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  • During a recent re-watch of this movie, I realized that everyone still refers to Lecter as "Doctor". This is a minor point, but wouldn't he have been stripped of any such titles once the news got out that he'd been, you know, eating people? I can understand Starling and Crawford referring to him as such, but Chilton even introduces him to Senator Martin as "Doctor Hannibal Lecter". You just know that he'd be the first one to stop using the title if it weren't necessary. So what gives?
    • I see it as a subtle commentary on Lecter's character. He has done things so heinous and ruthless that just hearing about them would make you squirm, yet he is undeniably brilliant and even the FBI still has a great deal of respect for him. It's also interesting given the character of Clarice, who is portrayed as sort of a timid but brave interloper in an otherwise male-dominated law enforcement world; perhaps the connotation of "Doctor" also serves to juxtapose her disrespected FBI character against a well-respected cannibal. It's also a constant reminder of the duality of his role in society prior to his capture, and there is a sadistic subtext in the characters referring to the psychotic madman as "Doctor." So I'd say half of it is purely to serve the script and the other half is the characters acknowledging his intellect (especially since much of the movie revolves around them trying to get information and assistance from him).
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