This Valentine’s Day, curl up with your beloved for some fava beans and a nice Chianti because it’s the 25th anniversary of “The Silence of Lambs.”
That’s right – the legendary thriller starring Jodie Foster as an FBI agent who seeks out the advice of the infamous cannibalistic serial killer Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) to catch another killer actually hit theaters on the most romantic day of the year.
Rumor has it, director Jonathan Demme purposefully chose Feb. 14 because he thought “Silence” would make a great date movie. After all, nothing quite screams romance quite like watching one man chew off another man’s face.
But Demme must have known what he was doing because the film went on to win all five top prizes – Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress and Best Screenplay – at the Oscars in 1992, making “Silence” one of just three movies to do so. (The other two are “It Happened One Night” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.”)
“Silence” isn’t the only unlikely movie to open on Feb. 14. Here are six other (arguably) less-than-romantic offerings that were also released on Valentine’s Day weekend:
“Dracula” (Feb. 14, 1931)
Before you say, “But vampires are romantic,” remember this was decades before “Twilight.” Bela Lugosi was no Robert Pattinson. The original “Dracula” is terrifying and not a movie that gives you warm, fuzzy feelings.
“A Good Day to Die Hard” (Feb. 14, 2013)
The fifth installment in the “Die Hard” series sees father (Bruce Willis) and son (Jai Courtney) banding together to take out some Russian baddies. Seems like this might have been more appropriate for Father’s Day.
“Sphere” (Feb. 13, 1998)
People start dying in an underwater habitat where a team of scientists are investigating an alien spacecraft in this movie based on the Michael Crichton book of the same name. While the plot's hardly anyone's idea of romance, it is the perfect movie to get your paramour to cuddle up close. You don't want to watch this one alone.
“Daredevil” (Feb. 14, 2003)
The story of a man (Ben Affleck) blinded by toxic waste who fights crime using his enhanced senses and a deep knowledge of martial arts typically belongs in July. And though there is the romantic subplot involving Affleck’s future wife (and eventually ex-wife) Jennifer Garner, it’s pretty much dead on arrival. The only thing that inspires romantic feelings in this film is Affleck’s spandex-clad derriere.
“Wayne’s World” (Feb. 14, 1992)
The oddball comedy, based on the recurring “Saturday Night Live” sketch, saw huge success for a movie that isn’t your typical Valentine’s Day fare. It grossed more than $120 million domestically during its theatrical run, making it one of that year’s highest earning films. So you could argue that audiences had a love affair with Wayne (Mike Myers) and Garth (Dana Carvey).
“Friday the 13th” (Feb. 13, 2009)
Jason Voorhees’ slaughtering a bunch of hot teenagers does not a romantic Valentine’s Day make – unless you actually are Hannibal Lecter.