ByKarly Rayner, writer at
Movie Pilot's celebrity savant
Karly Rayner

The chilling cliffhanger ending of The Silence Of The Lambs was pure cinematic genius, but the haunting scene could have been even darker than the legendary "I'm having an old friend for dinner" telephone call.

If you need a little refresher on how Silence Of The Lambs ended, check out the video below to remind yourself just how ominous the scene is:

While the scene of Hannibal Lecter stalking his prey in the idyllic Bahamas is inarguably tense, the original script called for something even more cutting. Literally.

In an interview with Deadline, director Jonathan Demme explained how he originally planned for the movie's finale to go to down:

"In the original ending, Lecter is cutting orange segments with a small paring knife, while he speaks to Clarice. As he hangs up the phone, the camera shot widens. We discover that he’s at a desk in a book lined office. There is the body of a bodyguard on the floor, and then we see Lecter is not alone. Chilton is trussed up in a chair across from him, the same method of restraints the doctor used on Lecter earlier in the movie. Lecter rises, slowly, a dreamy gleam in his eye, as he approaches his terrified victim, paring knife in hand. 'Shall we begin?'"

Lester in the Bahamas
Lester in the Bahamas

Demme opted against the scene because he thought it was too sensationalist and could have spoiled the tone of the movie. He explained:

"It was too horrifying a way to close the proceedings. Whatever we had done to get to that moment, that ending would’ve turned the movie into something else. One of those shockers that kicks you in the gut in the last minute, and then the screen goes black, and the credits roll. I thought this story deserved more to it than the crude trussed up Dr. Chilton about to be carved up by Dr. Lecter. And I didn’t think it was very cinematic. I thought, really? We’re going to end the movie in some room like that? That’s the image we take home with us?"


Which ending would you have preferred to see?

(Source: Deadline)


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