Out-of-print Criterion LaserDisc/DVD audio commentary for The Silence of the Lambs by Jonathan Demme, Jodie Foster, Anthony Hopkins, Ted Tally, and FBI agent John Douglas: “It’s a crying shame that this excellent commentary is no longer available. It’s an almost perfect example of the multi-participant track: each of the five participants has something to bring to the table. They all treat the film and subject with respect and therefore have things to say that go well beyond the movie. The FBI guy gives credibility to the track and gives his comments on capital punishment and the thoughts that go through the heads of serial killers. Nothing on this track is redundant, the pace and voices are perfect. And let this commentary be a lesson to other commentators. Just talking for two hours doesn’t make it good. You have to have something to say. And they certainly do here. Outstanding!” —RateThatCommentary
Academy Award-winning screenwriter Ted Tally gives a provocative look at the adaptation and production of the Oscar-winning film The Silence of the Lambs. Tally covers it all: working with director Jonathan Demme, anticipating Jodie Foster’s Oscar win, the delicious changed ending for the world’s most famous cannibal, Hannibal Lecter, and more.
It’s a constant mind game that you’re playing with the audience, a game of trying to anticipate their expectations and surprise them. Jonathan Demme says, ‘It’s better to confuse the audience for a couple of minutes than to bore them for a couple of seconds.’ You always want to be a little ahead of them, but not so far ahead of them that it seems snarky. —Ted Tally
Dear every screenwriter, read this: Ted Tally’s screenplay for The Silence of the Lambs [Wisconsin Screenwriters Forum, pdf]. (NOTE: For educational purposes only). The DVD/Blu-ray of the film is available at Amazon and other online retailers.
Hello. The party you have called is unavailable at the moment. This is Anthony Hopkins, or Hannibal Lecter, if you prefer. I would be very happy to take your message. In fact, I insist. When the last person who failed to do so, I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chainti. So please, leave your name and number after the beep. Oh… and pleasant dreams, by the way. —Anthony “Hannibal” Hopkins in one of the strangest bits of promotional material available
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