Unlike the now deleted Criterion release, this disc features an anamorphic transfer of the original 1.85:1 aspect ratio and this alone makes this a worthy successor to the earlier release. General picture quality is also an improvement, although things still aren't perfect, with grain in some sequences and the print is (very slightly) damaged in places. Maybe it's time for a complete restoration?
This package continues to impress thanks to the inclusion of a newly created Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack which is a marked improvement over the Pro-Logic mix most viewers will be familiar with. Most of the film is based around dialogue between the two protagonists and this sounds as clear as ever, but the real surprise comes through the use of the rears for spatial effects and atmosphere which is perfectly well positioned and hugely effective.
The second disc from this Special Edition is packed with valuable material including a brand-new retrospective documentary entitled Inside the Labyrinth which provides plenty of information about the making of the film, an extensive collection of 21 pieces of deleted material, the original promotional featurette, an outtakes reel, stills gallery, the teaser trailer, the original theatrical trailer, a trailer for Hannibal, TV spots and an amusing Hannibal Lecter answer-phone message. The only thing missing is the superb commentary track featured on the Criterion disc, but in every other way the MGM release is easily superior.Forget the deleted Criterion release, the definitive Silence of the Lambs DVD is available now thanks to MGM
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