Forensic Psychology in Movies

A History of Forensic Psychology on the Big Screen

1991: Silence of the Lambs

Jodi Foster plays the role of Clarice Starling, an FBI academy student assigned the task of pursuing a wanted serial killer “Buffalo Bill”. In order to get into the mind of the serial killer she is after, she sets off to interview Hannibal Lecter, a psychiatrist turned serial killer. The movie is based on the 1988 novel “The Silence of the Lambs” by Thomas Harris.

Click on the video below to see a trailer for the movie:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/ZWCAf-xLV2k" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Click on the video below to see the part in Silence of the Lambs where Clarice Starling first meets Hannibal Lecter:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/pXJx5mORmMI" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

1997: Kiss the Girls

“Kiss the Girls,” based on the novel by James Patterson, follows forensic psychologist Dr. Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) as he sets out to find a serial killer who has been abducting women, including Cross’ neice.

  • Alex Cross describes his job as a Forensic Psychologist as figuring out the “hows” and the “whys” in order to solve crimes. The skills he has in getting into the minds of criminals and help from a victim who got away make it possible for him to track a self proclaimed “Cassanova” who has been targeting young, attractive women.

Click on the video below to see a trailer for the movie:

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/pC0Ul29wCj4" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]

Cinematictrailer (poster). Kiss the Girls (1997) theatrical trailer . Retrieved from http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pC0Ul29wCj4

The Silence of the Lambs. (2010). In Encyclopedia Britannica. Retrieved November 22 2010 from Encyclopedia Britannica Online: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/687/The-Silence-of-the-Lambs

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