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The Hilarious ‘Silence of the Lambs’ Joke You Missed…

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Silence of the Lambs

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This morning I was reading up on Oscar wins for Jonathan Demme’s 1991 The Silence of the Lambs, and that’s when I came across a shocking discovery.

While I’m sure a few of you smart-asses (I say that with love) already know this, I literally had no idea that Hannibal Lecter’s infamous quote, “I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti,” was a joke, as well as a very declarative statement.

Reddit user mrcchapman explains:

“I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice chianti.”
Great line from Silence of the Lambs everyone knows. But most people don’t realise Dr Hannibal Lecter is making a medical joke.
Lecter could be treated with drugs called monoamine oxidase inhibitors – MAOIs. As a psychiatrist, Lecter knows this.
The three things you can’t eat with MAOIs? Liver, beans, wine.
Lecter is a) cracking a joke for his own amusement, and b) saying he’s not taking his meds.

Another user, bICEmeister , chimes in with another deep thought:

In the book he actually said Amarone and not Chianti. Amarone would be a much better fit for liver, and a such shows off his sophistication and further strengthens just how psycho he is – making sure to pair the liver with the proper wine. The movie execs just thought that people wouldn’t know what amarone was, so they switched it out to a wine that everyone would have heard of.

A huge “thank you!” for making one of the best genre films ever even better!

Related Topics: Anthony Hopkins BDF Jodie Foster Jonathan Demme Lawrence A. Bonney Random Cool Silence of the Lambs The Silence Of The Lambs
Brad Miska



Co-founded Bloody Disgusting in 2001. Producer on Southbound, the V/H/S trilogy, SiREN, Under the Bed, and A Horrible Way to Die. Chicago-based. Horror, pizza and basketball connoisseur. Taco Bell daily.


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