Based on the novel by
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 her…
Clarice drops into a combat crouch, gun extended, and shouts.
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 registers…
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 send –
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 /
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
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 one
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
EXT. FBI ACADEMY GROUNDS, QUANTICO, VIRGINIA – DAY
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 of sexuality.
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
They begin to cross the academy grounds. A group of trainees
jogs by, in matching sweats, following a p.e. coach.
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
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 up.
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
(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
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…
- 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
Will you be in Baltimore overnight…?
Because this can be quite a fun town,
if you have the right guide.
Clarice tries, unsuccessfully, to hide her distaste for him.
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
INT. ASYLUM CORRIDOR – UPPER FLOOR – DAY
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
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 briskly.
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 understand me?
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
(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,
(quickly blocking him)
Dr. Chilton – if Lecter feels you’re
his enemy – as you’ve said – then
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 twitching.
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 monitor.
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.
INT. DR. LECTER’S CORRIDOR – DAY
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.
- 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 polite 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
“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
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 her happily.
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 case.
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
- 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 boldness.
Send that through.
She rolls him the questionnaire, in his sliding food tray.
He rises, glances at it, turning a page or two disdainfully.
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 purr.
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
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
Now please excuse me. Good day.
And the questionnaire…?
A census taker once tried to test
- 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 agitated.
- 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 of –
Who’s shivering with rage. For an instant his face opens,
and we catch a glimpse into hell itself. Then he’s composed
I would not have had that happen to
you. Discourtesy is – unspeakably
ugly to me.
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 go. Go.
I don’t think Miggs could manage
again so soon, even if he is crazy –
EXT. THE HOSPITAL – PARKING LOT – DAY
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 eye –
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 silhouette 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.
INT. CRAWFORD’S HOUSE – STUDY – NIGHT
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
(glancing at her notes)
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
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
I’m here, sir, I just – I don’t know
how to feel about it.
You don’t have to feel any way about
- 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
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, cinderblock sheds.
- YOW (V.O.)
Unit 31 was leased for ten years.
Pre-paid in full… The contract is
in the name of “Miss Hester Mofet.”
EXT. STORAGE UNIT NUMBER 31 – DUSK
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 looks
So no one’s been in here since –
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
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
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 door.
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 appear
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:
INT. STORAGE SHED – DUSK (VERY DARK)
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 of blood.
- 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.
- YOW (O.S.)
You’re playing a piano, Miss Starling?
That wasn’t me.
- 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 RUSTLINGS.
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, stockinged legs.
Clarice recoils, alarmed, then steadies herself.
Mr. Yow? Oh Mr. Yow…? It looks
like somebody is sitting in this
- 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 or head.
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 SQUEAK
ONE GLOVED HAND slides off the lap, brushing Clarice’s thigh.
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
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
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 milky white.
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 asylum.
MOVING ANGLE on Clarice as she climbs from her car, runs
through heavy rain towards the main entrance, where a guard
INT. DR. LECTER’S CELL AND CORRIDOR – NIGHT (DIM LIGHT)
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 that place.
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
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
If you didn’t kill him, then who
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 early life?
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
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
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 other.
Punishment, you see. For Miggs. Just
like that gospel program. When you
leave, they’ll turn the volume way
- Chilton does enjoy his petty
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
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 –
INT. CATHERINE MARTIN’S APARTMENT – MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE –
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 yellow pools.
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 happily.
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 fabric.
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 cuts
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 in.
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.
INT. BRIGHAM’S JEEP CHEROKEE – DAY (DRIVING)
Brigham steers as they pass hangars, parked planes, an
airstrip. Clarice holds a big fingerprint kit and a weekend
Jack’s pretty tough on you, isn’t
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 my own…
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 embarrassed.
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
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 markings.
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 up here.
(he marks with a Flair
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
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. This one has
seen us coming…
INT. RENTAL CAR – DAY (DRIVING)
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 you see.
(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
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 that?
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 the car.
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 show you…
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.
INT. FUNERAL HOME – BACK CORRIDOR – DAY
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.
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.
Well sir, that’s where we can help.
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 holster.
ANGLE ON THE OFFICE DOOR
as, after a few more moments, the sheriff and Crawford emerge.
The sheriff, still not very happy, addresses his deputy.
Oscar, run fetch Dr. Akin from the
chapel. And tell Lamar to come on
when he’s done playin’ that music.
INT. EMBALMING ROOM – DAY
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 speak
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 at her.
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
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 roses.
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 you’re done.
I better – get on back for the rest
of that service. Lamar’ll help you.
He leaves, and Clarice leans INTO SHOT, taking another photo.
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
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
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.
EXT. BACK STEPS OF THE FUNERAL HOME – DAY
Clarice sits outside, with her head on her knees, drained.
She looks up wanly as Lamar appears, offers her a can of
Thanks, I’m not thirsty.
No, hold it under your chin, there,
and on your temples. Cold’ll make
you feel better. It does me.
She smiles, touched, and takes the can. When Lamar sees
Crawford coming outside, he tactfully departs. Crawford sits
beside her; there’s a brief silence. She soothes herself
with the can.
When I told that sheriff we shouldn’t
talk in front of a woman, that really
burned you, didn’t it?
(she is silent)
That was just smoke, Starling, I had
to get rid of him. You did well in
It matters, Mr. Crawford… Other
cops know who you are. They look at
you to see how to act… It matters.
She looks at him a moment, then offers the can. He opens it.
When we get back, I want you to run
that bug by the Smithsonian, see if
they can identify it. Maybe it’s got
some limited range, or it only breeds
at certain times of year… You found
it, Starling, you deserve the credit.
I’m wondering if he’s done that before –
placed a cocoon, or an insect. It
would be easy to miss in an autopsy,
especially with a floater… Can we
check back on that?
(shakes his head)
The other girls are in the ground.
Exhumations are upsetting for the
families. I’ll do it if I have to,
Then have the lab check Raspail’s
(he looks at her)
Dr. Lecter’s patient – have them
probe his soft-palette tissues…
They’ll find another cocoon.
You seem pretty sure of that.
Raspail was killed by the same man
who’s killing these girls. And Lecter
knows him. Maybe even treated him…
You think so, too, don’t you? Or
you’d never have sent me to that
He looks at her for a moment, then sips again.
Before we caught him, Lecter had a
big psychiatric practice in Baltimore.
But he traveled all over the country –
teaching, consulting… Christ, even
testifying in murder trials. Who
knows how many potential psychos he
turned loose, just for the fun of
INT. MR. GUMB’S CELLAR – DAY (DIM LIGHT)
A shadowy male figure looks down at us, leaning over the
edge of a deep hole. He holds a little white poodle in his
arms, stroking it. This is MR. GUMB, aka “Buffalo Bill.”
Rub the cream on your skin. Rub it
looks up at him. She is standing on the cement bottom of the
pit, or oubliette, about 15 feet below floor level. The pit
is bare, except for a futon and a plastic toilet bucket,
from which a thin string rises up to the basement. She’s
soaking wet, in an orange jumpsuit, and holds a squeeze bottle
of skin lotion. She struggles to sound calm.
Mister… my family will pay cash.
Whatever ransom you’re askin’ for,
REVERSE ANGLE – UP TOWARDS MR. GUMB
Rub it in! Or you’ll get the hose
The little dog squirms in his arms, BARKING excitedly.
Yes, it will, Precious, won’t it? It
will get the hose!
SIDE ANGLE – AT PIT BOTTOM
as Catherine kneels, turning slightly away from him.
(under her breath)
Oh God… oh God…
She unzips her jumpsuit, part-way, then squeezes some of the
lotion onto a palm. She reaches inside her suit, rubs it on.
Mister, if you let me go, I won’t
press charges, I promise. You’ve
only had me here a couple days, and –
- GUMB (O.S.)
No. Just one day…
Is that all…? See – see, my mom is
a real important woman… Well, I
guess you already know that. She’ll
pay you, no questions asked. Whatever
cause you represent – Iran, Palestine –
she’ll see that –
A sudden blinding glare of light silences her. She looks up,
shielding her eyes.
a floodlamp is descending, attached to a small basket.
Put the bottle in the basket. No
funny business, or you’ll be sorry…
NEW ANGLE – CATHERINE
as the basket stops, and she steadies it. But as she slips
the bottle in, she sees something, O.S., just at the fringe
of the light. She hesitates, looks closer… then begins to
scream, hysterically, again and again. Her outflung hand
hits the lamp, and in its swaying glare, we see – high on
the concrete walls, all around her –
BLOODY FINGER TRACKS
dried now, brownish – left by many pairs of frenzied hands…
INT.CLARICE’S DORM ROOM – FBI ACADEMY – DAWN
Clarice is at her desk, exercising her right hand with the
grip flexer, while simultaneously studying a thick law book.
Ardelia sticks her head in the door, excited.
You better come see this.
INT. RECREATION ROOM – FBI ACADEMY – DAWN
CLOSE ON a TV screen, filled with a photo of Catherine Martin.
TV ANCHOR (V.O.)
…was listed at first simply as a
missing person, but is now believed
to have been kidnapped by the serial
killer known only as “Buffalo Bill.”
The photo disappears, replaced by the TV ANCHOR himself.
Memphis Police sources indicate that
the missing girl’s blouse has been
identified, sliced up the back, in
what has become a kind of grim calling
card. Young Catherine Martin, as
we’ve said, is the only daughter of
U.S. Senator Ruth Martin –
looks at Ardelia, surprised. Other trainees are drifting
into the rec room, some whispering among themselves. Clarice
stares back at the TV intently.
TV ANCHOR (O.S.)
…the Republican junior senator
from Tennessee. And while her
kidnapping is not at this point
considered to be politically
motivated, nevertheless it has stirred
the government –
BACK ON THE TV ANCHOR
…to its highest levels, the
president himself being said to be,
and I quote, “intensely concerned.”
Just moments ago, Senator Martin
made this dramatic personal plea…
SENATOR MARTIN (TV FOOTAGE)
fills the screen, in a halo of lens flare, as she speaks to
a jostling crowd of reporters on the front steps of her
Georgetown home. A tall woman, late 40’s, with a strong,
I’m speaking now to the person who
is holding my daughter. Her name is
Catherine… You have the power to
let Catherine go, unharmed. She’s
very gentle and kind – talk to her
and you’ll see. Her name is
Clarice is moved by what she sees. Other trainees are all
Boy, is that smart…
Why does she keep repeating the name?
Somebody’s coaching her… They’re
trying to make him see Catherine as
a person – not just an object.
ON THE TV AGAIN
You have a chance to show the whole
world that you can be merciful, as
well as strong. Please – I beg you –
release my Catherine…
as we see (NIGHT, TELEPHOTO) – a taped-off section of
Catherine’s parking lot. Technicians, with instruments, are
kneeling by the crushed grocery bag.
2ND TV ANCHOR (V.O.)
Meanwhile. in Memphis, the
investigation continued throughout
the night, as state and local
authorities were joined at the kidnap
scene by agents of the FBI…
MOVING ANGLE (STILL TV FOOTAGE)
as Jack Crawford is seen striding towards the front door of
Catherine’s apartment, followed by Burroughs and other agents.
One of them moves quickly towards the CAMERA, waving it back.
REC ROOM ANGLE – FAVORING ARDELIA
as the other trainees send up a brief, ironic cheer. But
Ardelia turns sympathetically towards the troubled Clarice.
I don’t know whether to say “I’m
sorry,” or “Congratulations.” But
girl? – you just went prime time.
EXT. SMITHSONIAN – MUSEUM OF NATURAL HISTORY – DAY
The massive Victorian building looms over Constitution Avenue.
Clarice quickly mounts the steps, carrying a small plastic
I don’t think he knew that she’s a
Senator’s child. She’s a big girl,
Starling, like all the rest. We’re
going on the theory she was randomly
targeted by size…
INT. MUSEUM CORRIDOR – DAY
Clarice, now accompanied by a museum guard, walks through an
eerie landscape of dinosaur bones – crouching skeletons with
blank eye sockets, gaping fangs.
By now, Bill’s had her for 36 hours.
That leaves us just 36 more, before
he kills her… But maybe, just maybe,
Starling, we caught a real break
this time – thanks to you.
We found another bug, in Raspail’s
INT. MUSEUM OFFICE – DAY
CLOSE ON an live, enormous, rhinoceros beetle, as it weaves
its clumsy way among the men on a chessboard, before finally
stepping off the edge, onto a lettuce leaf.
Time, Pilch! My move.
No fair! You lured him with produce.
shows two entomologists, both 30ish, hunched over the board.
RODEN is a pudgy redhead; PILCHER is lean, quite handsome.
Tough noogies! It’s still my turn.
If the beetle moves one of your men,
does that count?
They look up, delighted to see Clarice in the doorway. Both
men are hopelessly smitten by her.
Of course it counts. How do you play?
Officer Starling. Welcome back.
INT. ENTOMOLOGY CORRIDOR – DAY
MOVING ANGLE as Clarice and the two men go briskly down a
hall lined with mounted insects, in all shapes and sizes.
Roden peers at Clarice’s new cocoon, in its box.
Where the hell did this one come
from? It’s practically mush.
You really don’t want to know.
Your West Virginia specimen gave us
quite a bit of trouble, but I finally
managed to narrow his species through
chaetaxy – studying the skin.
I’m the one who found his perforating
proboscis! Are you wearing a gun,
Ooh, cool! Can I see it? Can I?
Just ignore him. He’s not a Ph.D.
INT. LABORATORY – DAY
VERY CLOSE (MAGNIFICATION) on the sliced cocoon, as Roden
uses tweezers and a dental probe to ease out the sodden
The whole trick is to remove the
chrysalis without destroying it…
The wings are just like wet tissue
THE TWO MEN
are hunched over a formica table, peering through square
magnifiers into stainless trays. Clarice watches curiously.
Of their two specimens, Pilcher’s moth is in much better
condition – a big brown creature, its wings outspread on
(without looking up)
What do you do when you’re not
detecting, Officer Starling?
I try to be a student, Dr. Pilcher.
Ever get out for cheeseburgers and
beer? The amusing house wine…?
Not lately. But maybe someday.
He looks up at her, shyly. A little moment passes between
them, before Roden straightens, exultant.
(points with his dental
West Virginia… Baltimore. Officer
Starling, meet Mister Acherontia
He moves aside for Clarice to get a closer look at Pilcher’s
specimen. She leans forward, intently.
HER POV (MAGNIFICATION)
the wide, furry, brown back of the moth. And there, right
between the wing bases – wonderful and terrible to see – is
nature’s perfect reproduction of a ghostly human skull.
Better known to his friends as the
The Latin name comes from two rivers
in Hell. Your man – he drops these
girls into rivers, every time. Didn’t
I read that?
as she looks up at him, awed, excited, almost trembling.
And there’s no way – no natural way –
these could’ve wound up in the bodies?
(shakes his head)
They live in Malaysia. In this
country, they’d have to be specially
raised, from imported eggs.
(pause, then softly)
As the two men stare at her, puzzled, we hear a SOUND UPCUT –
the wail of police SIRENS – and…
EXT. U.S. ROUTE 95 – DAY (AERIAL SHOT)
An awesome armada of police vehicles swings through an
intersection, while normal traffic is held back by highway
The lead cars turn off, hit the entrance ramp to the freeway –
SIRENS going, tires SQUEALING, red flashers…
on a speeding surveillance van, with long antennas and a
small satellite dish, near the head of the motorcade.
Maybe we can trace how he buys the
bugs, starting with U.S. Customs…
INT. THE SURVEILLANCE VAN – DAY (DRIVING)
The van is crammed with an impressive array of hi-tech
equipment, all CLICKING and HUMMING. Burroughs is talking
quietly on a scrambler phone, while another agent works a
Maybe we can locate some of Raspail’s
old lovers. Maybe, someday…
CLARICE AND CRAWFORD
sit in swivel seats at the rear, by a big window. Clarice
can’t resit an occasional peak at the trailing motorcade,
awed and a bit thrilled to be the center of so much attention.
But for Catherine Martin, it all
comes down to you and Lecter. You’re
the one he talks to.
He’s already offered to help… What
would happen if we just showed our
cards – asked him for Bill?
He offered to help, Starling, not to
snitch. That wouldn’t give him enough
chance to show off. Remember, Lecter
looks mainly for fun. Never forget
But if he knew we have so little
If we act too anxious, he’ll make us
wait. He’ll let the Senator keep
hoping, day after day, until Catherine
finally washes up. That’d be the
most fun of all.
I think he means it, this time. I
think he’ll deal.
What would it take?
Transfer to a new prison. With a
view of trees, he said, or even
water… Can we swing that?
(shakes his head)
State to federal jurisdiction… We
can do it – eventually – but we’ll
never get all the clearances in time.
Can you convince him a deal’s already
You’ll back me up with some paperwork?
Then I’ll try. But wouldn’t this
have more weight coming from the
She doesn’t know what we’re up to.
And we can’t afford to let her find
Clarice looks at him, surprised.
She’s the mother, Starling. She can’t
possibly comprehend what Lecter is.
She’d make the mistake of pleading
with him. Begging him… He’d feast
on her pain till the last second of
that girl’s life…
INT. BALTIMORE STATE HOSP. FOR THE CRIMINALLY INSANE – DAY
Chilton approaches, walking briskly down a corridor in the
administration wing. He looks quite agitated.
We can’t trust Frederick Chilton,
either. He’s greedy and ambitious.
If he knew about Lecter’s link to
Bill, he’s go straight to the
Chilton falls into step beside Clarice, who has her briefcase.
He points his gold pen at her accusingly.
What you’re doing, Miss Starling, is
coming into my hospital to conduct
an interview, and refusing to share
information with me. For the third
Dr. Chilton, I told you – this is
just routine follow-up on the Raspail
He’s my patient! I have rights!
(grabs her arm,
I’m not just some turnkey, Miss
Starling. I shouldn’t even be here
this afternoon. I had a ticket to
Holiday on Ice.
She stares at him, with pity and distaste, till he lets go.
I’m acting on instruction, Dr.
(handing him a card)
This is the U.S. Attorney’s number.
Now please – either discuss this
with him, or let me do my job.
She walks away, leaving him speechless with frustration and
hostility. He clicks his pen, watching her go.
INT. DR. LECTER’S CELL AND CORRIDOR – DAY
Dr. Lecter sits at his table, languidly sketching with
charcoal on butcher paper.
He uses his own hand and forearm as a model. His other
drawings, books, and bedding have been restored.
Wouldn’t you say, Clarice, that for
a United States Senator, you’re an
odd choice of messenger?
Clarice, sitting again at the desk-chair, is taking papers
from her briefcase.
I was your choice, Dr. Lecter. You
chose to speak to me. Would you prefer
someone else now? Or perhaps you
don’t think you can help us.
That is both impudent and untrue…
Tell me, how did you feel when you
viewed our Billy’s latest effort?
(beat; he smiles)
Or should I say, his “next-to-latest”?
By the book, he’s a sadist.
Life’s too slippery for books,
Clarice. Typhoid and swans came from
the same God.
Tell me, Miss West Virginia – was
she a large girl?
Big through the hips. Roomy.
They all were.
Mmm. And what else…?
She had an insect deliberately
inserted in her throat. That hasn’t
been made public yet. We don’t know
what is means.
Was it a butterfly?
(pause; staring at
A moth… How did you predict that?
I’m waiting for your offer, Clarice.
Clarice looks down at her papers, taking a moment to collect
her thoughts. She looks up at him again, evenly.
If you help us find Buffalo Bill in
time to save Catherine Martin, the
Senator promises you a transfer to
the V.A. hospital at Oneida Park,
New York, with a view of the woods
nearby. Maximum security still
applies, but you’d have reasonable
access to books.
He is silent. She rises, moves closer, carrying papers.
Best of all, though – one week a
year you’d get to leave the hospital
and go here.
(points to a map)
Plum Island. Every afternoon of that
week you can walk on the beach or
swim in the ocean for up to one hour.
Under SWAT team surveillance, of
His face remains neutral. She puts the papers in his food
Copy of the Buffalo Bill case file,
copy of Senator Martin’s terms. Her
offer is final and non-negotiable.
If Catherine dies –
(she slides his tray
You get nothing.
A measured beat, before he rises smoothly, crosses, and looks
down at the papers, without touching them.
“Plum Island Animal Disease Research
Center.” Sounds charming.
That’s just part of the island. It
has a very nice beach. Terns nest
Terns… 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. Yes or no?
(she is silent)
Yes or no, Clarice. Catherine is
waiting. Tick-tock, tick-tock…
She looks at him. A beat. They are standing uncomfortably
What’s your worst memory of childhood?
Quicker than that. I’m not interested
in your worst invention.
The death of my father.
Tell me. Don’t lie, or I’ll know.
Clarice cannot bear the feverish excitement in his eyes. She
looks past him, hesitating again.
He was a town marshal… one night
he surprised two burglars, coming
out the back of a drugstore… They
No. He was strong, he lasted almost
a month. My mother – died when I was
very young, so my father had become –
the whole world to me… After he
left me, I had nobody. I was ten
You’re very frank, Clarice. I think –
it would be quite something to know
you in private life.
Quid pro quo, Doctor.
The significance of the moth is
change. Caterpillar into cocoon into
beauty… Billy wants to change,
too, Clarice. But there’s the problem
of his size, you see. Even if he
were a woman, he’d have to be a big
Dr. Lecter, there’s no correlation
in the literature between
transsexualism and violence.
Transsexuals are very passive.
Clever girl. You’re so close to the
way you’re going to catch him – do
you realize that?
No. Tell me why.
After your father’s death, you were
orphaned. What happened next?
(Clarice drops her
I don’t imagine the answer’s on those
second-rate shoes, Clarice.
I went to live with my mother’s cousin
and her husband in Montana. They had
A cattle ranch?
Horses – and sheep…
How long did you live there?
Why so briefly?
I – ran away…
Why, Clarice? Did the rancher fuck
Did he try to?
No…! Quid pro quo, Doctor.
Billy’s not a real transsexual, but
he thinks he is. He tries to be.
He’s tried to be a lot of things, I
You said – I was very close to the
way we’d catch him.
There are three major centers for
transsexual surgery: Johns Hopkins,
the University of Minnesota, and
Columbus Medical center. I wouldn’t
be surprised if Billy has applied
for sex reassignment at one or all
of them, and been rejected.
On what basis would they reject him?
The personality inventories would
trip him up. Rorschach, Wechsler,
House-Tree-Person… He wouldn’t
test like a real transsexual.
How would he test?
Suddenly Dr. Lecter snarls, loudly, stretching. Clarice take
a sharp step backwards before he smiles, turning his movement
into an elaborate yawn. He gathers the papers from his tray.
That’s enough, I think. Happy hunting.
Oh, and Clarice – next time you will
tell me why you ran away. Shall I
Yes, Doctor. Please.
INT. MR. GUMB’S CELLAR – DAY
VERY CLOSE ON a cocoon, split along its back, as a living
Death’s-head Moth wriggles torturously free. Trembling and
damp, the new creature clings to a sprig of nightshade.
- LECTER (V.O.)
You should try to obtain a list of
males rejected from all three gender
we see a big wire cage, holding several of the moths. They
crawl over the humus floor or feed at honeycombs, wings
pumping lazily. In the distant background, the incongruous
SOUND of show music.
- LECTER (V.O.)
Check first the ones rejected for
lying about criminal records…
CONTINUOUS MOVING ANGLE
at about knee level, as we leave the cage, and begin to TRAVEL
through this eerie, dimly-lit warren of a cellar.
As we go – occasionally TURNING corners, or skirting the
dark openings of unexplored passages – various objects loom
briefly INTO VIEW, overhead – a stainless-steel work table…
a big sink… jars of chemicals… neat racks of gleaming
- LECTER (V.O.)
Among those who tried to conceal
their past, look for severe childhood
disturbances, associated with
violence… Possibly you’ll find a
childhood incarceration… Then go
to their personality tests…
We pass a row of female mannequins, some nude, some wearing
colorful leather jackets, designer knockoffs, in various
stages of completion… then a huge maroon armoire, in Chinese
lacquer; its double doors are slightly ajar… The jaunty
MUSIC is growing even louder: Fats Waller singing “Bye Bye
Baby.” And now we hear something else, too – the rapid
CLICKING of a sewing machine…
- LECTER (V.O.)
Study their drawings, especially.
Billy’s house drawings will show no
happy future… No baby carriage,
out in the yard. No pets, no toys,
no flowers, no sun…
We TURN another corner, and there is Mr. Gumb himself. As we
APPROACH, his wide back is to us; he’s hunched over an old-
fashioned sewing machine, humming cheerfully, and working a
piece of material that we mercifully cannot see. A female
wig rests near him on a head form. He wears a hairnet and a
beautiful kimono, and pumps the treadle with his bare feet.
- LECTER (V.O.)
His females will be more crudely
sketched than him males – but he’ll
compensate by adding exaggerated
adornments… jewelry, big breasts…
And his tree drawings – oh, his trees
will be frightful…
Next to Mr. Gumb is an antique phonograph – source of the
MUSIC. His little dog, Precious, perches by his plump ankles.
As we PASS Mr. Gumb, Precious scurries away from him, panting
happily, and we FOLLOW the little dog down another corridor,
the music starting to fade behind us…
- LECTER (V.O.)
Billy hates his own identity, he
always has – and he thinks that makes
him a transsexual. But his pathology
is a thousand times more savage…
He wants to be reborn, Clarice. He
will be reborn…
At the end of this final corridor, the cellar widens into a
low-ceilinged chamber, with two additional doorways, and in
the center of this is the gaping circle of the oubliette.
Precious sniffs her way over to the edge – excited, tail
wagging – than BARKS happily as we hear a hoarse, ghostly
moan from below.
INT. DR. LECTER’S CORRIDOR – DAY
MOVING ANGLE – CLOSE ON Dr. Lecter’s slippered feet, which
rest on the shelf of a rolling hand truck. RISING along his
tilted form, we see that his ankles are linked by steel
restraints… his legs, waist, upper torso, and arms are
bound by heavy canvas webbing… beneath the webbing is a
strait-jacket… and over his face is a hockey mask.
Bad news, Hannibal…
shows that Dr. Lecter, on the handtruck, is being pushed
down his corridor by Barney, and back into his open cell.
Gourmet magazine has rejected your
recipe for braised kidneys…
INT. DR. LECTER’S CELL – DAY
Chilton lounges on Dr. Lecter’s cot, casually reading his
large stack of private correspondence, and making notations
with his gold pen on a little pad. Another orderly mops the
Perhaps you should have been less
specific about what kind.
Stand him by the toilet. Then leave
Barney props the hand truck into position, then both orderlies
- Chilton finishes another letter, sighs happily.
Such a lot of correspondence! I can
hardly wait to analyze it in more
detail… But first things first.
Tossing letters onto the cot, he rises, crosses out into the
corridor, and bends to remove a small tape recorder from
underneath Clarice’s desk. He waggles it triumphantly at Dr.
I thought she might be looking for a
civil rights violation in Migg’s
death, so I bugged you… Not a word
to me in all these years, Hannibal.
Then Crawford sends his bit of fluff
over here, and you just turn to jelly.
It’s too pathetic.
SIDE ANGLE – TWO SHOT
as Chilton, back in the cell, leans tauntingly close to the
front of Dr. Lecter’s mask.
You still think you’re going to walk
on some beach, and see the birdies?
I don’t think so, Hannibal… I called
Senator Ruth Martin, and she never
heard of any deal with you. She never
heard of Clarice Starling, either.
They scammed you, Hannibal…
CLOSE ON Dr. Lecter’s glittering eyes, behind their slits.
When Crawford gets through milking
you, he’s giving you to Baltimore
Homicide for the Raspail murder. And
they’re preparing some special
surprises for you right now, in my
- LECTER’S POV (FRAMED BY EYE-SLITS)
first looking at Chilton’s moving lips… then LOWERING to
his soft, white, inviting throat…
The Starling bitch wants you to rot
here, in this little box, till your
teeth fall out and you’re soiling
diapers. You’ve seen the old ones,
Hannibal. They weep when their stewed
peaches get cold. That’ll be you,
too. Unless – you trade with me.
as he sits chummily on the table.
There never was a deal with Senator
Martin – but there is now. I’ve been
on the phone for hours, Hannibal, on
your behalf. Here’s what you get: if
you identify Buffalo Bill, and the
girl is found in time, Senator Martin
will have you transferred to Brushy
Mountain State Prison, in Tennessee…
CLOSE AGAIN ON DR. LECTER’S EYES
as they shift restlessly, away from Chilton – then suddenly
lock onto something. They widen with interest.
The Governor has already agreed. You
get books, a view of the woods, and
plenty of exercise time…
- LECTER’S POV – EXTREME CLOSEUP
On the cot, carelessly left there, lying half-hidden under
the letters and the rumpled sheet… is Chilton’s gold pen.
And best of all, you’d be out of
Jack Crawford’s reach, forever. The
Senator will verify these terms on
the phone, and guarantee them in
BACK ON DR. LECTER
as he stares a moment longer at the pen, then shifts his
eyes towards Chilton. We can almost hear his brain clicking.
In exchange, I get your full
cooperation in publishing a
professional account of this – my
successful interviews with you. You
publish nothing. And I get exclusive
access to any material from Catherine
Martin… So. Do you accept my
Answer me, Hannibal.
A beat. Dr. Lecter is silent. Chilton sticks his face INTO
SHOT, almost intimately close to the mask. He is agitated.
You’ll answer me now, or by God,
you’ll answer to Baltimore Homicide.
Who is Buffalo Bill?
(pause; then softly)
I’ll tell the Senator herself. But
only in Tennessee…
INT. JOHNS HOPKINS – GENDER IDENTITY CLINIC – DAY
MOVING ANGLE – as the very impatient Crawford, clutching a
folder, strides down a hall beside DR. DANIELSON – early
50’s, severe, in a lab coat. Nurses, doctors, glance as they
I’m not having a witch hunt here,
Mr. Crawford! Our patients are decent,
non-violent people with a real
Dr. Danielson, the man we want was
never your patient. It would be
someone you refused because he tries
to conceal a record of criminal
violence. Please, Doctor – time is
eating us up. Just show me the ones
you’ve turned away.
Danielson enters a cramped, stainless steel nurse’s gallery,
with Crawford following, and pours himself a cup of coffee.
Examination and interview materials
are confidential. We’ve never violated
an applicant’s trust, and we never
You want to see a violation? This is
He takes a black & white photo from his folder, slaps it
down in front of Danielson. From our angle, we can’t see it
Her name is Kimberly Jane Emberg,
she was just ID’d. I met her on a
slab in West Virginia. And sometime
tomorrow, or tomorrow night, he’s
going to do the same thing to
That’s a childish, bullying stunt,
Mr. Crawford. I was a battlefield
surgeon, so you can put away your
Burroughs sticks his head in, looking for Crawford.
Phone, Jack. Director Burke.
In a minute!
Burroughs hurriedly retreats. Crawford strains for patience.
Look… search your own records, if
you prefer. You can do it a lot faster
than us, anyway. If we find Buffalo
Bill through your information, I’ll
suppress it. Nobody has to know this
I doubt very much that the FBI or
any other government agency can keep
a secret, Mr. Crawford. Truth will
out… And then what? Will you give
Johns Hopkins a new identity? Put a
big pair of sunglasses on this
building, and a funny nose?
Oh, that’s clever, Dr. Danielson.
Very humorous. You like the truth?
(right in his face,
He kidnaps young women and kills
them and rips their skin off. We
don’t want him to do that anymore.
If you don’t help me, just as fast
as you can, then the Justice
Department is going to ask publicly
for a court order, We’ll ask twice a
day, just in time for the morning
and evening news. And each one of
our press conferences will focus on
Dr. Danielson, over at Johns Hopkins,
and how we’re still hoping for his
cooperation. And every time there’s
any news on the case – when Catherine
Martin floats, when the next one
floats, and the next one – why, we’ll
just issue another press release
about good ol’ Dr. Danielson, over
at Johns Hopkins – complete with all
his humorous fucking remarks.
It may be that – I could confer with
my colleagues on this. And get back
Would you, Doctor? That would be so
INT. THE SURVEILLANCE VAN – DAY
Crawford is on the scrambler phone. Burroughs watches
(on phone; stunned)
INT. FBI BUILDING – OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR – DAY
HAYDEN BURKE, the FBI Director, swivels in his big chair.
Lean, late 40’s, very distinguished. His desk is flanked by
Already airborne for Memphis. Senator
Martin’s meeting him at the airport.
Jack – did you make some sort of
promise to Lecter, in the Senator’s
Listening to the answer, he looks uncomfortably across his
desk at PAUL KRENDLER, the Deputy Attorney General – 40,
very tanned, modish haircut. Krendler is irritable, impatient.
We’re going to have to talk about
this, Jack. The Senator’s mad as
hell. Paul Krendler’s over here from
Justice, she’s asking him to take
charge in Memphis… I know that…
But you’re still in command of the
task force, and Lecter’s plane can
still be ordered back. It’s your
call, Jack – but I want it now.
CUT BACK TO:
INT. THE SURVEILLANCE VAN – DAY
Burroughs starts to make an objection, but Crawford stills
him with a hand motion. He is taut, frustrated. Long pause.
Let him land.
INT.CLARICE’S DORM ROOM – DOORWAY – DAY
Clarice opens her door, stares out at Crawford. She’s just
slipping on her blazer, over her shoulder holster. She’s
Chilton has killed her, hasn’t he?
That slimy little bastard! We were
so close with Lecter – and now her
last chance is gone.
Let’s get some coffee and talk.
EXT. FBI ACADEMY GROUNDS – QUANTICO – DAY
MOVING ANGLE on Clarice and Crawford, as they walk along a
sidewalk, sipping from paper cups. The surveillance van trails
them slowly, radios CRACKLING.
Are you in trouble over this, Mr.
Crawford? Can Senator Martin do
something to you?
I’m 53, Starling. If I found Jimmy
Hoffa on national TV, I’d still have
to retire in two years. It’s not a
consideration. But you are…
You’ve done enough. If I keep you
out of school any longer, you’ll be
recycled. Cost you six months, at
least. I can guarantee you readmission
here, but that’s about it.
(he stops, looks at
Now’s your chance, Starling. Go back
to class. Leave Bill to me.
If you didn’t want me chasing him,
you shouldn’t have taken me to that
He looks at her steadily, then nods. They walk on.
Lecter is still the key, I know he
- Whatever he told me about Bill
is just as good now as it was before.
Or just as worthless. But I want you
in Memphis, close to him. Maybe when
he gets tired of toying with Senator
Martin, he’ll talk to you again.
There’s a plane waiting for you now
at the airstrip.
She smiles at this acknowledgment; he never thought she’s
I lied to Lecter. I’ll need some
kind of peace offering… Can I get
the drawings from his cell?
Good idea. Meantime, try to get a
feel for Catherine Martin. Her
apartment, her friends… how he
might’ve stalked her. I’m going to
the other two clinics, Minnesota and
(he crumples his cup,
Now’s the hardest part, Starling.
Use your anger, don’t let it keep
you from thinking. Just keep your
eyes on Catherine. We’ve got less
than 30 hours.
Mr. Crawford… can those cops down
there handle Dr. Lecter?
They’ll use their best men. But they
better be paying attention…
INT. AIR NATIONAL GUARD HANGER – MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE – DAY
CLOSE ON Dr. Lecter. Behind his mask, the alert, searching
OFFICERS PEMBRY AND BOYLE
two sturdy, well-armed, veteran prison guards – are checking
Dr. Lecter’s restraints with clever, careful fingers.
Welcome to Memphis, Dr. Lecter. I’m
Officer Boyle, this is Officer Pembry.
We aim to treat you just as nice as
you treat us. Act like a gentlemen,
you’ll get three hots and a cot.
But we ain’t pussy-footin’ with you,
buddy ruff. You get cute, try to
bite somebody? – we’ll tie your
asshole in a knot. You savvy?
Oh yes, Officer Pembry. I certainly
The officers turn away, Boyle signing a clipboarded form.
(under his breath)
Shit, he’s just an ol’ broke-dick.
Won’t be no trouble as all if he
don’t flip out.
NEW ANGLE – WIDER
as we see that we’re in a vast, dusty hangar. Parked to one
side: an EMS ambulance and four highway patrol cruisers; a
dozen troopers stand quietly chatting and smoking over there.
Prentiss is pacing impatiently, casting anxious glances
towards the open hanger doorway.
If you’ll please sign right here,
sir, we’ll have us a legal transfer.
Chilton instinctively pats his shirt pocket for his gold
pen; it’s gone. He searches other pockets, with growing
Here they come.
TWO BLACK STRETCH LIMOUSINES
glide smoothly into the hangar, stop. Secret Service agents
pour out of the lead car, form a cordon. A driver opens the
rear door of the second car, and Krendler steps out, followed
by the Senator’s assistant, with a briefcase, followed, as
last, by the Senator herself. Barely glancing around, she
strides towards Lecter.
NEW ANGLE – DR. LECTER AND SEN. MARTIN
as she stops, struck by the bizarre spectacle of his
restraints. The others instinctively keep a distance, but
Chilton, with theatrical relish, unstraps and removes Dr.
Senator Martin, meet Dr. Hannibal
They stare at one another for a long moment: the Senator
tense, almost haggard, the madman with his unearthly poise.
Dr. Lecter, I’ve brought an affidavit
guaranteeing your new rights… You’ll
want to read it before I sign.
He assistant unsnaps his briefcase, reaches for the form.
I won’t waste your time and
Catherine’s time bargaining for petty
privileges. Clarice Starling and
that awful Jack Crawford have wasted
far too much already. I only pray
they haven’t doomed the poor girl…
Let me help you now, and I’ll trust
you when it’s all over.
You have my word. Paul?
Krendler raises a pad, poised to take notes.
Buffalo Bill’s real name is William
Rubin. I met him just once. He was
referred to me in April or May, 1980,
by my patient Benjamin Raspail. They
were lovers, but Raspail had become
very frightened. Apparently Rubin
had murdered a transient, and – done
things with the skin. He thought if
I could cure Billy, then Billy’d be
safe from the police, and he’s be
safe from Billy… Obviously, he was
We need his address, a physical descr-
Did you nurse Catherine?
Did you breast-feed her?
He flicks his tongue obscenely.
You son-of-a –
The Senator stills him with a hand. She is trembling.
Yes… I did.
Toughened your nipples, didn’t it…?
(a beat; then rapidly,
Six foot one, strongly built, about
190 pounds. Hair brown, eyes pale
blue. He’d be about 35 now. He said
he lived in Philadelphia, but may
have lied. That’s really all I can
remember, Senator – but if I think
of any more, I’ll let you know.
(to the others)
Let’s go with it.
They start towards the car, but he calls out, stopping her.
Senator Martin…! You can’t trust
Jack Crawford or Clarice Starling.
It’s such a game with these people.
They’re determined to get the arrest
for themselves. The “collar,” I think
Thank you, Doctor. I’ll keep it in
Oh, and Senator…? Love you suit.
INT. MR. GUMB’S BASEMENT – DAY (DIMLY LIT)
CLOSE ON scraps of food – peas, chicken bones – lying on the
cement floor of the pit, near the foil tray of a TV dinner.
Close enough to fuck is close enough
is hunched over in concentration. The plastic toilet bucket
is on her lap, and she has yanked down its cotton string.
Get my legs round your neck, you
goddamn creep, I’ll send you home to
are tying a chicken bone to the bucket’s handle, where it
meets the string. The other end of the string is tied to her
gathers the coiled string in one hand, and swings the bucket
by its handle, calculating this distance up to the basement
Okay, Precious. Time for a treat…
She hurls the bucket upwards.
AT THE LIP OF THE OUBLIETTE
the bucket sails out, bounces LOUDLY, then falls back inside.
ANGLE ON THE DOG, PRECIOUS
who is elsewhere in the basement, worrying a toy. She cocks
an ear, making a low GROWL, then sets off to investigate.
DOWN IN THE PIT
Catherine swings the bucket again, trying another cast.
THE BUCKET LANDS
two feet beyond the pit’s edge, rolls a bit, stops.
PRECIOUS TROTS UP
then pauses, staring curiously towards…
VERY LOW ANGLE (DOG’S POV)
the enticing chicken bone, six feet away. It twitches as
Catherine tugs on the string, edging the bucket back towards
Precious with her tail wagging, BARKS – greedy but suspicious.
staring upwards, pulls again, even so gently, at the string.
Preeeeecious…! C’mon, boy, nice
yummy bone… c’mon, you little
edges reluctantly closer… then suddenly rushes in, seizing
the bone in her teeth. She tries to run away with it, but
Catherine is pulling her towards the hole, working her like
a hooked fish. Her toenails scrabble as she tries to stop.
stares desperately, unable to see how she’s doing.
Hang on, boy… hang on…
still fights for the bone, GROWLING, as the bucket rocks
precariously on the edge of the pit. A long, seesaw battle…
until finally, when one of her forelegs slips momentarily
into the hole, she panics and lets go. The bucket flops over
crouches, covering her head as the bucket bounces off her.
THE LITTLE DOG
furious, BARKS down at her, then trots away in disgust.
CLOSE ON CATHERINE
as she sinks to the cold cement. She slaps aside the foil
tray, the scraps of food, sobbing in utter despair…
INT. CATHERINE MARTIN’S APARTMENT – LIVING ROOM – DAY
CLOSE ON a framed photo of Sen. Martin and Catherine, held
in Clarice’s cotton-gloved hands. Powdered fingerprints on
Clarice glances up from the photo, smiles disarmingly at –
A young STATE TROOPER sitting in Catherine’s easy chair. He
smiles back at her, then relaxes, returns to his newspaper.
He also wears gloves.
Clarice closes the refrigerator door, glances around.
A big REEL-TO-REEL TAPE RECORDER has been set up on the
breakfast counter, attached to Catherine’s phone. Two new
red phones are hooked up as well.
Clarice slides open the medicine cabinet’s mirror, looks
inside. She reaches in, pokes carefully amongst the lotions.
INT. ATTIC CRAWL-SPACE
A ceiling hatch bangs open, sending up dust clouds. Clarice,
lit from underneath, pokes her head through, looking around.
Flat on her back, Clarice wriggles out from under Catherine’s
bed. She sits up, brushing dust from her face and hair.
CLOSE ON an open, multi-tiered jewelry box, resting atop a
bureau, as Clarice’s fingers pick through costume jewelry.
Clarice closes the box, and is just turning away when a figure
suddenly looms INTO SHOT, giving her a bad start; she cries
Senator Martin is revealed, staring at her suspiciously.
Who are you, please? I thought the
police were through in here.
I’m Clarice Starling, Senator. FBI.
(softly, very angry)
Paul? Would you come in here,
Krendler enters from the hallway, looks at Clarice.
Miss Starling, you may know the Deputy
Attorney General, Mr. Krendler. Paul,
this is the trainee that Jack Crawford
sent to Lecter… She lied to him,
pretending to have my authority, and
thus jeopardized this entire
investigation. Now she has the further
gall to invade my daughter’s privacy,
again without permission. If her
little games have killed my baby…
Overcome, she hurries from the room. Krendler shuts the door
behind her, points sternly at Clarice.
You’re out of line, Starling, and
you’re off this case. Back to
Sir, Mr. Crawford instructed me –
Your instructions are what I’m giving
you now. Jack Crawford answers to
the Director, and the Director answers
to me. My God, Crawford’s losing
it…! He shouldn’t even be on this,
with his wife sick as she is… How
the hell did you get in here, anyway?
He gave you – what? Some kind of
special ID? Let’s have it.
I need the ID to fly with my gun.
The gun belongs in Quantico.
Gun. Jesus. Turn in the ID as soon
as you get back. The gun, too. Be on
the next plane, Starling, there’s
one in 90 minutes.
Clarice, burning, starts for the door, then turns back.
Mr. Krendler… Dr. Lecter trusts
- Or at least, he used to. If I
could just –
Lecter has already named Buffalo
Clarice reacts, surprised. Krendler takes a folded computer
sheet from his pocket, shoves it at her. She takes it, reads.
He gave us a perfectly good
description, and we’re on it now, so
we won’t be needing your little
novelty act any longer – or his,
either. He’s under close guard at
the courthouse, pending a prison
transfer. The next plane, Officer.
Sir, doesn’t this “William Rubin”
strike you as – I don’t know – kind
Krendler moves in very close to her, pale with anger.
Do you need a police escort, Starling?
Or do you think you can find the
airport by yourself?
Yes sir. I can find it by myself.
EXT. SHELBY COUNTY COURTHOUSE – DAY
The old courthouse is a massive Gothic stronghold, with an
armada of police cruisers parked at the curb.
Clarice climbs from her rented car, SLAMMING the door angrily.
Holding a rolled-up pile of papers – Dr. Lecter’s drawings –
she starts determinedly up the steps. A nearby commotion
makes her pause.
Dr. Frederick Chilton in a sea of interviewers and mini-cams,
is preening grandly.
Clarice carefully avoiding his gaze, slips up the steps and
INT. COURTHOUSE – GROUND FLOOR – DAY
SGT. TATE, a Memphis policeman, is studying Clarice’s ID. He
looks up at her from his command desk, a bit doubtfully.
Are you with Mr. Krendler’s people?
I just left him.
Access to Lecter is strictly limited.
We’ve been getting death threats.
Log in, and check your weapon.
He picks up a phone, murmurs into it. As he does so, Clarice
glances around this main ground floor lobby.
The building looks like an armed fort. Cops with shotguns
guard the front door, both ends of the hall, the foot of the
stairs, the single elevator. More of them are coming and
Shoot, we haven’t had this kinda
security since the President came
INT. ELEVATOR – MOVING
Clarice and OFFICER MURRAY, a young patrolman, ride up in an
old-fashioned, CREAKING, metal-cage elevator. He is excited.
Every cop in Tennessee wants a look
at this guy. ‘Sit true what they’re
sayin’ – he’s some kinda vampire?
I don’t have a name for what he is.
INT. HISTORICAL SOCIETY ROOM – 5TH FLOOR
Pembry, at a desk by the door, looks up from examining the
unrolled pile of Dr. Lecter’s drawings.
You know the rules, ma’am?
Yes, Officer Pembry. I’ve questioned
He waves her on her way, but retains the drawings for now.
MOVING ANGLE – WITH CLARICE
as she crosses the big, spare, white octagonal room. A
massive, temporary iron cage has been installed; Officer
Boyle sits facing its barred door. He rises, nods, moving
away to allow her privacy.
INSIDE THE CAGE
a cot and a small table, each bolted to the floor, and a
flimsy paper screen, hiding a toilet. Dr. Lecter sits at the
table, his back to her, studying the Buffalo Bill case file.
He now wears a green prison jumpsuit. A small cassette player
is chained to the steel table.
Good afternoon, Clarice.
She stops at a striped police barricade, before his bars.
I thought you might want your drawings
back… Just until you get your view.
How very thoughtful… Or did Crawford
send you here for one last wheedle –
before you’re both booted off the
Nobody sent me. I came on my own.
He spins in his swivel chair, stops neatly. A coy smile.
People will say we’re in love.
Pity you tried to fool me, isn’t it?
Pity for poor Catherine. Tick-tock…
He spins again in his chair, playfully.
MOVING ANGLE – FAVORING CLARICE
as she circles the cage, trying to keep his face in sight.
Dr. Lecter, you find out everything.
You couldn’t have talked with this
“William Rubin”, even once, and come
out knowing so little about him…
You made him up, didn’t you?
Clarice… you’re hardly in a position
to accuse me of lying.
I think you were telling me the truth
in Baltimore – or starting to. Tell
me the rest now.
I’ve studied the case file, have
you…? Everything you need to find
him is right in these pages. Whatever
his name is.
Then tell me how.
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?
He kills w-
(sharply, as he stops)
No! That’s incidental.
CLOSE ANGLE – TWO SHOT as he rises, pained by her ignorance,
and crosses to the bars.
What is the first and principal thing
he does, what need does he serve by
Anger, social resentment, sexual
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.
No. We just –
No. Precisely. We begin by coveting
what we see every day. Don’t you
feel eyes moving over your body,
Clarice? I hardly see how you
couldn’t. And don’t your eyes move
over the things you want?
All right, then tell me how –
No. It’s your turn to tell me,
Clarice. You don’t have any more
vacations to sell, on Anthrax Island.
Why did you run away from that ranch?
Dr. Lecter, when there’s time I’ll –
We don’t reckon time the same way,
Clarice. This is all the time you’ll
Later, listen, I’ll –
I’ll 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 – ?
And – one morning I just – ran away…
She turns from him. He presses closer, gripping the bars.
Not “just,” Clarice. What set you
off? You started what time?
Early. Still dark.
Then something woke you. What? Did
you dream…? What was it?
The 10-year old Clarice sits up abruptly in her bed,
frightened. She is in a Montana ranch house; it almost dawn.
Strange, fearful shadows on her ceiling and walls… a window,
partly fogged by the cold; eerie brightness outside.
I heard a strange sound…
- LECTER (V.O.)
What was it?
THE CHILD RISES
crosses to the window in her nightgown, rubs the glass.
I didn’t know. I went to look…
HIGH ANGLES (2ND STORY) – THE CHILD’S POV
Shadowy men, ranch hands, are moving in and out of a nearby
barn, carrying mysterious bundles. The mens’ breath is
steaming… A refrigerated truck idles nearby, its engine
adding more steam. A strange, almost surrealistic scene…
Screaming! Some kind of – screaming.
Like a child’s voice…
THE LITTLE GIRL
is terrified; she covers her ears.
- LECTER (V.O.)
What did you do?
Got dressed without turning on the
light. I went downstairs… outside…
THE LITTLE GIRL
in her winter coat, slips noiselessly towards the open barn
door. She ducks into the shadows to avoid a ranch hand, who
passes her with a squirming bundle of some kind. He goes
into the barn, and she edges after him reluctantly.
I crept up to the barn… I was so
scared to look inside – but I had
THE LITTLE GIRL’S POV
as the open doorway LOOMS CLOSER… Bright lights inside,
straw bales, the edges of stalls, then moving figures…
- LECTER (V.O.)
And what did you see, Clarice?
A SQUIRMING LAMB
is held down on a table by two ranch hands.
Lambs. The lambs were screaming…
A third cowboy stretches out the lamb’s neck, raises a bloody
knife. Just as he’s about to slice its throat –
BACK TO THE ADULT CLARICE
staring into the distance, shaken, still trembling from the
child’s shock. We see Dr. Lecter, over her shoulder, studying
They were slaughtering the spring
Yes…! They were screaming.
So you ran away…
No. First I tried to free them… I
opened the gate of their pen – but
they wouldn’t run. They just stood
there, confused. They wouldn’t run…
But you could. You did.
I took one lamb. And I ran away, as
fast as I could…
a vast Montana plain, and crossing this, a tiny figure – the
little Clarice, holding a lamb in her arms.
- LECTER (V.O.)
Where were you going?
I don’t know. I had no food or water.
It was very cold. I thought – if I
can even save just one… but he got
so heavy. So heavy…
The tiny figure stops, and after a few moments sinks to the
ground, hunched over in dispair.
I didn’t get more than a few miles
before the sheriff’s car found me.
The rancher was so angry he sent me
to live at the Lutheran orphanage in
Bozeman. I never saw the ranch
- LECTER (V.O.)
But what became of your lamb?
BACK TO SCENE
as the adult Clarice turns, staring into his feverish eyes.
She shakes her head, unwilling – or unable – to say more.
You still wake up sometimes, don’t
you? Wake up in the dark, with the
Do you think if you saved Catherine,
you could make them stop…? Do you
think, if Catherine lives, you won’t
wake up in the dark, ever again, to
the screaming of the lambs? Do you…?
Yes! I don’t know…! I don’t know.
(a pause; then, oddly
Thank you, Clarice.
Tell me his name, Dr. Lecter.
Dr. Chilton… I believe you know
as Clarice turns, startled, and the fuming Chilton seizes
her elbow. Pembry and Boyle are beside him, looking grim.
Out. Let’s go.
Sorry, ma’a m – we’ve got orders to
have you put on a place.
Clarice struggles, pulling free of them for a moment.
Brave Clarice. Will you let me know
if ever the lambs stop screaming?
(moving closer to the
Yes. I’ll tell you.
(she nods. He smiles)
Then why not take your case file? I
won’t be needing it anymore.
He holds out the file, arm extended between the bars. She
hesitates, then reaches to take it.
VERY CLOSE ANGLE – SLOW MOTION
as the exchange is made, his index finger touches her hand,
and lingers there, just for a moment.
- LECTER’S EYES
widen, crackling at this touch, like sparks in a cave.
hugging the case file to her chest, stares back at him as
the men crowd in on her, pushing her away.
HER POV – MOVING
as Dr. Lecter, head cocked in a smile, slowly recedes…
INT. GARMENT SWEATSHOP – DAY
MOVING ANGLE – MR. GUMB’S POV as he pushes a rolling rack of
completed leather garments, each wrapped in plastic, down as
aisle. SOUND of many sewing machines, all clattering at once,
as he passes row on row of work tables. The seamstresses,
mostly black or Hispanic, glance up as he passes, then quickly
avert their eyes, his presence disturbing them in some
A thin FOREMAN in a flowery shirt, sees him approaching. He
rises from his desk and comes over cheerfully, as the rack
rolls to a stop.
Hello, dear! Punctual as always. And
what have you brought us today?
He seizes one of the dangling jackets, pulling up the plastic
wrapper. He examines it, stroking the sleeve.
Oh, marvelous… You know, I always
say you’re the Leonardo of leather.
- GUMB (O.S.)
(a harsh whisper)
- GUMB (O.S.)
You’re leaving oil on the skin.
The foreman quickly releases the jacket.
Of course… You’ll be wanting your –
Mr. Gumb’s hand reaches INTO SHOT, snatching an envelope
from him. The foreman is watching him walk away, as a
seamstress comes over to take the rack of garments. The
foreman is vaguely troubled, but shakes it off. He strokes
the jacket again, admiringly.
I wish we had a dozen like him…
SOUND UPCUT – Glenn Gould playing Bach’s Goldberg
INT. MEMPHIS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT – LOUNGE AREA – DUSK
Clarice, in a line of other passengers, is moving slowly
towards a departure ramp. Through a huge plate glass window,
we can see her plane. She glances back over her shoulder at
A pair of UNIFORMED COPS brawny and impassive, their arms
folded, waiting to make sure she board the flight.
Clarice sighs, turning wearily back towards the jetway. The
BACH CONTINUES, as we…
INT. SHELBY CO. COURTHOUSE – HISTORICAL SOCIETY ROOM –
CLOSE ON a steaming, rather elegant dinner tray, being carried
by Pembry, as he approaches Dr. Lecter’s cell.
Ready when you are, Doc!
IN THE CELL
the BACH is issuing from the cassette player. Beside it, on
the table, the pile of Dr. Lecter’s drawings. The top one is
an accurate, sensitive portrait, from memory, of Clarice.
Beyond the table, we see Lecter’s shadowy form, seated behind
the paper screen. He calls out from there.
- LECTER (O.S.)
Just another minute, please!
Pembry grunts, sets the tray down. Boyle joins him, handing
him a riot baton and a Mace cannister, which Pembry fastens
to belt clips. Boyle is similarly armed, and carries a ring
Sumbitch demanded lamb chops for
dinner, extra rare.
What you reckon he’ll want for
breakfast – some fuckin’ thing from
INSIDE THE SCREEN
Dr. Lecter sits fully clothed on the toilet – swaying
slightly, eyes closed, lost in the music, tongue working in
his cheek. Suddenly, like magic, a little shiny piece of
metal protrudes from his lips. He plucks it out, opens his
IN EXTREME CLOSEUP
he is holding the pocket clip from Prentice’s disassembled
pen – a straight, thin strip of metal, with a circular collar
at one end, a square edge at the other.
lines up his thumbnail just shy of the square edge, then
braces it against the stainless steel toilet rim. He pushes
down, hard, using both hands for leverage. After a moment he
smiles, holding up the result, and twirling it before his
IN EXTREME CLOSEUP
the straight end of the clip now forms a tiny right angle,
and the circular end anchors nicely between his fingers.
OUTSIDE THE CELL
Pembry and Boyle turn as the toilet FLUSHES, and Dr. Lecter
reappears, looking jaunty.
Okay, Doc, grab some floor. Same
drill as lunchtime.
Dr. Lecter sits on the floor, legs straight, then wriggles
backwards. He stretches his arms behind him, hands and wrists
through the bars, with two bars between them, and clasps his
I’m ready when you are, Officer
Pembry comes around the cell to squat behind Dr. Lecter. He
tugs his hands farther out, rather roughly, handcuffs his
wrists. He shakes the cuffs, making sure of them, then nods
NEW ANGLE – AT CELL DOOR
as Boyle picks up the dinner tray, and Pembry crosses around.
Pembry takes the keys from Boyle, unlocks the cell door, and
pushes it inward. Boyle goes inside with the tray.
watches as Boyle approaches the table, above five feet from
him. Boyle has to set his tray down on the floor to clear
off some of the mess of drawings. The MUSIC plays on.
VERY CLOSE ON
…Dr. Lecter’s hands, outside the bars, as the makeshift
key, held between the tips of his right index and middle
fingers, searches for the keyhole of the cuffs. And finds
NEW ANGLE – FAVORING BOYLE
as he finishes clearing the drawings, then turns back towards
Dr. Lecter, stooping to pick up the tray.
BOYLE’S RIGHT HAND
is just inches from the tray when Dr. Lecter’s hand darts
INTO SHOT, snapping a handcuff onto his wrist.
looks up, astonished, to find himself right in the grinning
face of Dr. Lecter – who just as quickly rolls sideways, and
THE OTHER CUFF
around the bolted leg of the table. And suddenly all natural
SOUND and MOTION are suspended, as the MUSIC soars much
louder, each separate note of it now echoing distinctly, and
VARIOUS ANGLES – EACH BLURRING INTO STOP-ACTION
Pembry starting into the cell, reaching for his riot baton…
Dr. Lecter smashing against the cell door, driving it into
Pembry, pinning him across the chest, against the door
Boyle, on one knee on the floor, digging desperately in his
pants pocket for his handcuff key…
Pembry’s hand, mashed against his body by the door, as he
strains frantically to reach the baton at his waist…
Pembry’s eyes, widening in horror as he stares at…
Dr. Lecter’s bared teeth, flashing towards him…
Dr. Lecter gripping Pembry’s face in his jaws, shaking it
like a dog shakes a rat…
Boyle finding his key, but in his terror dropping it…
Dr. Lecter yanking the mace can and riot baton from the dazed
Pembry’s belt, spraying him in his bloody face, then clubbing
him to his knees…
Boyle, mouth open in a silent scream, finding his key again,
unlocking the handcuff, but then, as he starts to rise,
Dr. Lecter standing over him, with the riot baton raised
high; he swings it viciously down, again and again and
Then normal SOUND and MOTION are restored as we go to –
CLOSE ANGLE ON
the cassette player, and the portrait of Clarice, both now
flecked with blood. In addition to the Bach, we now hear
soft PANTING, close by, and whimpering SOBS in the background.
ANGLE ON DR. LECTER
eyes closed, lost in a favorite passage of the music. His
bloody fingers drift airily with the notes, as his breathing
slows to normal. He opens his eyes, sighs contentedly, looks
By the sprawled legs of Boyle lie various objects that spilled
from his pants pocket – coins, a comb, a big pocketknife.
picks up the pocketknife, examines it happily. About a four-
inch blade. He becomes aware of the WHIMPERING, off screen,
LOW ANGLE ON PEMBRY
as he crawls, with torturous slowness, towards the command
desk, and the phone. He is crying, but frantically determined.
PEMBRY’S POV – PARTIALLY BLURRED, THEN CLEARING
Above the desk, hanging from pegs, are his and Boyle’s
INT. COURTHOUSE – GROUND FLOOR LOBBY – NIGHT
The bronze arrow above the elevator swings towards “5,” then
indicates a stop there, at the top floor.
FAVORING SGT. TATE
at his command desk, as he stares at the indicator. Another
cop, JACOBS, sits on the desk’s edge, flipping through a
magazine; many more cops can be seen beyond them, idling in
What is this shit…? Did somebody
go up to five?
(Jacobs shakes his
Call Pembry, ask him what –
A GUNSHOT, and then, moments later, TWO MORE quick ones,
echo down the nearby stairwell. Sgt. Tate jumps to his feet,
grabs a radio mike, as the other cops stir, confused and
CP, shots fired on five! Repeat,
shots fires on five! Outside posts
look sharp, we’ve got a… Ho-ly
THE BRONZE ARROW
has begun to descend. Down to 4, then past 4…
BACK ON SGT. TATE
as he reacts. The other cops, behind him, are now in a full
uproar, shouting, pulling out guns.
(to the others)
SHUT UP…! Guard mount, double up
on your outside posts. Bobby, get
the vests. Rainey, Howard, cover
that fucking elevator if it comes
all the way to –
A COP (O.S.)
THE BRONZE ARROW
has, indeed, frozen at 3. Sgt. Tate lifts the microphone
Seal off a ten-block radius. Get me
the SWAT team and an ambulance, double
quick. We’re going up.
INT. STAIRWELL – NIGHT (DIMLY LIT)
HIGH ANGLE on Sgt. Tate as he leads a five-man squad, all in
bulletproof vests, up the stone stairs. They move fast but
carefully, covering each other from landing to landing with
drawn revolvers, shotguns. The distant Back MUSIC makes a
ghostly echo in here…
INT. THIRD FLOOR CORRIDOR – NIGHT (DIMLY LIT)
A thin rectangle of light on the floor from the open elevator
door. We can’t see inside. The MUSIC sounds closer.
approaches very cautiously, gun aimed. The other cops, behind
him, fan out silently to set up angles of fire, checking the
various office doors – all locked – as they creep up.
MOVING ANGLE – OVER TATE’S SHOULDER
as he reaches the side of the elevator, hesitates, then spins
to point his gun inside. It’s empty. He backs away.
(shouts at ceiling)
INT. HISTORICAL SOCIETY ROOM – NIGHT (BRIGHTLY LIT)
ANGLE on the door, from inside, its lettering reversed on
the frosted glass. The Bach is VERY LOUD.
After a moment the door is shouldered open, hard enough for
the glass to shatter, Tate following his gun inside, moving
low, then other cops appearing behind him in the doorframe.
They all freeze, staring in utter horror.
Oh no… no…
is a brief snapshot from hell. The two uniformed bodies, one
sprawled on its back near the door, the other still in the
cell, have been savaged by a knife. Blood and gore everywhere.
The faces are unrecognizable.
struggles for control, as the other cops move grimly around
him, into the room. He pulls his walkie-talkie from his belt.
Command post… Two offi-
(a beat; clears his
Two officers down. Prisoner is
missing. Repeat, Lecter is missing…
He’s stripped the bed, might be making
a rope, check all windows. Where the
fuck is my ambulance?
IN THE CELL
a cop angrily punches OFF the music. Jacobs kneels with his
fingers on Boyle’s neck.
Boyle is dead, Sarge. His gun’s
AT THE OTHER BODY
a cop gently removes a revolver from the bloody fist. Murray,
the young patrolman, brings his ear reluctantly close to the
gory face. A bloody bubble appears there; the wreckage GROANS,
This one’s alive!
Tate crosses, kneels to see for himself. Murray looks green.
Take ahold of him where he can feel
your hands, son. Talk to him.
What’s his name, Sarge?
It’s Pembry, now talk to him, God
(into radio, looking
Boyle’s dead, Pembry’s read bad.
Lecter is missing and armed – he
took Boyle’s gun…
The other cop, checking the cylinder of Pembry’s gun, holds
up one finger to Tate.
Pembry got off one round – there’s a
chance Lecter was hit. We heard a
total of three shots fired, so he’s
got four left… He’s got a knife,
EXT. STREET IN FRONT OF COURTHOUSE – NIGHT
VARIOUS ANGLES on a floodlit scene of barely controlled
pandemonium. Flashing red lights, men shouting commands,
SIRENS in the distance. SWAT members, in full gear, leap
from a black van… fan out… swarm up the steps… EMS
orderlies unload a gurney from an ambulance… Cops kneel
for cover behind cars, aiming guns and rifles up at the
INT. HISTORICAL SOCIETY ROOM – NIGHT
A trio of EMS orderlies work fast over the body, already
strapped on its gurney. They bandage a big plastic airway
into place, over the butchered face, checking for a pulse at
the neck. Young Murray crouches, sickened, gripping a bloody
You’re just fine, Pembry, lookin’
good, buddy, you’re gonna make it…
One orderly massages the heart. Another is popping a plasma
bag, ready to insert the needle, when the body starts
Downstairs – let’s go!
Quickly the gurney is elevated, wheeled out of the room,
with cops rushing forward to open the doors, help push, SWAT
men are running by in the hall, automatic rifles at the
INT. THE ELEVATOR – DESCENDING – NIGHT
Sgt. Tate, riding down with Jacobs, has his radio out.
Ten-four, Lieutenant. I’m on the
elevator, bringing it down. Pembry
and Boyle are both cleared, top three
floors secured, main stairwell
secured. He’s somewhere on –
A spot of blood falls on his cheek. He and Jacobs stare at
each other. Another spot hits his shoulder. They look up.
Blood is dripping slowly from the corner of the service hatch.
Sgt. Tate motions for silence, as both men draw their guns.
Uh, we’re pretty sure he’s somewhere
on two, sir… That’s all for now,
INT. GROUND FLOOR LOBBY – NIGHT
The elevator doors open, and Tate and Jacobs hurry out,
stepping quickly to the side. Tate reaches back in and –
Locks the elevator into position, with its doors open.
OTHER COPS are rushing up to them, curious, as Tate
frantically pushes them aside, gesturing for silence.
He’s on the roof of the elevator!
INT. THIRD FLOOR CORRIDOR – NIGHT
Two SWAT officers, PETERSON and KUBELL, turn a key, unlocking
and opening this floor’s elevator doorway. The shaft is dark.
Lying prone, they inch up to the edge, Peterson extends a
mirror, on a long pole, out into the shaft.
IN THE MIRROR (DISTORTED BY THE ANGLE)
Is a distant figure, in a green prison jumpsuit, lying on
his stomach, atop the elevator. A shiny revolver is near one
whispers into a radio, as Kubell carefully tips an assault
rifle, with a flashlight taped to its barrel, over the edge.
I see him… There’s a weapon by his
hand. He’s not moving…
Can you get the drop?
We got the drop.
One warning. Then take him out.
Peterson nods to Kubell, who switches ON the flashlight, as
Peterson shouts down the shaft.
Quinn!! put your hands on your head!!
IN THE MIRROR
the green figure shows no movement.
ANGLE ON THE COPS AGAIN
as Peterson mutters to Kubell.
Put one in his leg.
VERY CLOSE ON
The figure below, as Kubell’s gunshot ROARS, echoing hugely
in the shaft, and a slug rips through the jumpsuited leg.
The figure doesn’t stir.
staring down the shaft, raises his mike again.
Okay, Johnny, hold your fire…
INT. GROUND FLOOR LOBBY – NIGHT
A small army of cops is now covering the elevator doorway,
from both sides. Tate crouches next to the SWAT COMMANDER.
(into radio mike)
We’re coming into the car, we’re
opening the hatch. Watch his hands.
Any fire will come from us. Affirm?
The SWAT commander hands his radio to another cop, then looks
at Tate. A long, tense moment. Then he waves a signal.
as we follow a picked team of four SWAT cops, in full body
armor, rushing into the elevator car. Two men move to the
corners, aim assault rifles at the ceiling. A third man sets
a stepladder in place, and the fourth man, armed with a big
Colt, hurries up the ladder and unclips the hatch.
…the service hatch, as the hinged cover drops open, and a
body tumbles through, dangling head first, until it’s caught
at the waist. We see the back of the head.
shoulders through the SWAT cops for a closer look. He turns
towards the SWAT commander, astonished.
INT. EMS AMBULANCE – MOVING
In the rear chamber, a young EMS ATTENDANT is braced against
the vehicle’s sway. Behind him, the stretchered form of his
patient, and, through a curtained opening, the driver. SOUND
of the siren.
(into radio mike)
He’s comatose, but his vital signs
are good. Pressure’s 130 over 90…
Yeah, 90! Pulse 85…
Behind him, in slightly BLURRED FOCUS, the bloody figure
sits slowly upright…
His convulsions have stopped, but
he’s got so much loose skin on his
face, it’s hard to tell if –
Suddenly he stops, becoming aware of a strange HISSING. He
THE POCKETKNIFE BLADE
in Lecter’s fist, flashes high in the air…
EXT. SIX-LANE FREEWAY – NIGHT (ARC LIGHTS)
MOVING ANGLE on the EMS ambulance, as it races along normally,
its SIREN blazing, the heavy flow of traffic parting to make
way for it.
Then suddenly it begins to weave erratically, changing lanes,
before drifting dangerously to a full stop, almost side-ways.
Cars swerve to avoid hitting it, HONKING angrily…
on the stopped ambulance. After a long, still moment, the
wind-shield wipes come on, incongruously, then stop. Then
the SIREN is shut OFF, and the flashers. The ambulance starts
rolling again – at first jerkingly, then with increasing
speed. We follow it for several more moments, until is passes –
and we LINGER on…
BIG GREEN INTERSTATE SIGN
…that reads “Memphis International Airport / 2 miles.”
CLOSE ANGLE – THROUGH AMBULANCE WINDSHIELD
Dr. Lecter’s face is slowly REVEALED, as he wipes across it
with a fistful of gauze, tossing it aside…
EXT. MONTANA PLAIN – DUSK – (IN FLASHBACK)
MOVING ANGLE, rushing with dizzy swiftness over the prairie,
over waving grasses… a long passage… before we come at
last to the girl Clarice, sitting with her lamb, hunched in
despair. She rises, her face tear-stained, and turns from
- Holding the lamb, she starts back the way she came…
EXT. COUNTRY DIRT ROAD – NIGHT – BRIGHT MOONLIGHT
MOVING ANGLE, very rapid, down this road… coming at last
to a stopped highway patrol car. Clarice, with her lamb, is
standing in the car’s headlights. She starts wearily towards
EXT. RANCH BARNYARD – NEAR DAWN
CRANE ANGLE – sweeping rapidly DOWN into the barnyard towards
the arriving highway patrol car, as it stops… RUSHING to
the little girl as she steps from the car, holding the lamb.
The dark figure of the rancher ENTERS FRAME. As he roughly
takes the lamb from her, we HOLD on a CLOSEUP of her face –
stunned, blank. She EXITS FRAME…
EXT. BARN – NIGHT
MOVING ANGLE – CLARICE’S POV as she walks towards the open
barn doorway… It looms CLOSER… The rancher is revealed,
a shadowy figure, pinning the lamb on the killing table. His
knife hand sweeps up high, then holds… He turns TO CAMERA,
his face breaking into the light – and it is the face of Dr.
Lecter. He smiles his terrible smile at the young Clarice…
INT. FBI DORM – PAY PHONE IN HALLWAY – NIGHT
MOVING ANGLE – coming in very CLOSE on the adult Clarice’s
face – shocked, devastated – as she stands alone by the
INT. SHOWER STALL – FBI DORM – NIGHT
CLOSE ON a shower head, as water suddenly blasts out. Clarice
moves INTO SHOT, as she scrubs her face and hair compulsively,
almost desperately, unable to get clean…
They found the ambulance…
INT. CLARICE’S DORM ROOM – NIGHT
Clarice is hunched on her cot, in a bathrobe, her hair wet.
The Buffalo Bill case file, a thick bundle, rests by her
feet. Ardelia hovers anxiously nearby.
In the parking garage at Memphis
airport. The crew was dead. He killed
a tourist, too. Got his clothes,
cash… By now he could be anywhere.
Clarice looks up. Her eyes are red-rimmed with exhaustion,
and something close to despair. She reads Ardelia’s thought.
No. He won’t come after me.
It would be rude. And he wouldn’t
get to ask any more questions…
Ardelia sits beside her, touches her arm.
Clarice – you did the best anybody
could have for Catherine Martin. You
stuck your neck out for her and you
got your butt kicked for her and you
tried. It’s not your fault it ended
The worst part – the thing that’s
making me crazy – is that Bill is
right in front of me. Only I can’t
(touching the case
Lecter said, everything I need to
catch him is right here, in these
Lecter said a lot of things.
(shakes her head)
He’s here, Ardelia.
Ardelia stares back at her.
SOUND UPCUT – the low throb of a washing machine…
INT. LAUNDRY ROOM – ACADEMY DORM – NIGHT (VERY LATE)
Clarice has spread out the case file across two washing
machines. Ardelia, cross-legged on a dryer, studies another
pile of forms. Nearby is their laundry basket, detergent
Hey, is this Lecter’s handwriting?
She holds up the map, with its
location markings for the kidnapping
and body dump sites. Clarice takes
INSERT – THE MAP
with newly inked words in Dr. Lecter’s precise, elegant hand.
- LECTER (V.O.)
Clarice, doesn’t this random
scattering of sites seem overdone to
you? Doesn’t it seem desperately
random – like the elaborations of a
bad liar? Ta… Hannibal Lecter.
NEW ANGLE – TWO SHOT
as Clarice looks up at Ardelia, puzzled but excited.
“Desperately random.” What does he
Not random at all, maybe. Like there’s
some pattern here…?
But there is no pattern. There’s no
connection at all among these places,
or the computers would’ve nailed it!
They’re even found in random order.
Well, except for the one girl.
The one that was weighted down. Where
is she…? Fred something.
They search among the inserts. Clarice finds the graduation
Fredrica Bimmel, from Belvedere,
Ohio. The first girl taken, but the
third body found… Why?
‘Cause she didn’t drift. He weighted
But why? He didn’t weight the others.
Clarice moves, on fire, unable to keep still.
The first, what the hell did Lecter
say about… “First principles,” he
said. Simplicity… What does this
guy do, he “covets.” How do we first
start to covet? “We covet what we
She stops, turns. She grabs the photo of Fredrica from
Ardelia, stares at it. She looks up, trembling.
“- every day.”
Hot damn, Clarice.
He knew her…!
INT. FBI BUILDING – OFFICE OF THE DIRECTOR – DAY
Clarice and Crawford are seated in front of Director Burke,
who’s at his desk. Another chair is empty, because Krendler
is pacing. All four are nearing their boiling points.
Maybe he lives in this, this
Belvedere, Ohio, too! Maybe he saw
her every day, and killed her sort
of spontaneously. Maybe he just meant
to… give her a 7-Up and talk about
the choir. But then –
But then he had to cover up, make
her seem just like all the rest of
them. That’s what Lecter was hinting!
The market in Lecter hints is way
down, today, okay? I’ve got two good
men dead in Memphis, and three
civilians. I’ve got –
Who the hell’s fault is –
– a U.S. Senator who’s half out of
her head because her daughter’s going
to be murdered today! And all because
of your mind games with fucking
If you hadn’t interfered, he’d still
be in custody in Baltimore!
You sent in a green recruit, with a
phony goddamn offer –
You’re just trying to cover your ass
for letting him escape!
THAT’S ENOUGH! All of you…
A long silence, as they all struggle to regain composure.
Crawford, who was at the point of striking Krendler, finally
retakes his seat. Burke looks sadly at Crawford and Clarice.
Starling, I’m afraid I have no choice.
You’re suspended from the Academy.
(Crawford starts to
Not another word!
This is pending a reevaluation of
your fitness for the service. I
promise you’ll get a fair hearing.
Jack… you’re ordered to take
compassionate leave. You’ll spend
the rest of the day briefing the
AG’s office, then transfer command
of the task force, effective by 1800
I’m sorry, Jack… Go home. Take
care of Bella.
Clarice and Crawford stare back at him, drained. A long and
very painful silence. Not even Krendler looks happy.
EXT. SIDEWALK OUTSIDE FBI BUILDING – DAY
Clarice and Crawford walk out slowly, stand there a moment,
not knowing what to say, not wanting to face each other.
All his victims are women… His
obsession is women, he lives to hunt
women. But not one women is hunting
him – except me. I can walk in a
woman’s room and know three times as
much about her as a man would.
I have to go to Belvedere.
You heard them. I don’t have that
You do until six p.m.
He stares at her sadly. He looks, for the first time,
defeated, old beyond his years.
Ohio is cold ground. Picked over,
ten months ago. Our people worked
it, so did the locals.
But not from this angle. Not thinking
he knew her. You’ve got to send me!
I’m Bureau for 28 years, Starling. I
won’t disobey orders, not even now.
But I just became a private citizen.
I can go anywhere I want to.
With ID and a gun…? Impersonating
a federal agent is a felony.
He’s going to kill her, Mr. Crawford.
This morning, or maybe at noon, but
today, and Belvedere’s our last
chance. I’m flying there, right now,
unless you stop me. You want my ID?
Here – take it…
He stares at her, a long moment. Catherine’s life. Clarice’s
passion, and future. His loyalty to the Bureau. Call it.
(pulls out his wallet)
There’s about $300 here… And a
hotline code number. They’ll patch
you through to me, wherever I am.
She raises her hand to him. She wants to touch him face, or
his neck, but can’t. Finally she takes his money and card.
He watches, frightened for both of them, as she backs away,
smiles, then turns, racing towards the surveillance van.
SOUND UPCUT – the scratchy recording of Fats Waller SINGING,
INT. MR. GUMB’S CELLAR – DAY (DIM LIGHT)
CLOSE ON the needle of the Victrola, on the spinning record,
as Mr. Gumb’s fingers lift away. MUSIC continues in
- GUMB (O.S.)
CLOSE ON the moth cage, as Mr. Gumb’s fingers search through
the humus, and find a plump new cocoon, lifting it out. The
door of the cage is left open, and one or two of the adult
moths flutter out.
- GUMB (O.S.)
Precious, come on Precious! Busy
busy day today…
CLOSE ON a clean towel, beside the sink. The cocoon is gently
placed in readiness alongside four shiny skinning knives.
- GUMB (O.S.)
Momma’s gonna be sooo beautiful!
CLOSE ON a stainless steel Colt Python, with a six-inch
barrel, as the cylinder is spun, and the hammer gets a
practice cock. The metallic CLICK is deep and loud. A note
of alarm has entered Mr. Gumb’s voice.
- GUMB (O.S.)
You come here this minute, you little
LOW ANGLE on Mr. Gumb, wearing the kimono, as he walks through
his sewing workroom. His back is to us; he is looking
anxiously under the furniture. He stops, straightens.
LOW ANGLE – OVER THE PIT OPENING
Towards Mr. Gumb, as he stops at one of the doorways of the
oubliette chamber. He stares inside; his face in shadows.
From the distant bottom of the pit, we hear Catherine’s voice.
She’d down here you sack of shit.
Mr. Gumb’s fist flies to his mouth, and he sags against the
doorframe. A little groan escaped him; the dog answers with
a series of YIPS.
UPWARD ANGLE, FROM THE PIT BOTTOM
as Mr. Gumb’s dark shape leans cautiously over the edge.
Precious, are you all right?
REVERSE ANGLE ON CATHERINE
crouched to one side, clutching the dog to her chest. Seeing
Mr. Gumb, the dog squirms frantically, BARKING.
Get me a telephone. Lower it down to
- Do it now, mister! I don’t want
to have to hurt this little dog.
on Mr. Gumb, as, with a cry of fury, he whips the Colt from
inside his kimono. The muzzle gleams as he takes aim.
Catherine yanks the dog up, into his line of fire, screaming
You shoot motherfucker you better
kill me quick or I’ll break her
fucking neck, I swear to God!
- GUMB (O.S.)
Tucking the dog under one arm, she grabs its muzzle, twisting
the head. The dog WHINES piteously.
Back off, you son of a bitch! Back
as Mr. Gumb cries out again – a terrible, inarticulate scream
of rage and anguish. But then he slowly lowers his gun.
On Catherine, as she maintains her grip.
That’s better… Now get me a live
telephone. Get a long extension and
lower is down here… And you better
do it fast, too, ’cause I think her
leg’s broken. She’s in pain, mister,
she needs a vet.
stares down at her, a long beat, breathing heavily.
You think she’s in pain? You don’t
know what pain is. But you’re going
to find out…
And abruptly he vanishes. SOUND of his footsteps, rushing
begins shaking, hands and arms twitching uncontrollably. She
hugs the little dog tight to her chest, buries her face in
its fur, sobbing…
EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET – BELVEDERE, OHIO – DAY
HIGH ANGLE as a rented sedan pulls up to the curb, stops.
After a moment Clarice climbs out, a bit stiffly. Double-
checking this address, she glances up from a folded street
map to –
AN OLD, THREE-STORY WOODEN HOUSE
in a row of similarly shabby homes, all backing onto a narrow
river. A path of boards, laid over mud, leads back along
this house towards the brown water. SOUND of hammering from
EXT. BIMMEL HOUSE – BACK YARD – DAY
An awesome huddle of pigeon coops sprawls by the brackish
water. The birds’ COOING mixes with the HAMMERING. A tall,
gaunt man in a knit cap is obsessively pounding nails into a
approaches him, and the man lowers his hammer. He has red-
rimmed eyes of watery blue. His face is deeply seamed.
He stares back at her, warily.
INT. BIMMEL HOUSE – STAIRCASE – DAY
HIGH ANGLE – LOOKING DOWN as Mr. Bimmel leads Clarice up a
steep flight of steps. The bannister is worn, sags a bit.
I don’t know nothin’ new to tell ya.
The police been back here so many
times already… Fredrica went into
Columbus on the bus to see about a
job. She left the interview OK. She
never come home.
Clarice pauses, at the landing, to look at a framed photo:
the familiar graduation portrait. Others pictures show
Fredrica as a young girl, toddler, infant – plump and hopeful
at each age.
Her room’s how she left it. Just
shut the door when you’re done.
INT. FREDRICA’S BEDROOM – DAY
CLARICE’S POV – MOVING SLOWLY as she takes in flowery chintz
curtains… posters of Madonna and Blondie… a twin bed,
with worn, stuffed animals on the pillow… a big sewing
machine in the corner.
turns, absorbing nuances. There is loneliness here, an echo
of desperation under this steeply pitches ceiling. A shrill
MEOW, and she looks down…
BIG TORTOISESHELL CAT
is rubbing against her ankles.
picks up the cat, scratches behind his ears. She glances up.
IN A FULL-LENGTH MIRROR
she and the cat stares back at their own reflection…
sitting at the desk, turns the pages of a high school
yearbook. The cat is curled on her lap…
kneeling by the old Decca record player, flips through LPs
and singles. The cat has wandered off…
pulling a string to light up the closet. She is surprised
and intrigued to see an extensive wardrobe, groaning from
the rod. A shelf above the rod is stacked high with sewing
supplies, in clear plexiboxes. She flips through the hanging
clothes, pulls out one dress, on its hanger, for a closer
is very big, to fit Fredrica, but beautifully cut. Some of
the seams still look unfinished. She turns it around, sees a
blue tissue dressmaker’s pattern still pinned to the back.
FAVORING THE SEWING MACHINE
as Clarice turns, looks towards it. She hangs the dress on
the closet door knob, crosses to sit at the machine. She
takes off its dust cover. She runs one hand over the cool
metal, as a taunting memory forms in her mind.
- LECTER (V.O.)
Billy wants to change, too, Clarice.
But there’s the problem of his size,
She turns, looks again at the unfinished dress. Suddenly she
straightens, her attention riveted by something…
On the printed pattern, down at the lower back of the outlined
dress, are two bold black triangles. We RUSH CLOSER to there
shapes, before jumping back to –
who stares at them, starting to tremble.
- LECTER (V.O.)
Even if he were a woman, he’d have
to be a big one…
those missing triangles of skin on the dead girl’s back, in
the funeral home in West Virginia…
CLOSE ON CLARICE
as she jumps to her feet, with a fierce joy.
Sewing darts. You bastard.
INT. BIMMEL PARLOR – DOWNSTAIRS – DAY
Clarice paces, in an exuberant rush, amidst the worn
He’s making himself a “woman suit,”
Mr. Crawford – out of real women!
And he can sew, this guy, he’s really
skilled. A dressmaker, or a tailor –
That’s why they’re all so big –
because he needs a lot of skin! He
keeps them alive to starve them awhile –
to loosen their skin, so that –
Starling, we know who he is! And
where he is. We’re on our way now.
INT. FBI TURBOJET – FLYING – DAY
Crawford sits at a communications console, with Burroughs,
in headphones, by his side. This forward section of the cabin
is crammed with hi-tech equipment, all lit up and WHIRRING.
Through a window we see clouds, part of the jet’s wing.
(into speaker phone)
Calumet City, edge of Chicago. I’ll
be on the ground in 45 minutes with
the Hostage Rescue Team. I’m back in
charge, Starling. He’s mine.
as Clarice reacts; her happiness for Crawford is tinged with
disappointment at being so suddenly out of the hunt.
Sir, that’s great news. But how –
Johns Hopkins finally came up with a
name for us. We fed him into Known
Offenders, and he came up cherries.
(takes a paper from
Subject’s name is “Jamie Gumb,” AKA
“John Grant.” Lecter’s description
was accurate, he just lied about the
INSIDE THE JET – MOVING ANGLE
from the rear of the cabin forward, as we slowly PASS the
twelve-man HRT. They’re seated in full gear, hardshell armor,
quietly checking and rechecking their bulging cases of weapons –
silencer automatics, shotguns, stun grenades…
This Gumb’s a real beauty. Slaughtered
both his grandparents when he was
twelve, and did nine years in juvenile
psychiatric. Where, Starling, he
took vocational rehab, and learned a
Take a bow. Customs had some paper
on his alias. They stopped a carton
two years ago at LAX – live
caterpillars from Surinam. The
addressee was “John Grant.” Calumet
Power & Light’s given us two possible
residences under that alias. We’re
hitting one, Chicago SWAT’s taking
Chicago’s only about 400 miles from
here. I could be there in –
No, Starling, there isn’t time. And
you’ve still got crucial work to do
in Ohio. We want him for murder, not
kidnapping. I’m counting on you to
link him to the Bimmel girl, before
Clarice tries hard to swallow her disappointment.
Yes sir… I’ll do my best.
Starling – you’ve earned back your
place in the Academy. We never
would’ve found him without you, and
nobody’s ever going to forget that.
Least of all me.
Yes sir. Thank you, sir…
switches off, feeling bad for her. On the console near him,
the fax machine starts to CHATTER. He turns, looks.
Here he comes, Jack.
an emerging sheet, as Gumb’s face is printed out. We see
just his hair, then the top of his forehead, before we…
EXT. BIMMEL BACK YARD – DAY
Clarice walks slowly across the yard, absorbing all this
news, before suddenly leaping into the air and pumping her
fist in triumph, with a happy yelp. Then she sees –
staring at her in surprise. He sits by his coops, smoking.
somewhat embarrassed, crosses over to him.
Mr. Bimmel… did Fredrica ever
mention a man named Jamie Gumb, from
Calumet City? Or John Grant?
(he shakes his head)
Did she know any men that sew?
She sewed for everybody. Stores,
ladies, whatever. I don’t know about
Who was her best friend, Mr. Bimmel?
Who’d she hang out with?
EXT. AN ISOLATED RUNWAY – O’HARE AIRPORT – DAY
The FBI turbojet is parked, its gangway down. Crawford,
Burroughs, and the HRT squad, carrying their bags of weapons,
CLATTER rapidly down the metal steps…
Freaked me out. Get your skin peeled
off, is that a bummer…?
INT. SAVING & LOAN – BELVEDERE – DAY
STACY HUBKA – short, perky, early 20’s – sits nervously at
her desk, talking to Clarice, who jots in her notebook. In
the background. beyond them, bank tellers, lines of waiting
They said she was just rags, like
Stacy, did Fredrica ever mention a
man named Jamie Gumb? Or John Grant?
(Stacy shakes her
Do you think she could’ve had a friend
you didn’t know about?
No way. She had a guy, I’da known,
believe me. Sewing was her life, she
was really great at it. Poor Freddie.
Did you ever work with her?
Oh sure, me’n Pam Malavesi used to
help her do alterations for old Mrs.
Lippman. Lots of people worked for
her, she had the business from all
these retail stores? But she was
like, totally old, it was more’n she
Where does Mrs. Lippman live? I’d
like to talk to her.
She died. She went to Florida to
retire, like two years ago? She dies
Clarice reacts, disappointed at the ending of this trail.
Is that a pretty good job, FBI agent?
I think so.
You get to travel around and stuff?
I mean, better places then this?
Sometimes you do.
Freddie was so happy for me when I
got this job. This – toaster
giveaways, and Barry Manilow on the
speakers all day – she thought this
was really hot shit. What did she
know, big dummy…
Suddenly she’s fighting tears. Clarice reaches to hug her.
EXT. RESIDENTIAL STREET – CALUMET CITY, ILLINOIS – DAY
WIDE ANGLE on what appears to be, at first, a calm, ordinary
neighborhood of working class two- and three-story houses.
But the street is strangely quiet, deserted.
After a few moments, we become aware of movement – armed,
dark-clad figures creeping swiftly and in silence from shrubs
to garage corners, from parked cars to porches, appearing
and then disappearing…
INT. MR. GUMB’S CELLAR – DAY (DIM LIGHT)
CLOSE ON Mr. Gumb, as he settles a big pair of infra-red
night-vision goggles over his eyes. Moths flutter past his
face. His mouth is set in a grim line…
EXT. STREET IN CALUMET CITY – FRONT YARD – DAY
An HRT cop, prone beneath a hedge, is joined by a 2nd HRT
Cop, who throws himself to the grass beside him. They both
take aim with their scoped rifles at –
TELEPHOTO ANGLE (WITH RIFLE CROSSHAIRS)
The front door of a big, nearby, split-level house…
INT. MR. GUMB’S CELLAR – DAY (DIM LIGHT)
CLOSE ON a fuse box, as Mr. Gumb reaches in, flips a switch.
The lights go out. SOUND of a second switch, and the cellar
is bathed in a green glow…
EXT. STREET IN CALUMET CITY – NEIGHBOR’S HOUSE – DAY
A little boy, riding his tricycle in his driveway, is suddenly
startled to find himself staring into the grim face of –
A MEMBER OF THE HRT
crouched by his garage, armed to the teeth. As the little
boy starts to cry, the cop pulls him into the shadows,
covering his mouth.
INT. MR. GUMB’S CELLAR – DAY (GREEN LIGHT)
Mr. Gumb, in his kimono and goggles, creeps silently through
his workrooms – knees bent, painted toes places ever so
delicately, the Colt held aloft – as more moths flutter past
him in the eerie light…
EXT. STREET IN CALUMENT CITY – DAY
A florist’s van turns the corner, comes slowly down the street
and stops at the curb in front of the split-level. The driver,
in a gray deliveryman’s uniform and cap, climbs out of the
cab, walks briskly to the panel door, on the street side of
the van, and slides it open. He leans in, comes out with a
long, thin red-ribboned floral box, starts calmly towards
INT. MR. GUMB’S CELLAR – DAY (GREEN LIGHT)
- GUMB’S POV – MOVING ANGLE on the top of the oubliette, a
glowing green circle in the dark, as it draws closer and
closer… and then Catherine comes INTO VIEW, at the bottom
of the pit. She is crouched, exhausted, staring straight up
at him – but she can’t see him in this infra-red darkness.
Precious is curled into her stomach, asleep. The futon is up
to Catherine’s waist, but there’s a clear shot at her head
Looking down at her, smiles…
EXT. STREET IN CALUMET CITY – SUSPECT’S HOUSE – DAY
MOVING ANGLE on the “deliveryman,” seen from behind, as he
mounts three steps to the split-level’s front porch. Tucked
into the small of his back if a 9 mm. automatic.
CRAWFORD AND BURROUGHS
have slipped out of the van, and are crouched behind it now,
with drawn guns, watching tensely as –
settles the floral box in the crook of his left arm, reaches
out with his right hand towards the buzzer…
INT. MR. GUMB’S CELLAR – DAY (GREEN LIGHT)
Slowly, savoring the moment, Mr. Gumb aims the big Colt,
which is already cocked, using both hands… He is just about
to squeeze the trigger, when we hear his DOOR BUZZER,
surprisingly loud and close by. He turns, startled, and sees –
DUSTY BLACK METAL BOX
the extension buzzer, mounted high on the wall, which is
making the hideous, grating JANGLE. It finally stops, but
not before waking Precious, who starts frantically BARKING,
off screen, as –
raises his gun again, spinning back towards –
HIS POV – THE PIT BOTTOM
where Catherine, hearing but still not seeing him, quickly
yanks the futon over both herself and the dog. Instantly the
two of them become one squirming, indistinguishable mass.
bites his lip, his aim wavering, as he can’t decide where to
safely place his shot. The maddening BUZZER sounds again,
even more insistently, and he cries out with frustration and
fury. But as the BUZZER continues, he reluctantly uncocks
his gun, looking up angrily towards his front door…
INT. MR. GUMB’S FRONT DOOR – DAY
The door opens, on a chain, and Clarice peers in, smiling.
Good afternoon… I wonder if you
could help me. I’m looking for Mrs.
Mr. Gumb frowns out at Clarice. For the first time ever, we
get a well-lit view of his bland, pale-eyed moon of a face.
They don’t live here anymore.
EXT. FRONT DOOR OF SUSPECT’S HOUSE – CALUMET CITY
The “deliveryman” yanks a 12 lb. sledgehammer from the floral
box, swings it with all his might against the door knob,
blowing it through as –
Crawford and Burroughs race towards the door, guns up…
EXT. MR. GUMB’S FRONT DOOR – DAY
Mr. Gumb starts to close the door, only to have Clarice push
back against it, politely but firmly. She holds up her ID.
Excuse me, but I really do need to
talk to you. This was Mrs. Lippman’s
house. Did you know her?
Just briefly. What’s the problem,
INT. SUSPECT’S HOUSE – CALUMENT CITY – DAY
A bedroom window disintegrates as a flash grenade is shot
through it, EXPLODING on the floor. An instant later, a black-
clad HRT cop dives through the shattered glass, rolls across
the floor, comes up on one knee swiveling his sawed-off
EXT. MR. GUMB’S FRONT DOOR – DAY
Clarice and Mr. Gumb, still eyeing each other through the
I’m investigating the death of
Fredrica Bimmel. Who are you, please?
Mr. Gordon, did you know Fredrica
when she worked for Mrs. Lippman?
No. Wait… Was she a great, fat
person? I may have seen her, I’m not
INT. SUSPECT’S HOUSE – CALUMET CITY – DAY
MOVING ANGLE as Burroughs moves quickly down a hallway and
enters the living room, where Crawford is standing, with his
gun held down by his side, surrounded by several other cops.
Burroughs shakes his head: Nothing here…
INT. MR. GUMB’S FRONT HALLWAY – DAY
Mr. Gumb glances briefly over his shoulder, towards his
kitchen, then turns back to Clarice with a smile.
Mrs. Lippman had a son, maybe he
could help you. I have his card
somewhere. Do you mind stepping
inside, while I looks for it?
ANGLE FAVORING THE COLT PYTHON
which rests on a counter, just inside the open kitchen
doorway. THROUGH this doorway, we watch as Mr. Gumb, at the
end of his front hall, slips the chain. Clarice enters,
closing the door behind her.
EXT. FRONT YARD OF SUSPECT’S HOUSE – CALUMET CITY – DAY
MOVING ANGLE – towards the front door, as frustrated HRT
cops file out of the empty house, rifles slung across their
WE PICK OUT CRAWFORD
walking across the grass towards the van, when all at once
he stops in his tracks, shaken by a sudden flash of intuition.
CAMERA RUSHES VERY CLOSE
on his stricken face…
INT. MR. GUMB’S PARLOR – DAY
Clarice, pulling her notebook from her shoulder bag, glances
around the musty-looking room.
- GUMB (O.S.)
That horrible business, I shiver
every time I think about it…
Overstuffed furniture, porcelain figurines. One archway onto
the front hall, another onto a dining alcove, and through
there, the kitchen. Mr. Gumb is crossing to a rolling desk,
raising the top. He bends over, begins poking through cubby
holes. His tone is casual, neutral.
Are they close to catching somebody,
do you think?
I think we may be, yes.
Mr. Gumb stiffens, almost imperceptibly. His back is to her,
as he continues opening drawers, rustling papers.
Mr. Gordon, did you take over this
place after Mrs. Lippman died?
Yes. I bought the house from her,
two years ago.
Did she leave any records here? Tax
or business records? Maybe a list of
CLOSE ON MR. GUMB’S BACK
as he continues his rummaging.
No, nothing at all. Has the FBI
learned something? Because the police
here don’t seem to have the first
Out of the folds of his kimono crawls a Death’s-head Moth.
It creeps slowly to the center of his back, raising its wings.
Do you have his description yet, or
unaware, is still glancing around the room. For several
agonizing moments, we think she won’t see the moth – but
then she turns, does see it, and her eyes freeze. A beat of
pure fear. A tremendous struggle to keep her voice calm.
No… no, we don’t.
Very carefully, she drops her notebook back into her bag,
lowers the bag to the floor. With her fingertips she brushes
back the edge of her blazer, loosening its drape.
turns back towards her cheerfully, holding out a business
Ahhh. Here’s that number.
keeps her distance. They are about ten feet apart.
Good, thank you. Mr. Gordon, do you
have a phone I can use?
is about to reply when the moth suddenly flies up from behind
him, flutters past his face. He turns, looking at it. He
looks back at Clarice, his mouth still open.
are unmoving, locked on his.
stare back at her, widen. And they know each other.
In the kitchen. I’ll show you.
whips her gun out, gripping it in both shaking hands.
slowly tilts his head to one side, smiles at her.
tries to force more authority into her voice.
Okay… Okay, Mr. Gumb, you’re under
arrest. Down on the floor, hands and
legs spread, move it.
turns, then all at once, in two quick steps, he is gone,
disappearing into his dining alcove, then kitchen.
hesitates, just a split second, to shoot him in the back –
and then it’s too late.
INT. MR. GUMB’S KITCHEN – DAY
Clarice hurries inside, moving low, swivelling her gun.
HER POV – MOVING
The kitchen is empty. To one side, a door still shuddering
on its hinges…
rushes to this – pauses – then elbows the door aside, aiming
her gun down –
AN EMPTY STAIRWELL
brightly lit, leading to the cellar. Two doors facing the
bottom, both open. No sign of Mr. Gumb.
hates this, hates this, which door, it’s a trap, what to do:
she is very scared, but suddenly hears –
The distant SCREAM of Catherine Martin, somewhere down there
in that killing maze.
rushes through the doorway, and down the stairs.
BEHIND HER, ON THE KITCHEN COUNTER there’s an empty space;
the Colt Python is gone.
INT. MR. GUMB’S CELLAR – DAY
MOVING ANGLE – WITH CLARICE – hurrying down the steps. More
SCREAMS; they seem to be coming from the left door. Clarice
goes that way, entering a brick-walled passage – pipes over-
head, naked bulbs. The lighting, though dim, is incandescent;
Mr. Gumb has switched off his infra-red system. Clarice comes
to a T-shaped intersection, stops. Another SCREAM, again to
her left, and the BARKING of a dog…
follows her gun around the corner, looking right.
but doors opening off it – he could be lurking behind any of
them. She looks left… sees an opening onto some kind of
chamber. The noises are LOUDER, coming from there.
moves cautiously towards this chamber…
INT. OUBLIETTE CHAMBER – DAY (DIMLY LIT)
Clarice moves in, hugging the wall, gun swivelling…
HER POV – MOVING
the open top of the pit… beyond it, the other two doorways,
opening onto this room – Jesus, he could come through either
one of them, or come up behind her… She moves to the pit,
looks down, very briefly, sees Catherine SCREAMING,
hysterical, and a little white dog BARKING…
kneels, staring up from one door to another, she can’t cover
them all, she’s totally exposed – and what’s a dog doing
FBI, Catherine, you’re safe.
Safe, SHIT, he’s got a gun! Getmeout.
GET ME OUT!
You’re all right! Where is he?
Get me out!
I’ll get you out! Just be quiet so I
can hear. Shut that dog up.
Is there a ladder? Is there a rope?
I don’t know! Get me out!!
Catherine. Listen to me. I have to
find a rope. I have to leave this
room, just for a minute, but –
NOOOOO! You fucking bitch don’t you
LEAVE ME down here, DON’T YOU – YOU
The other officers will be here any
minute! you’re perfectly safe now!
Ignoring Catherine, whose shouts turn to sobs, she backs
away, turns, picks one of the other doorways, moves into it
INT. NEW PASSAGEWAY – DAY (DIMLY LIT)
CLARICE’S POV – MOVING down this passageway, towards a new
room… pausing at the doorway, straining to hear… no sound
except Catherine’s CRYING, not in the background, and
Clarice’s own RAPID BREATHING. Then she crouches –
LOWER ANGLE – bursts forward, through the doorframe,
INT. WORKROOM – DAY (DIMLY LIT)
Clarice weaves back and forth, half-crouched, gun out, back
to the wall. Her face glistens with sweat, as she takes in…
HER POV – MOVING NERVOUSLY
Mr. Gumb’s sewing machine… his swivel chair… the old
Victrola… Big moths are crashing into the light bulbs,
overhead; they’re everywhere. Suddenly, from just behind
her, a CLICK and a HUM, and –
spins, almost shoots, before seeing –
A SMALL REFRIGERATOR
with its thermostat just switching ON.
gasps for breath, fighting for calm. She turns again, slashing
her free hand at the moths, moving quickly on…
INT. SKINNING ROOM – DAY (DIMLY LIT)
Clarice moves past the mannequins, all of them naked now…
then quickly past the huge Chinese armoire, ready to shoot
into it. Its doors yawn open; it is empty except for several
padded hangers… She moves on, past the big sink, with its
DRIPPING faucet… the counter, with its gleaming knives…
the rows of chemical jars. At the end of this room is
A CLOSED DOOR
Clarice starts to open it, then hesitates. Looking around,
she seizes a wooden chair, wedges it under the door know,
sealing off this section of the cellar. With her back thus
defended, she turns, softly retracing her steps.
INT. WORKROOM – DAY (DIMLY LIT)
Passing again through the workroom, Clarice pauses, seeing a
half-curtained door, to one side, that she had previously
skirted. She crosses to the door, listens and hears no sound
inside, takes a deep breath and reaches for the knob. She
twists it, and, as it turns, shoves hard and follows her gun
inside, all in one quick move…
INT. BATHROOM – DAY (BRIGHTLY LIT)
An old-fashioned bathroom: tiled floor, sink, toilet – and a
big, free-standing tub. An opaque shower curtain, suspended
from an oval ring, hides whatever might be inside.
centers her gun on the curtain, at chest height, and yanks
it aside with her left hand. No one standing there. Something
lower down catches her eye.
She leans in, stares more closely, not understanding, at
first, that she’s seeing –
FEMALE HAND AND WRIST
sticking up from the tub, which is filled with hard red-purple
plaster. The hand is dark and shriveled, with pink nail polish
and a dainty wristwatch. As –
is reacting with horror to this sight, the lights go out, to
be replaced, a split-second later, by the eerie green glow
of Mr. Gumb’s infra-red system. Clarice cries out, turns
blindly, reaching for the door, can’t find it, free hand
clawing desperately into what is, for her, utter darkness.
SOUND of Catherine KEENING again, in the far distance. Clarice
stumbles, goes to her knees, rights herself, finally clutches
the door frame…
INT. MR. GUMB’S WORKROOM – DAY (GREEN LIGHT)
Clarice emerges from the bathroom in a half-crouch, arms
out, both hands on the gun, extended just below the level of
her unseeing eyes. She stops, listens. In her raw-nerved
darkness, every SOUND is unnaturally magnified – the HUM of
the refrigerator… the TRICKLE of water… her own terrified
BREATHING, and Catherine’s faraway, echoing SOBS… Moths
smack against her face and arms. She eases forward, then
stops again, listens… She eases forward again, following
her gun, and creeps directly in front of, and then past –
who has flattened himself against a wall, arms spread like a
high priest, Colt in one hand. He wears his goggles and
kimono, and under that – draping down over his naked arms,
like some hideous mantle – his terrifying, half-completed
suit of human skins. This is an exquisite moment for him – a
ritual of supreme exaltation. He smiles at Clarice as,
completely unaware, she moves beyond him, exposing her back.
Very slowly and quietly he steps out behind her, taking his
gun in both hands, aiming…
the Colt Python as – in SLOW MOTION – his thumbs cock the
hammer, the SOUND registering as a LOUD METALLIC CLICK, and –
spins, still in SLOW MOTION, flame already leaping from her
gun muzzle, as we see –
THE TWO FIGURES
almost at point-black range, guns ROARING hugely, one FLASH
from Mr. Gumb, and one two three four FLASHES from Clarice,
overlapping his, and then, as the ECHOES crash deafeningly –
CLOSE ON CLARICE – LOW ANGLE –
with NORMAL SPEED RESTORED, as the side of her face hits the
floor, and she is gasping, stunned by the noise and flames;
there is blood on her check, and an ugly powder burn, but
she ignores them, twisting to yank her speedloader from her
jacket pocket, locking it blindly onto her gun’s cylinder,
reloading, right in front of her face, then rolling onto her
stomach, aiming her gun upward again, blinking her dazzled
eyes, straining to locate him in the darkness… Where is
he, where…? Then, as the ECHOES finally fade, she hears
something else – a tortured, sucking, WHISTLE from perhaps
eight feet away…
MOVING ANGLE – WITH CLARICE
as she crawls forward, on her elbows, following her gun,
until it bumps against Mr. Gumb’s shoulder. He is lying on
his back, chest a bloody mess. She slides her muzzle against
his head, hard, but he doesn’t move; another shot isn’t
needed. He stares upwards, through his goggles, bloody lips
working. He tries to speak, but cannot. One hand reaches
slowly upwards, the fingers twitching, as if to seize
something, overhead… Then a final, ghastly groan, his hand
drops, he is dead. Clarice feels for a pulse at his neck,
making sure. Then, and only then, does she permit herself to
roll over, collapsing onto her back beside him.
down at the two faces – intimately close together, like lovers
on their pillow. Then, as we PULL SLOWLY AWAY, we see that
her staring eyes, and his dead gaze, are both locked onto –
A DEATH’S-HEAD MOTH –
perched on an infra-red bulb, overhead, its wings pumping
SOUND UPCUT – wailing SIRENS, many excited VOICES, as we…
EXT. MR. GUMB’S HOUSE – DUSK
The front porch of the tall Victorian house is bathed in a
glare of TV lights, police and ambulance flashers. Cars and
vans and even a firetruck choke the street; cops, reporters,
EMS workers and curious civilians swarm around the ineffective
barricades. The BUZZ of their voices goes even higher as
dazed, her face bandaged – comes out of the house, walking
protectively beside Catherine, who is wheeled on a gurney.
They are followed out by uniformed cops, then two firemen
with an extension ladder. Catherine, blinking in confusion,
is still clutching the little dog, and refuses to give her
up even as she’s trundled into an ambulance. Clarice sways
with exhaustion; everyone seems to be shouting at her at
once, pulling her sleeve. She tries to fight free of them,
desperate for a familiar face.
AN OHIO HIGHWAY PATROL CAR
pulls up, stops, and Crawford climbs out of the back seat.
He makes his way anxiously through the press of bodies,
stopping when he sees Clarice.
THEY LOOK AT ONE ANOTHER
for a long moment, Crawford choked with pride for her, with
sorrow for her ordeal, with love, but unable to find any
words. And then he does.
Starling… your father sees you.
And then all at once she is sobbing, her knees giving way,
but he is there to catch her, he is hugging her fiercely.
HOLD ON them for a long beat.
DIRECTOR BURKE (V.O.)
Congratulations! You are now officers
of the Federal Bureau of
EXT. GROUNDS OF THE FBI ACADEMY – WEEKS LATER – DAY
The forty members of Clarice’s class, resplendent in their
best dark suits and dresses, rise, cheering themselves, then
turn happily to wave to their audience, as APPLAUSE mounts.
Beyond them, on a gaily tented platform, the Director stands
behind his podium.
CLARICE AND ARDELIA
look at one another solemnly. Ardelia holds up both fists,
in a power shake, and Clarice taps them with her own. She is
radiantly beautiful in a navy dress and pearls, the thin
scar on her cheek almost healed. Ardelia turns, waving towards
the crowd, the Clarice’s thoughts are elsewhere. She turns,
searching among the dignitaries on the platform, till she
who smiles back at her with quiet pride, and offers a little
grins – more happy than we’ve ever seen her – then turns to
wave towards the crowd with the others.
over the admiring sea of spectators, several hundred of them,
still rising from their folding chairs, APPLAUDING in
celebration of these special young people, this perfect,
SOUND UPCUT – rock music, laughter – as we…
INT. ACADEMY DORM – REC ROOM – THAT NIGHT
A LOUD party is underway – food, beer, dancing – as the new
grads celebrate ferociously. Ardelia weaves her way through
the crowded room, reaches Clarice, who is flanked by her
special guests – Pilcher and Roden, the two ardent scientists.
Ardelia has to shout at Clarice over the din.
Agent Starling! Telephone!
Agent Mapp! Thank you!
She nods to Pilcher, leaves them. Roden, who is quite happily
drunk, grabs the startled Ardelia around the waist.
Hel-lo, gorgeous! Let’s get down.
Ardelia looks at Pilcher, confused.
Just ignore him. He’s not a Ph.D.
INT. DORM HALLWAY – NIGHT
Clarice picks up the dangling pay phone, speaks happily.
- LECTER (V.O.)
Well, Clarice, have the lambs stopped
She freezes, stunned by the familiar voice. Then she turns,
waving frantically towards
who is just inside the rec room door, at the end of the hall,
lost in conversation with Pilcher and Roden. Ardelia glances
at her briefly but misunderstands, waves cheerfully back.
- LECTER (V.O.)
Don’t bother with a trace, I won’t
be on long enough.
turns back, gripping the phone more tightly.
Where are you, Dr. Lecter?
EXT. A CLEAR NIGHT SKY
Very beautiful, glittering with countless stars.
- LECTER (O.S.)
Where I have a view, Clarice…
we see a rolling lawn, a curving bay. Boats ride at anchor,
- LECTER (O.S.)
Orion is looking splendid tonight,
and Arcturus, the Herdsman, with his
smiles into his mobile phone. He is stretched out on a
lounger, on a tiled patio, languidly paring an orange with a
penknife. His appearance is quite altered – a beard, glasses,
lighter hair. He’s has some cosmetic surgery, as well.
Your lambs are still for now, Clarice,
but not forever… You’ll have to
earn it again and again, this blessed
silence. Because it’s the plight
that drives you, and the plight will
Dr. Lecter –
I have no plans to call on you,
Clarice, the world being more
interesting with you in it. Be sure
you extend me the same courtesy.
You know I can’t make that promise.
(and then, softly)
You looked – so very lovely today,
in your blue suit.
INT. DORM HALLWAY – NIGHT
As Clarice reacts, the fill weight of his words sinking in.
Dr. Lecter… Dr. Lecter…!
But only a DIAL TONE comes from the phone. She is still
staring at her receiver, in shock, as we –
CUT BACK TO:
EXT. THE MOONLIT PATIO
Dr. Lecter sighs, sets his phone down, then rises. Popping
an orange section into his mouth, he turns towards the
brightly lit house. Stepping delicately over the sprawled
body of a uniformed security guard, he walks in through open
INT. A BOOKLINED STUDY
In a swivel chair, amidst the wreckage of his papers and
books, is the writhing figure of Dr. Frederick Chilton. The
extreme intricacy of his bindings recalls Dr. Lecter’s own
former restraints. His screams are muffled by the tape over
his mouth; he stares at Dr. Lecter like a rabbit trapped in
Considers him for a genial moment, then raises the little
pen-knife. His eyes are twinkling.
Well, Dr. Chilton. Shall we begin?