0||9||0||10||10||0||8||7||0||0||0||0|
|17||Investigating the Victim||"Suspenseful"||9||8||9||8||7||6||9||9||8||0||10||9||0||7||6||8||9||10||10|
|18||Investigating the Victim||"Suspenseful"||8||7||9||6||8||6||8||8||8||0||8||9||0||7||8||9||8||10||9|
|19||Negotiating with Lecter||"Tense"||9||8||9||8||10||9||9||8||8||0||9||9||0||9||10||9||9||9||8|
|20||Investigating the Victim||"Tense"||9||8||9||9||8||6||10||8||8||0||8||10||0||7||9||10||10||10||10|
|21||Negotiations and Betrayal||"Intense"||9||8||9||10||10||8||9||8||9||0||9||9||0||8||9||10||7||9||8|
|22||Negotiations and Ultimatums||"Intense"||9||8||9||6||10||7||9||9||9||0||10||9||0||8||9||9||8||8||8|
|24||Transfer to Memphis||""||8||8||7||6||5||3||8||9||5||0||7||7||0||6||6||7||8||9||8|
|25||Desperation in the Basement||"Suspenseful"||8||7||9||0||8||5||0||0||9||0||9||8||0||7||6||0||0||0||0|
|26||Confrontation and Consequences||"tense"||8||7||8||0||8||7||0||0||9||0||8||8||0||7||7||0||0||0||0|
|28||The Little Girl||"Tense, Psychological"||9||9||8||0||10||8||0||0||7||0||7||7||0||9||9||0||0||0||0|
|30||Confrontation in the Cell||"Tense"||8||8||9||6||8||8||8||9||9||0||10||9||0||9||7||10||9||9||8|
|31||Escape and Confrontation||"Suspenseful"||8||7||9||6||8||7||8||9||9||0||10||9||0||8||6||9||9||9||8|
|32||Confrontation and Escape||"Intense"||9||8||9||7||8||6||9||8||9||0||10||10||0||8||7||9||8||10||9|
|33||Escape and Revelation||"Tense"||8||7||9||5||8||7||8||9||9||0||9||9||0||8||7||9||10||9||10|
|35||Suspension and Departure||"Tense"||9||8||9||8||9||9||8||9||9||0||10||9||0||9||8||9||9||8||8|
|36||Confrontation and Revelation||"Tense"||9||8||9||0||9||8||0||0||10||0||10||9||0||9||8||0||0||0||0|
|37||Clarice Discovers the Killer's Secret||"Suspenseful"||9||8||9||7||7||7||9||9||9||0||10||9||0||7||6||10||9||10||10|
|38||On the Hunt||"Suspenseful"||8||9||8||8||7||6||9||7||9||0||10||8||0||7||7||8||9||10||10|
|40||Confrontation at Mr. Gumb's House||"Suspenseful"||9||8||9||0||7||6||0||0||9||0||9||9||0||8||7||0||0||0||0|
|41||Showdown with Mr. Gumb||"Suspenseful"||9||9||10||0||8||7||0||0||10||0||10||10||0||9||7||0||0||0||0|
|42||Confrontation in the Cellar||"Suspenseful"||9||8||10||0||9||7||0||0||9||0||10||9||0||8||7||0||0||0||0|
|43||Confrontation and Rescue||"Tense, suspenseful"||9||9||9||9||8||7||9||10||9||0||10||9||0||8||7||10||8||9||9|
Based on the novel by
This screenplay has been converted to a PDF file by ScreenTalk™
INT. GRUBBY HOTEL CORRIDOR - DAY (DIMLY LIT)
A woman's face BACKS INTO SHOT, her head resting against
grimy wallpaper. She is tense, sweaty, wide-eyed with
concentration. This is CLARICE STARLING, mid-20's, trim,
very pretty. She wears Kevlar body armor over a navy
windbreaker, khaki pants. Her thick hair is piled under a
navy baseball cap. A revolver, clutched in her right hand,
hovers by her ear. She raises a speedloader, in her left
hand, locks it into her cylinder, twists and reloads.
A guest room door, with a small, wired pack attached to
its knob. Suddenly, wish a sharp CRACK!, the knob
explodes, and the door bursts open.
WITH CLARICE - MOVING SHOT
as she runs around a corner, through a cloud of smoke. She
shoulders aside the shattered door and rushes inside, gun
at the ready in both hands...
INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY
CLARICE'S POV - MOVING - as she first sees, sitting on the
edge of a bed - a FEMALE HOSTAGE. Black, late 20's,
gagged, hands behind her back. Then, SWIVELLING... she
sees a startled MALE SUSPECT, white, mid-20's, standing by
a window with a rifle in his hands. He is turning towards
Clarice drops into a combat crouch, gun extended, and
CLARICE'S POV - SLOW MOTION
all natural SOUND suspended - as the Suspect faces her
with a strange, pleading expression. The rifle is rising
in his hands, but oddly enough, it is held across his
chest, not pointing. Then another puzzling detail
THE SUSPECT'S HANDS
are taped to his gun, away from the trigger; he couldn't
use it even if he tried. Suddenly we hear a metallic
CLICK, which registers with unnatural amplification, as -
Clarice reacts, drops to the floor, rolling sideways, and -
pulls a revolver out from behind her back, still in SLOW
MOTION, raising it in her untied hands. She fires
repeatedly, flames leaping from the muzzle; the SOUND is
an echoing roar in these close quarters, but -
Clarice has come up on one knee, beside an armchair, and
is already firing back herself, two quick SHOTS, which
pitching over the bed, backwards, to shudder and lie still
in a haze of gunsmoke. Clarice rushes to her, clamping one
knee down on her gun hand, still keeping her covered in
case of movement. HOLD for a few beats... then we hear the
shrill blast of a WHISTLE from somewhere, off screen, as
normal ACTION and SOUND are restored.
Okay, people, good exercise...
Clarice relaxes, lowering her gun. The lights brighten.
we see that we're in some sort of auditorium, with the
"hotel room" and its "corridor" built as a training set.
JOHN BRIGHAM walks onto this set, thumbing a stopwatch.
Mid-40's, ex-Marine. His T-shirt's lettering says
"Firearms Instructor / FBI Academy."
Starling's reaction time was
excellent. Let's break. Critique in
A class of about forty young FBI trainees, of both sexes,
begins to rise from their seats, mingling and chatting.
Clarice nods amiably to the "Suspect", then gives her
"Hostage" a hand up. It's ARDELIA MAPP, her roommate. Her
broad, clever face breaks into a big smile, as they both
remove ear plugs. Clarice's voice has just a soft trace of
Damn, Clarice, how'd you make me?
(indicating her gun)
Never cock. Just squeeze.
I love it when you talk dirty.
As Brigham joins them, Clarice can't resist a star pupil's
little smile of pride. He frowns good-naturedly.
What're you laughin' at, Junior G-Man?
She got off four rounds to your two.
He takes out a steel-coiled grip flexer, drops it onto her
One hundred reps, each hand, every
day. Now tidy up, the Section Chief
wants to see you.
He nods a direction, then moves off. Clarice, with her
smile finally fading, looks out into the auditorium.
SPECIAL AGENT JACK CRAWFORD
sits on the top step of the aisle, looking down at her. He
is 53, strongly built. He rises impassively, exits through
the back door. He carries a think manila envelope under
Ardelia who is helping Clarice unbuckle her bullet-proof
vest, follows her worried gaze.
What'd I do?
Stay cool. Just remember to call him
Crawford is watching a group of trainees on the firing
range, as Clarice joins him. He looks tired, haunted.
Between master and student, we sense a subtle, muted tug
Starling, Clarice M., good morning.
Good morning, Mr. Crawford.
Your instructors tell me you're doing
well. Top quarter of the class.
I hope so. They haven't posted
A job's come up and I thought about
you. Not really a job, more of - an
interesting errand. Walk me to my car,
They begin to cross the academy grounds. A group of
trainees jogs by, in matching sweats, following a p.e.
We're trying to interview all of the
serial killers now in custody, for a
psychobehavioral profile. Could be a
big help in unsolved cases. Most of
them have been happy to talk to us.
They have a compulsion to boast, these
people... Do you spook easily,
You see, the one we want most refuses
to cooperate. I want you to go after
him again today, in the asylum.
Who's the subject?
The psychiatrist - Dr. Hannibal Lecter.
Clarice stops walking, goes very still. A beat.
Crawford doesn't respond, except to study her face.
Yes, well... Okay, right. I'm glad for
the chance, sir, but - why me?
You're qualified and available. And
frankly, I can't spare a real agent
He walks on again, at a faster clip. She hurried to keep
I don't expect him to talk to you, but
I have to be able to say we tried...
Lecter was a brilliant psychiatrist,
and he knows all the dodges.
(hands her the manila
Dossier on him, copy of our
questionnaire, special ID for you...
If he won't talk, then I want straight
reporting. How's he look, how's his
cell look, what's he writing? The
Director himself will see your report,
over your own signature - if I decide
it's good enough. I want that by 0800
Wednesday, and keep this to yourself.
They're reached his car. His driver stamps on a cigarette,
climbs in behind the wheel. BURROUGHS, his assistant, says
something into a walkie-talkie, then opens the back door.
But Crawford pulls her aside, a hand on her shoulder. His
intensity is scary.
Now. I want your full attention,
Starling. Are you listening to me?
Be very careful with Hannibal Lecter.
Dr. Chilton at the asylum will go over
the physical procedures used with him.
Do not deviate from them, for any
reason. You tell him nothing personal,
Starling. Believe me, you don't want
Hannibal Lecter inside your head...
Just do your job, but never forget
what he is.
(a bit unnerved)
And what is that, sir?
Oh, he's a monster. A pure
INT. CHILTON'S OFFICE - BALTIMORE STATE HOSPITAL FOR THE
CRIMINALLY INSANE - DAY
CLOSE ON an ID card held in a male hand. Clarice's photo,
official-looking graphics. It calls her a "Federal
It's so rare to capture one alive.
From a research point of view, Dr.
Lecter is our most prized asset...
DR. FREDERICK CHILTON looks up from her card. A smarmy
little peacock, behind a vast desk; he's conceived an
instant, hopeless letch for Clarice. He smiles, stroking
her card with his beloved gold pen.
You know, we get a lot of detectives
here, but I must say, I can't ever
remember one so attractive...
NEW ANGLE - REVEALS CLARICE
now wearing a more feminine skirt suit. Hair neatly
coiled, elegant shoulder bag, briefcase. He has rudely
left her standing.
Will you be in Baltimore overnight...?
Because this can be quite a fun town,
if you have the right guide.
Clarice tires, unsuccessfully, to hide her distaste for
I'm sure it's a great town, Dr.
Chilton, but my instructions are to
talk to Lecter and report back this
Let's make this quick, then. I'm busy.
Clarice flinches as a heavy steel gate CLANGS shut behind
her, the bolt shooting home. Chilton walks ahead of her.
Lecter carved up nine people - that
we're sure of - and cooked his
favorite bits. We've tried to study
him, of course - but he's much too
sophisticated for the standard tests.
And my, does he hate us! Thinks I'm
his nemesis... Crawford's very clever,
isn't he? Using you.
How do you mean, Dr. Chilton?
A pretty young woman, to turn him on?
I don't believe Lecter's ever seen a
woman in eight years. And oh, are you
ever his "taste" - so to speak.
I graduated magna from UVA, Doctor.
It's not a charm school.
Good. Then you should be able to
remember the rules.
INT. DIFFERENT CORRIDOR - LOWER FLOOR - DAY
A darker, even grimmer area. Heavy grids over the lights.
Distant SLAMMINGS and faint, hoarse SHOUTS. They walk
Do not reach through the bars, do not
touch the bars. You pass him nothing
but soft paper - no pens or pencils.
No staples or paperclips in his paper.
Use the sliding food carrier, no
exceptions. Do not accept anything he
attempts to hold out to you. Do you
I'm going to show you why we insist on
such precautions... On the afternoon
of July 8, 1981, he complained of
chest pains and was taken to the
dispensary. His mouthpiece and
restraints were removed for an EKG.
When the nurse bent over him, he did
this to her...
He hands Clarice a small, dog-eared photo. Looking at it,
she is stopped in her tracks. This pleases Chilton.
The doctors managed to re-set her jaw,
more or less, and save one of her
eyes. His pulse never got over eighty-
five, even when he ate her tongue.
(pauses, he smiles)
I keep him in here.
He turns, pushes a button. A steel door BUZZES slowly
open, and BARNEY - a big, impassive orderly - awaits them
in an anteroom. On its walls: restraints, mouthpieces,
Mace, tranquilizer guns.
(quickly blocking him)
Dr. Chilton - if Lecter feels you're
his enemy - as you've said - them
maybe I'll have more luck by myself.
What do you think?
You might have suggested that in my
office, and saved me the time.
But then I would've missed the
pleasure of your company.
She holds out the photo. A beat. He grabs it, jaw
When she's finished, bring her out.
He turns on his heel, goes. Barney smiles reassuringly.
Hi, I'm Barney. He told you, don't get
near the bars?
(shaking his hand)
Clarice Starling. Yes, he did.
Okay. Past the others, it's the last
cell. Stay to the middle. I put out a
chair for you.
Sensing her tension, he indicates a nearby security
I'm watching. You'll do fine.
Clarice nods gratefully. She looks down the long corridor,
takes a deep breath, walks into it. He watches her go.
MOVING SHOT - with Clarice, as her footsteps ECHO. High to
her right, surveillance cameras. On her left, cells. Some
are padded, with narrow observation slits, others are
normal, barred... Shadowy occupants pacing, MUTTERING...
Suddenly a dark figure in the next-to-last cell hurtles
towards her, his face mashing grotesquely against his bars
as he hisses.
I c-can sssmell your cunt!
Clarice flinches momentarily, but then walks on.
DR. LECTER'S CELL
is coming slowly INTO VIEW... Behind its barred front wall
is a second barrier of stout nylon net... Sparse, bolted-
down furniture, many softcover books and papers. On the
walls, extraordinarily detailed, skillful drawings, mostly
European cityscapes, in charcoal or crayon.
Clarice stops, at a police distance from his bars, clears
Dr. Lecter... My name is Clarice
Starling. May I talk with you?
Dr. Hannibal Lecter is lounging on his bunk, in white
pajamas, reading an Italian Vogue. He turns, considers
her... A face so long out of the sun, it seems almost
leached - except for the glittering eyes, and the wet red
mouth. He rises smoothly, crossing to stand before her;
the gracious host. His voice is cultured, soft.
CUTTING BETWEEN THEM
as Clarice comes a measured distance closer.
Doctor, we have a hard problem in
psychological profiling. I want to ask
for your help with a questionnaire.
"We" being the Behavioral Science
Unit, at Quantico. You're one of Jack
Crawford's, I expect.
I am, yes.
May I see your credentials?
Clarice is surprised, but fishes her ID card from her bag,
holds it up for his inspection. He smiles, soothingly.
Closer, please... clo-ser...
She complies each time, trying to hide her fear. Dr.
Lecter's nostrils lift, as he gently, like an animal,
tests the air. Then he smiles, glancing at her card.
That expires in one week. You're not
real FBI, are you?
I'm - still in training at the Academy.
Jack Crawford sent a trainee to me?
We're talking about psychology,
Doctor, not the Bureau. Can you decide
for yourself whether or not I'm
Mmmmm... That's rather slippery of
you, Officer Starling. Sit. Please.
She sits in the folding metal desk-chair. He waits
politely till she's settled, then sits down himself, faces
Now then. What did Miggs say to you?
(she is puzzled)
"Multiple Miggs," in the next cell. He
hissed at you. What did he say?
He said - "I can smell your cunt."
I see. I myself cannot. You use Evyan
skin cream, and sometimes you wear
L'Air du Temps, but not today. You
brought your best bag, though, didn't
It's much better than your shoes.
Maybe they'll catch up.
I have no doubt of it.
Did you do those drawings, Doctor?
Yes. That's the Duomo, seen from the
Belvedere. Do you know Florence?
All that detail, just from memory...?
Memory, Officer Starling, is what I
have instead of view.
A pause, then Clarice takes the questionnaire from her
Dr. Lecter, if you'd please consider -
No, no, no. You were doing fine, you'd
been courteous and receptive to
courtesy, you'd established trust with
the embarrassing truth about Miggs,
and now this ham-handed segue into
your questionnaire. It won't do. It's
stupid and boring.
I'm only asking you to look at this,
Doctor. Either you will or you won't.
Jack Crawford must be very busy indeed
if he's recruiting help from the
student body. Busy hunting that new
one, Buffalo Bill... Such a naughty
boy! Did Crawford send you to ask for
my advice on him?
No, I came because we need -
How many women has he used, our Bill?
Five... so far.
Partially, yes. But Doctor, that's an
active case, I'm not involved. If -
Do you know why he's called Buffalo
Bill? Tell me. The newspapers won't
I'll tell you if you'll look at this
(he considers, then
It started as a bad joke in Kansas
City Homicide. They said... this one
likes to skin his humps.
Witless and misleading. Why do you
think he takes their skins, Officer
Starling? Thrill me with your wisdom.
It excites him. Most serial killers
keep some sort of trophies.
No. You ate yours.
A tense beat, then a smile from him, at this small
Send that through.
She rolls him the questionnaire, in his sliding food tray.
He rises, glances at it, turning a page or two
Oh, Officer Starling... do you think
you can dissect me with this blunt
No. I only hoped that your knowledge -
Suddenly he whips the tray back at her, with a metallic
CLANG that makes her start. His voice remains a pleasant
You're sooo ambitious, aren't you...?
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 Officer
Starling...? That accent you're trying
so desperately to shed - pure West
Virginia. What was your father, dear?
Was he a coal miner? Did he stink of
the lamp...? And oh, 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 -yes?
Getting all the way - to the F...B...I.
His every word has struck her like a tiny, precise dart.
But she squares her jaw and won't give ground.
You see a lot, Dr. Lecter. But are you
strong enough to point that high-
powered perception at yourself? How
about it...? Look at yourself and
write down the truth.
(she slams the tray
back at him)
Or maybe you're afraid to.
You're a tough one, aren't you?
Reasonably so. Yes.
And you'd hate to think you were
common. My, wouldn't that sting! Well
you're far from common, Officer
Starling. All you have is the fear of
Now please excuse me. Good day.
And the questionnaire...?
A census taker once tried to test me.
I ate his liver with some fava beans
and a nice chianti... Fly back to
school, little Starling.
He steps backwards, then returns to his cot, becoming as
still and remote as a statue. Frustrated, Clarice
hesitates, then finally shoulders her bag and goes,
leaving the questionnaire in his tray. But after just a
few steps, as she passes -
She sees that creature at his bars again, hissing at her.
I b-bit my wrist so I c-can diiiieeee!
S-ee how it bleeeeeeeeds?
The dark figure suddenly flings his palm towards her, and -
is spattered on the face and neck - not with blood, but
with pale droplets of semen. She gives a little cry,
touching her fingers to the wetness. Stunned, near tears,
she forces herself to straighten up and walk on, fumbling
for a tissue. From behind her, Dr. Lecter calls out, very
DR. LECTER (O.S.)
Officer Starling... Officer Starling!
Clarice slows, stops. She shudders, but makes the very
difficult choice to turn, walk back, stand again in front
Who's shivering with rage. For an
instant his face opens, and we catch
a glimpse into hell itself. Then he's
I would not have had that happen to
you. Discourtesy is - unspeakably ugly
Then please - do this test for me.
No. But I will make you happy... I'll
give you a chance for what you love
most, Clarice Starling.
What's that, Dr. Lecter?
Advancement, of course.
Go to Split City. See Miss Mofet, an
old patient of mine. M-O-F-E-T... Now
I don't think Miggs could manage again
so soon, even if he is crazy - do you?
The grim gothic pile of the asylum looms overhead as
Clarice rushes out the front doors. She is badly shaken,
almost stumbling, as she rubs at her face. She looks
around for, and finally, with some relief, spots -
an old Pinto, parked nearby. This image begins to BLUR...
her face, fighting tears, as the CAMERA begins to WHIRL
AROUND her, almost dizzily. She is seeing, in her mind's
a screen door banging open, on a wooden porch, and a 10-
year old girl - the young Clarice - rushing outside, down
the front steps, and running joyfully across her front
yard to -
MOVING ANGLE - THE GIRL'S POV
a car - late 60's vintage - parked in the dirt road. A
MAN, Clarice's father, is just climbing out. He's tall,
handsome, and has a marshal's badge pinned on his dark
suit. He grins, seeing her, and spreads his arms wide as...
THE YOUNG CLARICE
rushes into them, and he sweeps her up in a hug, spinning
her around, the CAMERA SPINNING with them, and capturing
both their laughing faces, before we abruptly return to -
THE ADULT CLARICE
alone in the parking lot, sagging against her car. Her
face is buried in her arms, she shoulders shaking. SOUND
UPCUT - a steady, rapid series of GUNSHOTS, as we
INT. FBI ACADEMY FIRING RANGE - DAY
Clarice, in a combat stance, and wearing a sound-muffling
headset, is squeezing off ROUND after ROUND at
A MOVING TARGET
The sillouette of a man, approaching along a track. Her
shots, tightly grouped, are all finding the center chest.
The target stops, quite close to her, still swaying.
Clarice stares at it, deftly working her speedloader. Then
she puts a final, emphatic shot right through THE FIGURE'S
INT. FBI ACADEMY LIBRARY - NIGHT
CLOSE ON a microfilm monitor - a grainy newsphoto of Dr.
Lecter, scrawling past, with an accompanying story ("New
Horrors in Cannibal Trial"), dated 1980.
Clarice is punching keys on the terminal. Other trainees
study at nearby tables.
She pauses, jotting a note on her pad, as Ardelia comes
by, carrying an armful of books.
Phone call, Clarice. It's God.
as Clarice rises, grabbing her notebook, and follows
Ardelia past high metal bookstacks.
You missed Fourth Amendment law.
Unlawful seizure, real juicy stuff.
Where were you all afternoon?
Pleading with a crazy man, with come
all over my face.
Ardelia stares at her, figures it's a put-on, laughs.
Damn. Wish I had time for a social
Clarice grins, as Ardelia indicates a phone receiver
resting on the check-out desk, then moves on. Clarice
picks it up.
Crawford, in a cardigan, sits in a wing chair in the book-
lined study of his suburban home. He turns the pages of
Clarice's memo as they talk. His tone is sharp.
I've read your interim memo on Lecter.
You sure you've left nothing out?
It's all there, sir, practically
Every word, Starling? Every gesture?
(a bit heatedly)
Right down to the kleenex I used.
(he is silent)
Sir, why? Is something wrong?
He mentioned a name, at the very end.
"Mofet..." Any followup on her?
I spent all evening on the mainframe.
Lecter altered or destroyed most of
his patient histories, prior to
capture. No record of anyone named
Mofet. But "Split City" sounded like
it might have have something to do
with divorce. I tracked it down in the
library's catalogue of national yellow
(glancing at her
It's a mini-storage facility outside
Baltimore, where Lecter had his
She pauses, expecting some soft of approval for her
Well? Why aren't you there right now?
Sir, that's a field job. It's outside
the scope of my assignment. And I've
got a test tomorrow on -
Do you recall my instructions to you,
Starling? What were they?
To complete and file my report by 0800
Wednesday. But sir -
Then do that, Starling. Do just
Sir, what is it? There's something
you're not telling me.
Miggs has been murdered.
The orderly heard Lecter whispering to
him, all afternoon, and Miggs crying.
They found him at bed check. He'd
swallowed his own tongue... Chilton is
scared stiff the family will file a
civil rights lawsuit, and he's trying
to blame it on you. I told the little
prick your conduct was flawless.
I'm here, sir, I just - I don't know
how to feel about it.
You don't have to feel any way about
it. Lecter did it to amuse himself.
Why not, what can they do? Take away
his books for awhile, and no jello...
(a bit softer)
I know it got ugly today. But this is
your report, Starling - take it as far
as you can. On your own time, outside
of class. Now carry on.
ANGLE ON CLARICE
as we hear the loud CLICK of Crawford hanging up. She
stares at her receiver, stung by his abruptness.
Well God damn it! You old creep.
Creepo son of a bitch. Let Miggs
squirt you and see how you like it.
She slams her receiver into its cradle.
ANGLE ON CRAWFORD
as he flips aside her memo, then rises, wearily. He leaves
his study, flicking off the lamp, and pads away in his
INT. CRAWFORD'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
A private nurse, in white, stands marking a clipboard
chart, as Crawford enters his tidy bedroom.
I'll take over, Patricia. You get some
The nurse nods, hands him the chart, and goes. He glances
at it, then sets it aside. He crosses to -
who lies in an elevated hospital bed. Nearby are an oxygen
tank and mask, floral arrangements. Her breathing is
shallow, very labored. Crawford looks down at his comatose
wife for a long moment, tenderly brushes a strand of her
hair back into place, then bends over to kiss her
forehead. SOUND UPCUT - THUNDER and RAIN...
EXT. "SPLIT CITY MINI-STORAGE" - DUSK (RAINING)
An orange neon sign, streaked with rain, identifies out
location. It looms over a hurricane fence, topped with
barbed wire. Inside, row on row of garage-sized,
MR. YOW (V.O.)
Unit 31 was leased for ten years. Pre-
paid in full... The contract is in the
name of "Miss Hester Mofet."
Clarice, kneeling before a closed, roll-up metal door,
takes a FLASH photo of its sealed padlock. EVERETT YOW, a
fat, 60ish Chinaman, holds an umbrella over them both. He
So no one's been in here since - 1980?
She opens the padlock, using a fat ring of tagged keys,
then sets aside both keys and lock.
Not to my knowledge. Privacy is a
great concern to my customers. But, if
you say this is an FBI matter...
I won't disturb anything, Mr. Yow, I
promise. Be gone before you know it.
Slinging her camera over a shoulder, she tugs at the
handle, but the door won't budge. Another tug, harder - no
good. Mr. Yow stoops to help, puffing hard, but it's
firmly stuck. He sighs.
We could return tomorrow, with my son.
Or perhaps some workmen...?
Clarice crosses to her Pinto, which faces the shed,
reaches in to turn on her headlights. Mr. Yow blinks in
the sudden brightness. Then she opens her truck, rummaging
inside, and returns with a bumper jack, a flashlight, and
a rubber floor mat.
Would you hold these, please?
She gives him her flashlight and camera, drops the mat on
the ground, then sets the bumper jack in place, under the
center of the door. She pumps on the jack handle as the
door SQUEALS slowly up, but it won't go higher than about
18 inches, despite all her exertions. She spreads out the
rubber mat on the cement, takes the flashlight from Mr.
Yow, then lies on the mat.
INT. THE STORAGE SHED - DUSK (VERY DARK)
Clarice, backlit, peers under the door. She reaches in,
makes a sweep with her flashlight. We catch shadowy
outlines - boxes, then the flattened tires of a car...
SOUND of rain on the tin roof, and other noises, too -
small RUSTLINGS. Mr. Yow's chubby face appears down beside
It smells like mice... I think I hear
them, too - don't you?
Clarice turns onto her back, starts squirming under the
You're going in there?
CUT BACK TO:
EXT. STORAGE UNIT NUMBER 31 - DUSK
Clarice pulls her head back out again, reaching to take
her camera from him. She hands him a card, trying to
Mr. Yow, if this door should fall
down -ha ha! - or anything else -
would you be kind enough to call this
number? It's our Baltimore field
office. They know you're here with
me... Do you understand?
Might I suggest tucking your pants
into your socks? To prevent mouse
CUT BACK TO:
Clarice squirms, on her back, through the narrow opening.
As she squeezes all the way in, she snags one thigh on the
metal edge of the door. She curses softly, shining her
flashlight on her ripped khakis - there's a small streak
MR. YOW (O.S.)
Okay, Miss Starling?
Okay, Mr. Yow...
She shines her light around. In its narrow beam, we see -
CLARICE'S POV - UPWARD, SHIFTING
spiderwebs, everywhere... high stacks of cardboard
boxes... a few dusty pieces of furniture... the big car,
oddly long and tall, covered with a tarp... Suddenly
there's a scurrying of loud MUSICAL NOTES. Clarice turns,
scared, her beam capturing... an old upright piano.
MR. YOW (O.S.)
You're playing a piano, Miss Starling?
That wasn't me.
MR. YOW (O.S.)
Clarice crawls a bit further. There's hardly room to
stand, but she finally manages to wriggle upright, clawing
away cobwebs, next to the car. Holding her light under one
arm, she takes several FLASH photos of the shed's
interior, ending with the car. Then, slinging her camera
over the shoulder, she folds back the tarp, resting it on
the roof. The resulting clouds of dust make her cough.
is an antique beauty, a 1931 Packard. It's very dusty,
despite the tarp. Curtains close off the back passenger
compartment, but there's a narrow gap in them. More mousy
peers in through the gap, aiming her flashlight.
HER POV - SHIFTING
as the thin flashlight beam picks out: the broad back
seat... as open album of lacy, old-fashioned Valentines...
a crumpled lap rug, on the floor... and then a pair of
women's shiny, high-heeled pumps... Above these, the hem
of a fancy satin evening gown - and a pair of pale,
Clarice recoils, alarmed, then steadies herself.
Mr. Yow? Oh Mr. Yow...? It looks like
somebody is sitting in this car.
MR. YOW (O.S.)
Oh my! Oh my... Maybe you better come
out now, Miss Starling.
Not yet! - just wait for me.
(under the breath)
Maybe in about two seconds.
She leans down with her camera, takes a FLASH through the
gap, then tries the door handle. Locked. So is the front
door. She looks around, aiming her light, and locates a
tangle of coat-hangers, sticking out of a carton of bric-a-
brac. She pulls out one of these, straightens it quickly,
bends the tip into a hook.
as she jams this tool inside the join at the top of the
back passenger window, then fishes around till she can
snag the inside door latch, pulling up. A satisfying CLICK.
Clarice opens the door - it hits stacked boxes, and won't
open far -then very cautiously leans inside, aiming her
HER POV - MOVING LIGHT BEAM
revealing more of the evening gown... a pair of hands, in
white, elbow-length gloves - one rests on the lap, the
other atop a large, beaded, drawstring evening bag...
thick strands of costume pearls over the breasts... and
finally the white neck stub of a female mannequin. No face
sighs with relief. She takes a couple more FLASHES, then
very carefully lifts out the Valentine album, holding it
by the corners, and setting it atop the car. Then she
eases herself inside, onto the back seat, as the springs
ONE GLOVED HAND slides off the lap, brushing Clarice's
Clarice starts a bit, then pokes at the gloved arm, hard.
She peels back a bit of glove, revealing the white,
synthetic elbow. She smiles, shaking her head at her own
jumpiness, as she reaches over the mannequin's lap to
loosen the evening bag's drawstring.
A SEVERED HUMAN HEAD stares back at her, as the beaded
material slides away.
Clarice lurches back, gasping loudly, and several long,
heart-pounding moments pass before she can make herself
look more closely.
The head bobs gently in a pool of alcohol, in a laboratory
specimen jar. It is a man's head, but grotesquely
transformed, by the addition of heavy makeup, earrings,
and a sodden wig, into a woman's face. Over the years the
makeup has smeared badly, and the pupils have gone almost
staring at this terrible thing, is pleased to find herself
quickly regaining control. She murmurs to herself.
Well, Toto, we're not in Kansas
EXT. QUINN'S HOSPITAL - PARKING LOT - NIGHT (RAINING)
A loud clap of THUNDER, as a flash of LIGHTNING
illuminates the eerie towers and barred windows of the
MOVING ANGLE on Clarice as she climbs from her car, runs
through heavy rain towards the main entrance, where a
guard admits her.
On a noiseless TV screen, an evangelist rants, waving his
arms. Behind him, a swaying choir in gaudy robes.
It's an anagram, isn't it, Doctor?
PAN TO Clarice, with her wet hair plastered flat, sitting
on the corridor floor to one side of this TV, which has
been stationed so that Dr. Lecter cannot avoid seeing it.
Hester Mofet... "The rest of me." Miss
The-Rest-of-Me... Meaning, you rented
he's lost in shadows; we can't see him. He doesn't respond.
CUTTING BETWEEN THEM
Clarice and the darkened call - as she tries again.
You put those - things in there. Paid
for it in advance, ten years ago...
Why, Dr. Lecter?
The food carrier suddenly SWISHES out of the cell, making
her jump up. In its tray is a clean, folded white towel.
She hesitates, then crosses, takes this.
She sits again, rubbing her wet hair. When he finally
speaks, he's on the floor, too - a deeper, hunching
darkness in the shadows, occasionally striped by the
flickering TV light.
Your bleeding has stopped.
How did -
(she stops herself)
It's nothing. A scratch.
Why don't you ask me about Buffalo
(surprised, a beat)
Why? Do you know something about him?
I might if I saw the case file. You
could get that for me.
Why don't you tell me about "Miss
Mofet?" You wanted me to find him. Or
do I have to wait for the lab?
His real name is Benjamin Raspail. A
former patient of mine, whose romantic
attachments ran to, shall we say, the
exotic...? I didn't kill him, merely
tucked him away. Very much as I found
him, in that ridiculous car, in his
own garage, after he's missed three
appointments. You'd have him under
"Missing Person" - which, in poor
Raspail's case, could hardly be more
If you didn't kill him, then who did?
Who can say...? Best thing for him,
really. His therapy was going nowhere.
Wouldn't it have been easier to just
leave him for the police to find?
And have them clomping about in my
life? Oh dear, no... At that time I
still had certain private amusements
of my own.
How did you feel when you saw him,
Clarice? May I call you Clarice?
Scared, at first. Then - exhilarated.
Because you weren't wasting my time.
Do you have something you use, when
you need to get up your courage?
Memories, tableaux... scenes from your
I don't know. Next time I'll have to
Jack Crawford is helping your career,
isn't he? Apparently he likes you. And
you like him, too.
I never thought about it.
Your first lie to me, Clarice. How
sad. Tell me -do you think Crawford
wants you, sexually? True, he's much
older, but - do you think he
visualizes... scenarios, exchanges...?
That doesn't interest me, Doctor. And
it's the sort of thing Miggs would ask.
Surely the odd confluence of events
hasn't escaped you, Clarice. Crawford
dangles you before me. Then I give you
a bit of help. Do you think it's
because I like to look at you, and
imagine how good you would taste...?
I don't know. Is it?
Or doesn't this all begin to suggest
to you a kind of... negotiation?
There's something Crawford can give
me, and I want to trade for it. I even
wrote to him, offering my help. But he
hates me, so he won't deal directly.
Dr. Lecter slowly turns up the rheostat in his cell. As
his lights rise, we see that the cell's been stripped
bare. Gone are his books, drawings, mattress - even his
toilet seat. She stands, too, startled. They face each
Punishment, you see. For Miggs. Just
like that gospel program. When you
leave, they'll turn the volume way up.
Chilton does enjoy his petty torments.
Who killed Raspail, Doctor...? You
know, don't you?
I've been in this room for eight
years, Clarice. I know they will
never, ever let me out while I'm
alive. What I want is a view. I want
a window where I can see a tree, or
even water. I want to be in a federal
institution, away from Chilton - and
I want a view. I'll give good value
for it. Crawford could do that for me,
but he won't. You persuade him.
(almost a whisper)
Who killed your patient?
Oh, a very naughty boy. Someone you
and Jack Crawford are most anxious to
Bill killed him, all those years
ago...? That's impossible.
But Dr. Lecter only smiles, enigmatically.
Who is he stalking right now, Clarice?
I wonder, don't you? How many more
young women will have to die, before
you trade with me...?
As Clarice stares at him, unsure how to respond -
CATHERINE MARTIN takes a long toke from a bong pipe. She
is 21, a tall, big-boned, rather fleshy girl with long
brown fair. Her head is on the lap of her boyfriend, CODY;
they're sprawled on a couch in the den of her well-
furnished apartment. The TV in on, with low SOUND.
This stuff's givin' me the munchies.
Where's that bag of popcorn?
Shit. Left the groceries in the car.
He starts to rise, but she pushes him back.
'S okay, I'll go.
She rises, goes out the front door.
EXT. PARKING LOT - THE APARTMENT COMPLEX - NIGHT
Catherine straightens, with her bag of groceries, shutting
her car's back door. She sees, a short distance away -
standing at the open rear door of a brown panel truck. His
right forearm is in a cast and sling; he is struggling,
unsuccessfully, to hoist an armchair into the truck.
Parked nearby, other cars, RVs, a boat on a trailer. A
thin, breast-high fog fills the lot; arc lights make
Catherine hesitates, then crosses towards the man.
Help you with that?
Would you? Thanks.
His voice is odd, strained, very soft. A fog lamp, set on
end on the ground, distorts his features from below. We
can't get a good glimpse of his face, but his body is
plump, above average height; he's in his mid 30's. She
sets down the bag, then together they easily lift the
chair into the truck.
Let's slide it up, you mind?
INT. THE PANEL TRUCK - NIGHT
He climbs inside the truck, ducking under a small hand
winch, and grabs the chair. She hesitates again, but
climbs in after him; together they slide the chair
forward, behind the seats.
Are you about a size 14?
Suddenly, in the shadowy dark, he clubs her over the back
of her head with his cast. She moans, slumps unconscious,
sliding off the armchair to lie on her stomach. He pulls
off his cast and sling, tosses them aside, then hops out
of the truck, grabs his lamp, climbs back inside, and
pulls the door shut. He bends over her face with the lamp.
We hear her shallow BREATHING.
He peels back the collar of her blouse, reading the size
He carefully slits her blouse up the back, with a pair of
bandage scissors, peeling apart the two halves. There's no
bra strap. He strokes her bare skin delicately, very
EXT. THE PARKING LOT - NIGHT
LOW ANGLE - CLOSE - on Catherine's grocery bag, as her
blouse is tossed out beside it. SOUND of the truck's motor
starting. The truck backs up, one rear wheel knocking over
the bag, partly squashing it. Then is drives away,
taillights shrinking, as a lone orange rolls slowly away
from the bag...
INT. FBI ACADEMY CLASSROOM - QUANTICO - DAY
CLOSE ON a large video screen, where a BLURRY image
gradually sharpens, resolving into two separate pieces of
Electron microscopy reveals fiber
"signatures" that are nearly as
distinct as fingerprints...
Clarice sits at a long table, with other trainees. Ardelia
is beside her. Other tables and students in the
background. Each trainee has his own microscope. Clarice
is tired, but straightens, hearing -
Both of these blouses were worn by
victims of Buffalo Bill. They were
found in two different states, and
four months apart. He always slits
them up the back, like a funeral
ON THE SCREEN
successively CLOSER VIEWS of the cut fabric edges, until
we are seeing individual threads, big as tree limbs. The
The bunching you see - this
compression - is characteristic of
scissor cuts, rather than a single
blade. And, as you see - Bill always
uses the same pair...
ANGLE ON THE DOOR
as John Brigham, the gunnery instructor, sticks his head
Clarice Starling! Are you in here?
INT. HALLWAY - CLASSROOM BUILDING - DAY
Clarice and Brigham walk briskly down the hall, passing
other trainees. He carries a small canvas bag.
Get your field gear, take stuff for
overnight. You're goin' with Crawford.
Some fishermen in West Virginia found
an unidentified girl's body. It's a
Buffalo Bill-type situation. Been in
the water about a week, and Jack needs
somebody that can print a floater.
Think you can handle it?
I'll need the big fingerprint kit...
and the one-to-one Polaroid, the CU-5,
with film packs and batteries.
Brigham steers as they pass hangars, parked planes, an
airstrip. Clarice holds a big fingerprint kit and a
Jack's pretty tough on you, isn't he?
He's got a lot on his mind besides
Buffalo Bill... His wife, Bella, is
real sick. Comatose... I'm tellin' you
about it now, 'cause he may never.
Clarice absorbs this in silence as they stop near an
ancient, rather dilapidated Beechcraft. Its door is open,
the twin props and beacons already turning. Brigham turns
to her, holding out his small canvas bag.
You're goin' in the field, so you
gotta have full kit. Take this - it's
Clarice opens the bag, stares at the big blue gun nestled
in its shoulder holster. She looks up at him, touched.
Wear it, don't ever leave it in your
purse. Dry fire it whenever you get
the chance. And do your exercises.
I will... I promise.
Listen, I hope you never need a thing
I've taught you. But you've got
something... Jack sees it, I do too.
If you ever need to, you can shoot.
She nods, climbs out. Then she looks back in at him.
They're both moved by this rite of passage, but a little
Bless you, Starling...
INT. BEECHCRAFT PLANE - DAY (FLYING)
CLARICE'S POV - Out the plane's window, at the landscape
far below. Wisps of cloud, a quilt of farms.
Clarice turns from the window, looks at a think folder in
her lap. The cover reads "Case File: / BUFFALO BILL."
Clarice is moody, distracted. She hesitates, then opens
the file, begins to scan.
INSERTS - HER POV
Police forms, some handwritten... Typed lab reports; we
catch words, phrases: "Autopsy Protocols", "Histamine
Analysis"... Grainy enlargements of bullet slugs, showing
matched grooves... And then a stack of victim photos. The
first one, taken from a good distance away, shows a nude
female body, face down on a pebbly riverbank, surrounded
by bits of litter.
Clarice hesitates again, then flips this photo to look at
the next. It makes her flinch, just slightly. Quickly she
turns through several more photographs, trying hard to
He keeps them alive for three days.
shows Crawford standing over her, swaying with the plane's
motion. Behind him, the open cockpit door, the pilot's
back. Crawford sits, removing sunglasses. He rubs his eyes.
Why, we don't yet know... There's no
evidence of rape or physical abuse
prior to death. All the mutilation you
see there is post-mortem.
(a beat; he glances
I'm hot, are you hot? Bobby, it's too
damned hot back here...
The pilot adjusts a valve. Crawford turns to her again.
So. Three days. Then he shoots them,
skins them -usually just the torsos -
and dumps them. Each body in a
different river, in a different state,
downstream from an interstate
highway. The water leaves us no
fingerprints, fibers, DNA fluids - no
trace evidence at all. That's Fredrica
Bimmel, the first one...
A COLOR PHOTO - IN CLARICE'S HANDS
shows a pretty, plump-cheeked brunette, in her high school
graduation cap and gown. She smiles at us with touching
A big girl, like all the rest. Went
about 160... Her corpse was the only
one he took the trouble to weight
down, so actually, she was the third
girl found. After her, he got lazy...
as Clarice stares at the girl's face, moved. Crawford
pulls a map from the file, spreads it out. It shows the
central and eastern U.S., with widely-spaced, hand-drawn
Blue square for Belvedere, Ohio, where
the Bimmel girl was abducted. Blue
triangle where her body was found -
down here in Missouri. Same marks for
the other four girls, in different
colors. This new one, today... washed
(he marks with a
Elk River, in West Virginia, about six
miles below U.S. 79. Real boonies.
There's no correlation at all between
where they're kidnapped and where
(he shakes his head)
What if - what if you trace the
heaviest-traffic routes backwards from
the dump sites? Do they converge at
Good idea, but he thought of it, too.
We've run simulations, using different
vectors and the best dates we can
assign. You put it all in the
computer, and smoke comes out. No,
this one is different. Then one has
seen us coming...
Crawford steers, following a highway patrol car along a
winding mountain road. Clarice has the file open on her
lap. He glances at her, inscrutable behind his sunglasses.
Talk about him, Starling. Tell me what
(choosing her words
He's a white male... Serial killers
tend to hunt within their own ethnic
group. And he's not a drifter - he's
got his own house, somewhere. Not an
What he does with them - takes
privacy... Time, tools... He's in his
30's or 40's - he's got real physical
strength, but combined with an older
man's self-control. He's cautious,
precise, never impulsive... This won't
end in suicide, like they often do.
He's got a real taste for it now. And
he's getting better at his work.
(a beat; impressed)
Maybe you've got a knack for this...
I guess we're about to find out.
Like I have a "knack" for Dr. Lecter?
He studies her a few moments, measuring her anger.
Okay, Starling. Let's have it.
You haven't said a word today about
that garage. Or what I found there.
What should I say? You did fine work.
We'll wait on the lab.
You knew. You knew from the start that
Lecter held the key to this... But you
weren't up front with me. You sent me
in to him naked.
Are you finished?
He starts this - buzzing in me, in my
head. He makes me feel violated... You
used me, Mr. Crawford.
A shadow of regret passes over his face, but he answers
Number One. Maybe there's a
connection, maybe not. Lying and
breathing are the same thing to
Lecter. Number Two. If I'd sent you in
there with something to hide from him,
he'd have known it, instantly. He'd
never have trusted you.
She starts to answer, then is silent. He is right. By now
the two cars are entering a tidy little town - tree-lined
streets, wooden houses, one-story shops, mountains in the
background. They slow, turn.
Number Three, I didn't bring you along
today just because you can do first-
rate forensics. If Lecter is becoming
part of this case, you've got the most
current read on him. And Number
Four - you don't have to like me, or
the way I do things. But you do have
to keep a cool head. Especially now...
Because from here on out, you'll know
everything I do. Are we straight on
Clarice nods, silently; it's as close to an apology as
she's likely to get. She stares out the windshield.
JUST AHEAD OF THEM
the highway patrol cruiser noses into a curb, next to
other police cars, facing a big white frame house. Its
sign reads "Potter Funeral Home." Two troopers climb from
Crawford parks too, then kills the engine. He turns to
her, removing his sunglasses, gestures to the case file.
You think about him long enough, you
get a feel for him... Then, if you're
lucky, out of all the stuff you know,
one little part of it tugs at you,
tries to get your attention... You let
me know when that happens, Starling.
Live right behind your eyes, today.
Don't try to impose any patterns on
this guy. Just stay open and let him
One of the troopers, impassive in his sunglasses and hat,
peers in through Crawford's window. Crawford nods to him,
then turns back to Clarice.
School's out, Starling.
EXT. SIDEWALK OF THE FUNERAL HOME - POTTER, WEST VA. - DAY
SOUND of organ music, as Clarice, carrying her fingerprint
kit, mounts some steps to the sidewalk. She stops, seeing -
in their somber best, filing into the mortuary for a
service. The music - "Shall We Gather At The River?" - is
issuing from the open double doors. Several of the
mourners glance over at her curiously.
ANGLE ON CLARICE
staring back at the mourners, hearing the music, as a
sense memory is triggered in her...
IN FLASHBACK - LOW ANGLE, MOVING
as we approach, down the aisle of a country chapel, an
open wooden coffin. Sad country faces turn, looking at us
from the flanking pews. The b.g. organ hymn is "Shall We
THE SAD, 10 YEAR-OLD CLARICE
in her best dress, is reluctantly approaching the casket.
Her hands are held by the plump hands of unseen matrons.
on the looming coffin... closer and closer... until
finally she can see, lying inside it... her dead father,
arms folded, his marshal's badge still pinned to his lapel.
NEW ANGLE (PRESENT DAY)
as the grownup Clarice turns towards the impatient
Crawford. Like her, he carries a large case.
We're around back.
A young deputy, several state troopers, and a SHERIFF are
all waiting, as Crawford and Clarice enter. The dim,
cluttered corridor doubles as storage space - there's a
treadle sewing machine, a soft-drink machine, a tricycle.
The MUSIC is closer. Crawford shakes hands with the
Sheriff Perkins? Jack Crawford, FBI...
This is Officer Starling. We
appreciate your phoning us.
I didn't call you. That was somebody
from the state attorney's office...
'For you do a thing else, I'm gon'
find out if this girl's local. It
could just be somethin' that outside
elements has dumped on us.
He casts a sidelong, unhappy glance at Clarice.
Wellsir, that's where we can help. If -
I don't even know you, Mister... Now
we'll extend you ever courtesy, just
soon as we can, but for right now -
Sheriff, this, ah - this type of sex
crime has some aspects I'd rather
discuss just between the two of us.
Know what I mean?
He indicates Clarice with his eyes. The sheriff hesitates,
nods, then lets Crawford guide him into a small office,
closing the door behind them. Muffled WORDS from there.
burning at this slight, is left alone with the troopers,
who peek at her with shy curiosity. She pulls her blazer
a bit tighter, self-conscious about her bulging shoulder
ANGLE ON THE OFFICE DOOR
as, after a few more moments, the sheriff and Crawford
emerge. The sheriff, still not very happy, addresses his
Oscar, run fetch Dr. Akin from the
chapel. And tell Lamar to come on when
he's done playin' that music.
Crawford, in one corner of the room, has set up a Litton
Policefax fingerprint transmitter. SOUND of many men's low
voices, in background. He is on the phone, and has to
I need a six-way linkup! Chicago,
Detroit, Cleveland, St. Louis,
Atlanta, and Dallas... What?... Can
you hear me...?
He looks around, frustrated by the noisy circus atmosphere.
is pulling on a pair of surgical gloves. She raises her
voice, turning up her natural accent by several notches.
Gentlemen. You officers and gentlemen!
Listen here a minute, please. There's
things I need to do for her...
as we see that the small room is very crowded with
deputies and troopers. They gradually fall silent, looking
Y'all brought her this far, and I know
her folks would thank you if they
could. Now please - go on out and let
me take care of her... Go on, now.
The men look at one another, a little bashfully, then
begin to to file out, whispering among themselves. As they
go, a bright green body bag is REVEALED, tightly zipped,
lying on a porcelain embalming table. It is almost the
only modern object in this Victorian room, with its glass-
paned cabinets and faded wallpaper, decorated with cabbage
as he looks at Clarice with a new degree of respect. Men
brush by him, till finally only two are left: DR. AKIN, a
family g.p., and LAMAR, a lean, whiskey-reddened
mortician. SOUND of the door closing. Lamar dabs around
his nostrils with Vicks VapoRub.
We're starting. Tell everybody to
stand by for fingerprint transmission.
at a side counter, has turned back to her open fingerprint
kit. She is lifting out a camera when she hears the ZIPPER
of the body bag being slowly opened, behind her... One
gloved hand flies to her mouth as she reacts,
involuntarily, to the sudden smell. She blinks at her
reflection in the cabinet glass, then steels herself to
turn, look at the corpse.
She steadies herself by raising her camera, takes a FLASH
LOW ANGLE - LOOKING UP, FROM BENEATH TABLE
as Dr. Akin gently lifts aside one of the dead girl's
arms. A piece of fishing line, with multiple hooks, is
still snagged around it, dangling. Crawford leans in for
a closer look.
Wrongful death... She'll have to go to
the state pathologist at Claxton when
I better - get on back for the rest of
that service. Lamar'll help you.
He leaves, and Clarice leans INTO SHOT, taking another
What do you see, Starling?
Well, she's not local. Her ears are
pierced three times each, and she's
wearing green glitter nail polish.
Looks like town to me...
on the calf of one of the girl's legs, as Clarice trails
the inside of her bare wrist along the skin.
She waxed her legs, I think... A big
girl, just like the others - but she
was careful about her appearance...
UPWARD ANGLE AGAIN
as Lamar joins them for a closer look.
Two of the fingernails are broken off,
and there's - dirt or grit under the
others. She tried to claw her way
through something... I'll scrape out
samples after I've printed her.
She takes another FLASH, then quickly reloads film.
Them fishhooks are set too close
together. No wonder the Franklin boys
was scared to say they found her.
Think they were runnin' a trotline?
Crawford and Lamar both look at her curiously.
It's a Fish and Game violation. Like
poaching. There's a big fine.
Right... Are you from around here?
They do it lots of places.
Get photos of her teeth. Then we'll
fax her fingerprints to Washington,
try to trace her through Missing
SIDE ANGLE - CLOSE ON THE DEAD GIRL'S FACE
staring blue eyes, short reddish hair. Clarice sets the
Polaroid, with its special attachments, against the face,
while Lamar gently retracts the lips. Each time the camera
FLASHES, there's a bright glow inside the cheeks.
NEW ANGLE - CHEST HIGH
as Clarice examines a developing print.
She's got something in her throat.
She hands the print to Crawford; he and Lamar look at it,
as she searches in her kit.
When a body comes out of the water,
alots of times there's like, leaves
and things in the mouth.
Clarice holds up a pair of forceps. She glances at
Crawford, who nods. She bends over, partially OUT OF SHOT,
and after a few moments reappears, holding up a small,
brown cylindrical object. She turns this in the air, as
they all stare.
What is it - some kind of seed pod?
Nawsir, that's a bug cocoon. But how
come that to get way down in there?
'Less somebody shoved it in...
Clarice and Crawford exchange a glance.
She'll be easier to print if we turn
her over. Lamar, will you give me a
Yessir, I will.
Clarice takes a jar from her kit, carefully drops the
cocoon inside. SOUND of the men's heavy efforts as they
turn over the body, off screen. She seals the jar, staring
into it at the cocoon.
Starling - what do you make of these?
She turns to look.
low on the corpse's back, over the shoulders, two neat,
triangular patches of skin are missing.
NEW ANGLE - TWO SHOT
as Clarice looks at Crawford.
I don't know. I didn't see those on
any of the other girls...
They weren't there. Get close-ups.
Clarice raises her camera, leans in for another FLASH.