This is probably my favorite scene in all movies because it simply doesn’t exist in the books, and it shows just how much Hannibal is obsessed with Clarice. On the books, you’ll have other scenes to express his love for her, however, the movie changed a lot of things.
I love this particular scene because she’s so vulnerable and he breaks in and he breaks into her house and he, not even for a second, represents a threat to her life, only for his own.
And, of course, the tender way he brushes the hair out of her cheek.
He could have done a lot of things, but he chooses to play with her, allow her to choose how she wants to do this. He could have kidnapped her there and disappeared into thin air like he always does, but he chose to cook her enemies for her and have her decide what would become of them.
Hannibal Lecter: You know what you look like to me, with your good bag and your cheap shoes? You look like a rube. A well scrubbed, hustling rube with a little taste. Good nutrition’s given you some length of bone, but you’re not more than one generation from poor white trash, are you, Agent Starling? And that accent you’ve tried so desperately to shed: pure West Virginia. What is your father, dear? Is he a coal miner? Does he stink of the lamp? You know how quickly the boys found you… all those tedious sticky fumblings in the back seats of cars… while you could only dream of getting out… getting anywhere… getting all the way to the FBI.
Clarice Starling: You see a lot, Doctor. But are you strong enough to point that high-powered perception at yourself? What about it? Why don’t you - why don’t you look at yourself and write down what you see? Or maybe you’re afraid to.
I love Will Graham, but I mostly love Hugh Dancy’s portrayal of him. Otherwise, I’m not the biggest fan of the character. Clarice, though…I can identify with Clarice, and she’s just really badass, okay, and I love her and that’s why I choose Clarice Starling over Will Graham.
Here we are, you and I, languishing in our hospitals. You have your pain and I am without my books-the learned Dr. Chilton has seen to that.
We live in a primitive time-don’t we, Will?- neither savage nor wise. Half measures are the curse of it. Any rational society would either kill me or give me my books.
I wish you a speedy convalescence and hope you won’t be very ugly.
I think of you often,
It must be remembered that Hannibal is the reason for Graham’s disfigurement. It must also be noted that he correlates the destruction of a man’s life with his books being taken away; they are equal in severity to Dr. Lecter. And that is the scariest thing of all.
I couldn’t get decent video of it, but if you’ve seen the movie, you know what I’m talking about. The flashbacks that Clarice has of her father’s funeral just serve as a huge reminder of Starling’s troubled childhood. And it is sad.