7 Great Movies That Revolve Around A Kidnapping

The Silence Of The Lambs (1991)


An infamous kidnap movie, The Silence Of The Lambs revolves around the professional coming-of-age of FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), as she becomes embroiled in the bureau’s efforts to find and rescue the daughter of a US Senator – believed to be abducted by notorious serial killer, Buffalo Bill.

Starling is already working on the case at the behest of behavioural science guru Jack Crawford (Scott Glenn), which involves her questioning the incarcerated former psychiatrist Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) – otherwise known as ‘Hannibal The Cannibal’ – for the purpose of ‘gaining insight’ into the criminal’s mind.


Lecter engages in a prolonged exchange of information with Starling that helps lead the young, inexperienced agent to possible past victims of Buffalo Bill and, unwittingly, to Bill himself. Realizing too late that she is alone and in the presence of a dangerous and violent killer, Starling is forced into a cat-and-mouse pursuit through the darkened basement of his house, where she finds the kidnap victim.

In a set-up that has become iconic and much-parodied, Bill has lured his latest victim into his van by feigning injury, and has been keeping her in the bottom of a deep well. He regularly insists that she apply lotion to herself, which he lowers into the well with a basket. His victim is unaware of the fact that he intends to use her skin to complete a suit he has been tailoring.

Directed by Jonathan Demme, and written by Ted Tally from a source novel by Thomas Harris, it is undoubtedly the chilling performance of Ted Levine as Buffalo Bill that provides the sinister and terrifying core of The Silence Of The Lambs, against which the larger story of Clarice Starling can play out.