Hannibal Lecter Quotes in The Silence of the Lambs (1991)


Hannibal Lecter Quotes:

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

  • [last lines]

    Hannibal Lecter: [on telephone] I do wish we could chat longer, but... I'm having an old friend for dinner. Bye.

    Clarice Starling: Dr. Lecter?... Dr. Lecter?... Dr. Lecter?... Dr. Lecter?...

  • Hannibal Lecter: First principles, Clarice. Simplicity. 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 needs does he serve by killing?

    Clarice Starling: Anger, um, social acceptance, and, huh, sexual frustrations, sir...

    Hannibal Lecter: No! He covets. That is his nature. And how do we begin to covet, Clarice? Do we seek out things to covet? Make an effort to answer now.

    Clarice Starling: No. We just...

    Hannibal Lecter: No. We begin by coveting what we see every day. Don't you feel eyes moving over your body, Clarice? And don't your eyes seek out the things you want?

  • Hannibal Lecter: Well, Clarice - have the lambs stopped screaming?

  • Hannibal Lecter: Tell me, Senator: did you nurse Catherine yourself?

    Senator Ruth Martin: What?

    Hannibal Lecter: Did you breast-feed her?

    Paul Krendler: Now wait a minute...

    Senator Ruth Martin: Yes, I did.

    Hannibal Lecter: Toughened your nipples, didn't it?

    Paul Krendler: You son of a bitch!

    Hannibal Lecter: Amputate a man's leg and he can still feel it tickling. Tell me, mum, when your little girl is on the slab, where will it tickle you?

    Senator Ruth Martin: Take this... *thing* back to Baltimore!

    Hannibal Lecter: Five foot ten, strongly built, about a hundred and eighty pounds; hair blonde, eyes pale blue. He'd be about thirty-five now. He said he lived in Philadelphia, but he may have lied. That's all I can remember, mum, but if I think of any more, I will let you know. Oh, and Senator, just one more thing: love your suit!

  • Hannibal Lecter: [shouts] No!

    [normal voice]

    Hannibal Lecter: I will listen now. After your father's murder, you were orphaned. You were ten years old. You went to live with cousins on a sheep and horse ranch in Montana. And...?

    Clarice Starling: [tears begin forming in her eyes] And one morning, I just ran away.

    Hannibal Lecter: No "just", Clarice. What set you off? You started at what time?

    Clarice Starling: Early, still dark.

    Hannibal Lecter: Then something woke you, didn't it? Was it a dream? What was it?

    Clarice Starling: I heard a strange noise.

    Hannibal Lecter: What was it?

    Clarice Starling: It was... screaming. Some kind of screaming, like a child's voice.

    Hannibal Lecter: What did you do?

    Clarice Starling: I went downstairs, outside. I crept up into the barn. I was so scared to look inside, but I had to.

    Hannibal Lecter: And what did you see, Clarice? What did you see?

    Clarice Starling: Lambs. The lambs were screaming.

    Hannibal Lecter: They were slaughtering the spring lambs?

    Clarice Starling: And they were screaming.

    Hannibal Lecter: And you ran away?

    Clarice Starling: No. First I tried to free them. I... I opened the gate to their pen, but they wouldn't run. They just stood there, confused. They wouldn't run.

    Hannibal Lecter: But you could and you did, didn't you?

    Clarice Starling: Yes. I took one lamb, and I ran away as fast as I could.

    Hannibal Lecter: Where were you going, Clarice?

    Clarice Starling: I don't know. I didn't have any food, any water and it was very cold, very cold. I thought, I thought if I could save just one, but... he was so heavy. So heavy. I didn't get more than a few miles when the sheriff's car picked me up. The rancher was so angry he sent me to live at the Lutheran orphanage in Bozeman. I never saw the ranch again.

    Hannibal Lecter: What became of your lamb, Clarice?

    Clarice Starling: They killed him.

  • Hannibal Lecter: 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's 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 is your father, dear? Is he a coal miner? Does he stink of the lamp? 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.

    Clarice Starling: You see a lot, Doctor. But are you strong enough to point that high-powered perception at yourself? What about it? Why don't you - why don't you look at yourself and write down what you see? Or maybe you're afraid to.

  • 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.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Why do you think he removes their skins, Agent Starling?


    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.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Look for severe childhood disturbances associated with violence. Our Billy wasn't born a criminal, Clarice. He was made one through years of systematic abuse. Billy hates his own identity, you see, and he thinks that makes him a transsexual. But his pathology is a thousand times more savage and more terrifying.

  • 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.

    Clarice Starling: I don't know. I don't know.

    Hannibal Lecter: Thank you, Clarice. Thank you.

    Clarice Starling: Tell me his name, Doctor.

    Hannibal Lecter: Dr. Chilton, I presume. I think you know each other.

    Dr. Frederick Chilton: Okay. Let's go.

    Clarice Starling: It's your turn, Doctor.

    Dr. Frederick Chilton: Out!

    Clarice Starling: Tell me his name!

    Boyle: I'm sorry, ma'am. We've got orders. We have to put you on a plane. Come on, now.

    [Chilton and the guards start leading Clarice out]

    Hannibal Lecter: Brave Clarice. You will let me know when those lambs stop screaming, won't you?

    Clarice Starling: Tell me his name, Doctor!

    Hannibal Lecter: Clarice, your case file. Goodbye, Clarice.

  • Hannibal Lecter: You're very frank, Clarice. I think it would be quite something to know you in private life.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Jack Crawford is helping your career isn't he? Apparently he likes you and you like him too.

    Clarice Starling: I never thought about it.

    Hannibal Lecter: Do you think that Jack Crawford wants you sexually? True, he is much older but do you think he visualizes scenarios, exchanges, fucking you?

    Clarice Starling: That doesn't interest me Doctor and frankly, it's, it's the sort of thing that Miggs would say.

    Hannibal Lecter: Not anymore.

  • Clarice Starling: Did you do all these drawings, Doctor?

    Hannibal Lecter: Ah. That is the Duomo seen from the Belvedere. Do you know Florence?

    Clarice Starling: All that detail just from memory, sir?

    Hannibal Lecter: Memory, Agent Starling, is what I have instead of a view.

  • Hannibal Lecter: People will say we're in love.

  • 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 Evyan skin cream, and sometimes you wear L'Air du Temps, but not today.

  • Clarice Starling: If you didn't kill him, then who did, sir?

    Hannibal Lecter: Who can say. Best thing for him, really. His therapy was going nowhere.

  • Hannibal Lecter: "Plum Island Animal Disease Research Center." Sounds charming.

    Clarice Starling: That's only a part of the island. There's a very, very nice beach. Terns nest there. There's beautiful...

    Hannibal Lecter: [cuts her off] Terns? Mmh. If I help you, Clarice, it will be "turns" with us too. Quid pro quo. I tell you things, you tell me things. Not about this case, though. About yourself. Quid pro quo. Yes or no?


    Hannibal Lecter: Yes or no, Clarice? Poor little Catherine is waiting.

    Clarice Starling: Go, doctor.

  • [Pembry can be heard moaning in the background]

    Hannibal Lecter: Ready when you are, Sergeant Pembry.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Closer, please. Clo-ser...

  • Hannibal Lecter: All good things to those who wait.

  • Hannibal Lecter: There are three major centers for transsexual surgery - Johns Hopkins, University of Minnesota, and Columbus Medical Center.

  • 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.


    Hannibal Lecter: Go now!

  • Hannibal Lecter: You fly back to school, now, little Starling. Fly, fly, fly...

  • Hannibal Lecter: Good evening, Clarice.

  • Clarice Starling: The wig, the dress, the makeup. Raspail was a transvestite?

    Hannibal Lecter: In life? Oh, no. Garden-variety Manic Depressive. Tedious, very tedious. I did not kill him I assure you just tucked him away, very much as I found him, after he'd missed three appointments.

    Clarice Starling: If you didn't kill him, who did?

    Hannibal Lecter: Who can say? Best thing for him, really, his therapy was going nowhere. No, just think of him as a fledgling killer's first attempt at transformation.

    Clarice Starling: What do you mean fledgling killer? Do you mean he's killed again?

    Hannibal Lecter: I've been in this room for eight years, now Clarice, and I know they'll never let me out, not while I'm alive. What I want is a view where I can see a tree, or even water. I want to be in a federal institution far away from Doctor Chiltern. I'll help you catch him, Clarice.

    Clarice Starling: You know who he is, don't you? Tell me who decapitated your patient.

    Hannibal Lecter: All good things to those who wait. I've waited, but how long can you and Jackie-boy wait? Our little Billy must already be looking for that next special someone.

  • Hannibal Lecter: That is very slippery of you, Agent Starling.

  • Hannibal Lecter: I would not have had that happen to you, discourtesy is unspeakably ugly to me.

  • Hannibal Lecter: [lights go on] Thank you, Barney.

    Clarice Starling: Where are your drawings?

    Hannibal Lecter: Punishment, you see, for Miggs. Like that Gospel Programme. When you're gone they'll turn the volume way up. Doctor Chiltern does enjoy his petty torments.

  • Clarice Starling: There's no correlation in the literature between transsexualism and violence. Transsexuals are very passive.

    Hannibal Lecter: ...Billy is not a real transsexual. There are three major centers for transsexual surgery... I wouldn't be surprised if Billy had applied for sex reassignment at one or all of them and been rejected... Billy hates his own identity you see, and he thinks that makes him a transsexual.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Tell me Clarice, would you ever say to me "Stop. If you loved me, you'd stop"?

    Clarice Starling: Not in a thousand years.

    Hannibal Lecter: "Not in a thousand years"... That's my girl.

  • [last lines]

    Hannibal Lecter: As your mother tells you, and my mother certainly told me, it is important, she always used to say, always to try new things.

  • Hannibal Lecter: People don't always tell you what they are thinking. They just see to it that you don't advance in life.

  • Allegra Pazzi: Dr. Fell, do you believe a man could become so obsessed with a woman, from a single encounter?

    Hannibal Lecter: Could he daily feel a stab of hunger for her and find nourishment in the very sight of her? I think so. But would she see through the bars of his plight and ache for him?

  • Hannibal Lecter: ...would they have you back, you think? The FBI? Those people you despise almost as much as they despise you. Would they give you a medal, Clarice, do you think? Would you have it professionally framed and hang it on your wall to look at and remind you of your courage and incorruptibility? All you would need for that, Clarice, is a mirror.

  • [Repeated line]

    Hannibal Lecter: Okey-dokey. Here we go.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Now you're being rude, and I hate rude people.

  • [apparently about to cut Starling's hand off with a cleaver]

    Hannibal Lecter: This is really gonna hurt.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Dear Clarice, I have followed with enthusiasm the course of your disgrace and public shaming. My own never bothered me except for the inconvenience of being incarcerated, but you may lack perspective. In our discussions down in the dungeon it was apparent to me that your father, the dead night watchman, figures largely in your value system. I think your success in putting an end to Jame Gumb's career as a couturier pleased you most because you could imagine your father being pleased. But now, alas, you're in bad odour with the FBI. Do you imagine your daddy being shamed by your disgrace? Do you see him in his plain pine box crushed by your failure; a sorry, petty end of a promising career? What is worst about this humiliation Clarice? Is it how your failure will reflect on your mommy and daddy? Is your worst fear that people will now and forever believe they were indeed just good old trailer camp tornado bait white trash and that perhaps you are too? By the way I couldn't help noticing on the FBI's rather dull public website that I have been hoisted from the Bureau's archives of the common criminal and elevated to the more prestigious 10 Most Wanted list. Is this coincidence, or are you back on the case? If so, goody goody, cause I need to come out of retirement and return to public life. I imagine you sitting in a dark basement room bent over papers and computer screens. Is that accurate? Please tell me truly, Special Agent Starling. Regards, your old pal Hannibal Lecter, M.D. P.S. Clearly this new assignment is not your choice rather I suppose it is a part of the bargain but you accepted it Clarice. Your job is to craft my doom. So I am not sure how well I should wish you but I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun. Tata, H.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Bowels in or bowels out?

  • Clarice Starling: I'll cut you loose. If you touch me, I'll shoot you.

    Hannibal Lecter: Understood.

    Clarice Starling: Do right, and you'll live through this.

    Hannibal Lecter: Spoken like a true Protestant.

  • Mason Verger: I guess now you wish you would've fed the rest of me to the dogs.

    Hannibal Lecter: No, Mason, I much prefer you the way you are.

  • Mason Verger: Cordell, shoot him! Get the gun and shoot him!

    Cordell Doemling: Go into the pen?

    Mason Verger: Yes!

    Cordell Doemling: No, I'm staying out of this.

    Mason Verger: You're involved, is what you are, in all of it! Now do it!

    Cordell Doemling: No.

    Mason Verger: Yes!

    Hannibal Lecter: [Cordell is standing behind Mason's wheelchair on a ledge overlooking the wild boar] Hey, Cordell! Why don't you push him in? You can always say it was me.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Is this coincidence, or are you back on the case? If so, goody-goody.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Are you by any chance trying to trace my whereabouts, you naughty girl?

  • Hannibal Lecter: Clarice, there's nothing I'd love more in the world than to chat with you. Unfortunately, you've caught me at an awkward moment. Please forgive me.

  • Hannibal Lecter: [in a letter to Clarice] Your job is to craft my doom, so I am not sure how well I should wish you. But I'm sure we'll have a lot of fun. Ta-ta, "H."

  • Hannibal Lecter: Given the chance, you would deny me my life, wouldn't you?

    Clarice Starling: Not your life.

    Hannibal Lecter: Just my freedom. You'd take that from me.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Okie dokie, let's drag these down. They must be as heavy as bodies.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Paul, remember what I said. If you can't be polite to our guests, you have to sit at the kiddies' table.

  • Hannibal Lecter: You see, the brain itself feels no pain if that concerns you, Clarice.

  • Clarice Starling: Your profile at the border stations has five features. I'll trade you...

    Hannibal Lecter: "Trade"?

    Clarice Starling: Stop now and I'll tell you what they are.

    Hannibal Lecter: How does that word taste to you, Clarice? Hmm? Cheap and metallic, like sucking on a greasy coin?

  • Hannibal Lecter: I came halfway around the world to watch you run, Clarice. Let me run, eh?

  • Hannibal Lecter: Clarice, what are you doing up? You should be resting. Get back to bed.

  • Mason Verger: I guess you wish now that you fed the rest of me to the dogs

    Hannibal Lecter: No Mason. No I much prefer you the way you are.

  • Hannibal Lecter: On a similar note I must confess to you, I'm giving very serious thought... to eating your wife.

  • Hannibal Lecter: I imagine your little brother must smell almost as bad as you do by now.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Dear Clarice, I have followed with enthusiasm the course of your disgrace and public shaming. My own never bothered me, except for the inconvenience of being incarcerated. But you may lack perspective.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Mason, would you like a popper?

  • Hannibal Lecter: "Io fei gibetto de le mei case." I made my own home be my gallows.

  • Hannibal Lecter: People don't always say what they're thinking... they just see to it that you don't advance in life.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Have you met my friend Mason Verger?

    Clarice Starling: Yes

    Hannibal Lecter: Face to face, so to speak?

    Clarice Starling: Face to face

    Hannibal Lecter: Attractive, isn't he?

  • Hannibal Lecter: What if I did it for you?

    Clarice Starling: Did what?

    Hannibal Lecter: Harmed them, Clarice. The ones who've harmed you. What if I made them scream apologies? No, I shouldn't even say it because you'll feel - with your perfect grasp on right and wrong - that you were somehow accompli- even though you wouldn't be.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Is this Clarice? Why, hello Clarice.

  • Hannibal Lecter: See ya 'round.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Mason Verger doesn't want to kill me any more than I want to kill him. He just wants to see me suffer in some unimaginable way. He is rather twisted, you know.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Good evening, Clarice! Just like old times.

    Clarice Starling: Shut up.

  • Mason Verger: The good doctor approached me with a piece of broken mirror. "Try this,"

    Hannibal Lecter: Try peeling off your face...

    Mason Verger: "... and feeding it to the dogs."

  • Hannibal Lecter: Are You Confused?

  • Hannibal Lecter: [Prying the knife away from Clarice] Come on Clarice. No. That's a good girl. Good.

  • Hannibal Lecter: And be grateful. Our scars have the power to remind us that the past was real.

  • Will Graham: I thought you might enjoy the challenge. Find out if you're smarter than the person I'm looking for.

    Hannibal Lecter: Then, by implication, you think you're smarter than I am, since it was you who caught me.

    Will Graham: No, I know I'm not smarter than you.

    Hannibal Lecter: Then how did you catch me?

    Will Graham: You had... disadvantages.

    Hannibal Lecter: What disadvantages?

    Will Graham: You're insane.

  • Hannibal Lecter: [in the final letter to Will] My dear Will, you must be healed by now... on the outside at least, I hope you're not too ugly. What a collection of scars you have. Never forget who gave you the best of them, and be grateful, our scars have the power to remind us that the past was real. We live in a primitive time, don't we, Will? Neither savage nor wise. Half measures are the curse of it, any rational society will either kill me or put me to some use. Do you dream much, Will? I think of you often. Your old friend, Hannibal Lector.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Remarkable boy. I do admire your courage. I think I'll eat your heart.

  • [last lines]

    Dr. Frederick Chilton: There's someone to see you, Lecter. A young woman... says she's from the FBI, but she seems much too pretty for that if you ask me.

    [Lecter appears unmoved]

    Dr. Frederick Chilton: I'll tell her you said no.

    [Chilton walks away offscreen, as Lecter looks up and makes eye contact with the camera]

    Hannibal Lecter: ...what is her name?

  • Dinner Guest: Hannibal, confess. What is this divine-looking amuse bouche?

    Hannibal Lecter: If I tell you, I'm afraid you won't even try it.

  • Will Graham: I need your opinion now.

    Hannibal Lecter: Then here's one... you stink of fear under that cheap lotion. You stink of fear Will, but you're not a coward. You fear me, but still you came here. You fear this shy boy, yet still you seek him out. Don't you understand, Will? You caught me because we're very much alike. Without our imaginations, we'd be like all those other poor... dullards. Fear... is the price of our instrument. But I can help you bear it.

  • Hannibal Lecter: I'll call you if I think of anything else, would you perhaps like to leave me your home phone number?

  • Hannibal Lecter: [after he stabs Will] Shh. Don't move. You're in shock now. I don't want you to feel any pain. In a moment, you'll begin to feel light-headed, then drowsy. Don't resist, it's so gentle, like slipping into a warm bath. I regret it came to this, Will, but every game must have its ending.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Tell me, Will. Did you enjoy it? Your first murder? Of course you did. And why shouldn't it feel good? It does to God. Why only last week in Texas, he dropped a church roof on the heads of 34 of his worshippers, just as they were groveling for him. He wouldn't begrudge you for one Journalist.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Ah yes Dr. Chillton. Gruesome isn't he? Fumbles at your head like a freshman pulling at a panty girdle.

  • Hannibal Lecter: A robin red-breast in a cage, puts all of Heaven in a rage. Think to yourself that every day is your last. The hour to which you do not look forward will come as a welcome surprise. As for me, when you want a good laugh, you will find me in fine state... fat and sleek, a true hog of Epicurus's herd.

  • Hannibal Lecter: You will not persuade me with appeals to my intellectual vanity.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Have you seen blood in the moonlight? It appears quite black.

  • Hannibal Lecter: First he kills the pet, and then the family. Freddy was your pet, Will.

  • [first lines]

    Hannibal Lecter: Think to yourself that every day is your last. The hour to which you do not look forward will come as a welcome surprise. As for me, when you want a good laugh, you will find me in fine state, fat and sleek, a true hog of Epicurus's herd.

  • Hannibal Lecter: That's the same atrocious aftershave you wore in court.

    Will Graham: I keep getting it for Christmas.

    Hannibal Lecter: Christmas, yes. Did you get my card?

  • Will Graham: I might not have time.

    Hannibal Lecter: I do. I have oodles.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Beneath the yellow folder, you'll find your latest rejection slip from the archives. It was brought to me by mistake with some of my archives mail. I'm afraid I opened it without looking. Sorry.

    Dr. Frederick Chilton: I think we'll remove Dr. Lecter's toilet seat as well

  • Hannibal Lecter: And how is the young Josh and the lovely Molly? They're always in my thoughts, you know.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Do you like my little exercise cage, Will? My so-called lawyer is always nagging Dr. Chilton for better accommodations. I don't know which is the greater fool.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Rudeness is an epidemic.

  • Lady Murasaki Shikibu: [hugs Hannibal] Where have you been? You smell of smoke and blood.

    [lifts army dog tag from under his shirt]

    Lady Murasaki Shikibu: Where did you go?

    Hannibal Lecter: I found them. The men who killed Mischa. I have their names.

  • Hannibal Lecter: [to Lady Murasaki, who has just discovered the Butcher's severed head] I hope you don't mind. I would have used a butcher knife, but the sword seemed so appropriate.

    [putting the sword back]

    Hannibal Lecter: Not a nick in the blade, I promise you. The butcher was like butter.

  • [last lines]

    Hannibal Lecter: I've come to collect a head.

  • Hannibal Lecter: I love you.

    Lady Murasaki: What is left in you to love?

  • Hannibal Lecter: [on Grutas] He ate my sister.

    [an incapacitated Grutas chuckles]

    Grutas: So did you!

  • Lady Murasaki Shikibu: Stop. Stop now. Forgive them.

    Hannibal Lecter: Never.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Do you remember "Das männlein im walde", Herr Dortlich? Mischa loved that song. Let's sing for Mischa!

    [He sings softly and walks the horse away from the tree where Dortlich is bound, tightening the rope around Dortlich's neck]

    Hannibal Lecter: You're not singing...

  • Hannibal Lecter: [to a photo of his parents] Father, mother. I'm the youngest student they've ever admitted into medical school. It's a work scholarship. I think you would be pleased. Death duties on my uncle's estate has finally forced the sale of the château. Lady Murasaki will leave for Paris with me now that her residency is under threat. This work scholarship means I must spend much of my spare time preparing bodies for the anatomy class. My studies are fascinating and absorb me completely. Yet I still find myself thinking about my sister, and the men who took her.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Herr Dortlich, on behalf of myself and my late family, I thank you for coming.

    [he removes the gag from Dortlich's mouth]

    Hannibal Lecter: Do you remember the bathtub bubbling on the stove?

    Enrikas Dortlich: [desperate] She was dead anyways, I swear.

    [Hannibal opens Dortlich's lunch bag and examines a sandwich]

    Hannibal Lecter: Ewww... so much mayonnaise, Herr Dortlich.

    [He slicks the rope around Dortlich's neck with the excess mayonnaise]

  • Hannibal Lecter: I thought you would be bigger. I put your face on every bully I've ever hurt.

  • Grutas: Answer me this. Would you have fed me to your little sister because you loved her?

    Hannibal Lecter: Yes.

    Grutas: There. There you have it. Love. I love myself that much and I will never apologize to you.

  • Hannibal Lecter: "The very scent of her takes away the smell of the camp." Do you compose verse, Inspector, and keep it under your pillow?

  • Petras Kolnas: What did I ever do to you?

    Hannibal Lecter: Aside from eating my sister? Nothing.

  • Lady Murasaki: They will call it murder.

    Hannibal Lecter: At worst a crime of passion.

  • [from trailer]

    Hannibal Lecter: [holding a glass with wine] Good evening, Herr Kolnas. You drink better wine that you serve.

  • Hannibal Lecter: Now tell me inspector: you lost family in the war?

    Inspector Popil: Yes.

    Hannibal Lecter: Did you catch who did it?

    Inspector Popil: No.

    Hannibal Lecter: Then we are both suspects. I could say you were fishing with me if you like.

  • Hannibal Lecter: [Talking to Inspector Popil, referring to the prisoner Louis] He answered your questions, but you didn't answer his. Where *were* the police when the Nazis threw the children into the trucks?

Browse more character quotes from The Silence of the Lambs (1991)