Manhunter

Manhunter

4.2 19
Director: Michael Mann

Cast: Michael Mann, William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen

     
 

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Red Dragon, the Thomas Harris novel that introduced serial killer Hannibal Lecter to the world, was adapted for the screen by Michael Mann as Manhunter. Ace criminal profiler Will Graham (William Petersen) is very good at his job because he has the ability to make himself think like the killers he tracks. Will has been in retirement since catchingSee more details below

Overview

Red Dragon, the Thomas Harris novel that introduced serial killer Hannibal Lecter to the world, was adapted for the screen by Michael Mann as Manhunter. Ace criminal profiler Will Graham (William Petersen) is very good at his job because he has the ability to make himself think like the killers he tracks. Will has been in retirement since catching Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter (Brian Cox), as being inside that particular deranged mind caused Will to have a breakdown. Will's boss Jack Crawford (Dennis Farina visits Will at his home, showing him pictures from a murder scene and asking for his help in catching a new killer they have dubbed "the Tooth Fairy" (Tom Noonan). In order to test his mental strength, Will visits Hannibal in his prison cell. Adding to the already substantial mental stress Will experiences when he returns to the job are nosy tabloid reporter Freddy Lounds (Stephen Lang), as well as Hannibal's attempts at seeking revenge through the Tooth Fairy. After two additional films that featured Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal) became box-office blockbusters, Manhunter was re-made as Red Dragon starring Hopkins and Edward Norton as Will Graham.

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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Chas Turner
Predating The Silence of the Lambs by five years, Michael Mann's madhouse of a serial killer flick is equal parts high-gloss visuals and offbeat, creepy acting. Three performances dominate the landscape: Brian Cox as the inimitable Hannibal Lecktor (as spelled in the credits), who adds a whiff more goony humor to the role than the later Anthony Hopkins interpretation; William Petersen as William Graham, the psychologically rich and morally corrupt FBI burnout; and Tom Noonan (What Happened Was...), who defines once and for all how to imbue a length of pantyhose with utter terror. Noonan's soft, boyish voice makes his Tooth Fairy character far more threatening than The Silence of the Lambs's Buffalo Bill. Manhunter is largely about how the investigation of a crime can turn from discovery to shocking empathy. Two versions of the film appear on the limited edition, two-DVD set: a pristine transfer of the theatrical release, running 121 minutes, and the 124-minute director's cut that has made the cable-network rounds. There are substantial differences in both films, particularly in soundtrack cues, and the way "Ina-gadda-da-vida" fits into the final confrontation scene. While not exactly a crowd-pleaser, Manhunter is more mournful and witty than The Silence of the Lambs and its latest successor, Hannibal.
All Movie Guide - Perry Seibert
Manhunter is a visually assured psychological thriller. Michael Mann builds tension through color, framing, editing, and sound with such skill that his actors can underplay their emotions. This mix is unusual, but it works superbly. Although the characters in this film engage in extraordinary activities, the low-key performances make them seem like real human beings. Manhunter succeeds at making the viewer feel the consequences of chasing serial killers for a living. William Petersen wears a haunted look that elicits sympathy, as well as a touch of fear, in the audience. Like Christopher Walken in The Dead Zone, Petersen does a spectacular job of physicalizing the toll his mental condition is taking on him. We sense his tenuous grasp on mental stability thanks in part to Brian Cox's terrifying portrayal of Hannibal Lecter. The Lecter in Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal wishes for nothing more than comfort. His animosity is directed at those who inflict unpleasantness on him (or Clarice), characters always portrayed as unlikable people anyway. The Lecter of Manhunter has an enemy. Will has caught him, and Lecter hates him for it. Now the pure intelligent evil of Lecter is directed at someone the audience cares about, and we constantly fear for Will's safety because of it. Manhunter is an underrated film that deserves to stand alongside Seven and its younger sibling, Silence of the Lambs, as benchmarks of the serial killer genre.
New York Times - Elvis Mitchell
...The director most suited for Mr. Harris's work is Michael Mann, who handled his "Red Dragon," retitled "Manhunter" (1986). Mr. Mann showed a restraint that eludes "Silence" and "Hannibal." He never stated what Lecter did, which made the caged mastermind capable of anything. As portrayed by the powerfully talented Brian Cox, Lecter was brisk and businesslike -- even the dimple in his chin was fearsome -- and spoke as if his curiosity were engaged by a lower order.

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Product Details

Release Date:
01/30/2001
UPC:
0013131176230
Original Release:
1986
Rating:
NR
Source:
Starz / Anchor Bay
Region Code:
1
Time:
2:04:00

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