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The Big Clue Everyone Missed Early In Silence Of The Lambs

In 1988, author Thomas Harris gave the world the psychological horror novel "The Silence of the Lambs," which centers on an FBI trainee named Clarice Starling and a cannibalistic serial killer named Hannibal Lecter. In 1991, director Jonathan Demme brought the book to the silver screen by the same name. Almost a year after its release date, the cast and crew already had five Oscars under their belt, so to say that "The Silence of the Lambs" changed cinema would be an understatement. 

Demme's cinematic masterpiece isn't tied down to a genre or by preconceptions; it was a story that needed to be told on-screen. Thirty years later, fans and clinical studies alike are still theorizing the movie and delving into the intellectual mind of Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins). Even though Lecter/Hopkins had minimal screen time (16 minutes to be exact), he reveals much more without even speaking. During a Reddit thread discussion, Redditor u/TheGreekBuddha started the conversation with a YouTube video that proves "The Silence of the Lambs" isn't a run-of-the-mill movie. Piggy-backing off the video, a fellow Reddit user revealed a significant clue in the discussion that is as shocking as it is intriguing. There's a lot to unravel in "The Silence of the Lambs," so it's not a surprise that this specific clue would be missed by so many.

A major clue is hanging on Hannibal Lecter's cell wall

It all begins with a little foreshadowing. Reddit user RedditMayne mentioned that they didn't catch one thing, like so many others, when Hannibal Lecter practically gives away Buffalo Bill/Jame Gumb's (Ted Levine) location. It's hard to focus on what's going on in the background with Lecter speaking in cryptic riddles, so the fact that Clarice Starling (Jodi Foster) didn't pick up on this clue is understandable. As pointed out on Reddit, one of the sketches in his cell depicts a view of Italy from the Belvedere Hotel. Although Bill's location isn't anywhere near Italy, he does have a house by the river in Belvedere, Ohio. Lecter even mentions the sketch as "the Duomo as seen from the Belvedere," which goes to show he likes to taunt her when she doesn't even know he's doing it. 

In the 2002 prequel "Red Dragon," Lecter would leave a similar bread crumb for FBI Agent Will Graham (Edward Norton). Graham initially asks Lecter for help with a case, and Lecter swiftly changes the conversation. He begins to casually chat about family tapes, which turn out to be crucial in finding Francis "The Tooth Fairy" Dolarhyde (Ralph Fiennes).