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Though it will always be remembered as the movie featuring the "other" Hannibal Lecter, Michael Mann's 1986 thriller Manhunter is nearly as good as The Silence of the Lambs, and in some respects it's arguably even better. Based on Thomas Harris's novel Red Dragon, which introduced the world to the nefarious killer Hannibal "the Cannibal" Lecter, the film stars William Petersen (giving a suitably brooding performance) as ex-FBI agent Will Graham, who is coaxed out of semiretirement to track down a serial killer who has thwarted the authorities at every turn.
Graham's approach to the case is a perilous one. First he seeks counsel with Lecter (Brian Cox) in the latter's high-security prison cell--an encounter that is utterly horrifying in its psychological effect--and then he begins to mold his own psyche to that of the killer, with potentially devastating results. As directed by Mann (who was at the acme of his success with TV's Miami Vice), this sophisticated cat-and-mouse game never resorts to the compromise of cheap thrills. Predating Anthony Hopkins's portrayal of Lecter by four years, Cox plays the character closer to Harris's original, lower-key conception, and he's no less compelling in the role. Petersen is equally well cast, and as always Mann employs rock music to astonishing effect, using nearly all of Iron Butterfly's heavy-metal epic "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" to accompany the film's heart-stopping climactic sequence. All of this makes Manhunter one of the finest films of its kind, as well as further proof that Harris's fiction is a blessing to any filmmaker brave enough to adapt it. --Jeff Shannon --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
Will Graham, (William Peterson), is the "Manhunter" hunting down "Frances Dolarhyde", and also the man responsible for imprisoning Dr Lechtor, at great phsycial, and emotional harm to himself.
Don't be fooled by Dino's latest grab at a buck, the rediculous "Red Dragon". (Which is odd, since Dino owns "Manhunter" as well..)
So, Red Dragon is only a remake of this great film.
It's ultimately embaressing to watch Lechtor and Chilton's charachter's re-acted, only "made up" to look 20 some years younger! (Red Dragon).
This is the Real McCoy, and Brian Cox, IMHO, should have stayed Hannibal Lechtor.
If you want another good performance by Anthony Hopkins, see "Meet Joe Black".
BTW, as far as I can tell, Barney's character, (Frankie Faison), is the only actor to play in all "Four movies of the Trilogy"..
If you want the original psychological thriller in this series, you found it..
the lambs.it was remade in 2002,with different actors under the name
red dragonand while both movies are very good,there are some
differences.man hunter is very atmospheric in tone,utilizing music
more.it is very stylistic,yet also has substance.the action and drama
scenes are well done and lit very effectively.the film is much darker
in its mood or tone than red dragon,and very effective in building
suspense.the acting is well done,particularly william peterson in one
of his earliest performances.i really enjoyed the movie and cared about
the characters and became emotionally involved.well done movie.will
more than satisfy fans of the genre. 4/5
William Petersen is the cop, Will Graham and brilliant he is at playing him. He plays his psychological torment smoothly but making it unnerving for us. Tom Nooman is quite brilliant and in that way I mean terrifying at `The Tooth Fairy', the killer of the story. (Be sure to note the "wings" of blood under his arms after he has been shot and killed. This is, apparently, as close as he will get to becoming the "Red Dragon" he believed he was metamorphasizing into.)
He's multi-layered and he makes you both hate and feel sorry for him. Brian Cox is Lector in this tale. I won't bother with comparisons between him and Hopkins, because they both play Lector differently. Full credit must go to Cox though, he doesn't need masks or camp one-liners to try and make him scary. He is scary, his eyes, the deceiving way he talks. This is acting, not prop work but Anthony is still Lector to me.
Sure, "Manhunter" has weaknesses. Graham's acting is sporadic. The scenes where he is getting riled up at the as-yet-unknown killer are a bit weak. ("You son of a b****! You wanted them to watch, didn't you?") Also, as much as I enjoy Mann, it's probably too stylized for its own good. This is properly Mann's first masterpiece.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This movie has always been the prelude to Silence of the Lambs for me.Published 2 months ago by Deborah Shortt
Superbly acted, directed and shot. The cinematography, slick music and excellent casting make this a true delight for the senses. Brilliant acting with convincing characters. Read morePublished on Sept. 29 2013 by Andrew C. Miller
This is where it all started, years before Silence of the Lambs. Director Michael Mann gives this film a slick 80's look, it's tense, well acted and has a very different Hannibal... Read morePublished on Feb. 21 2012 by D. Beelik
I first rented this movie in the late '80s, and I really only did so to see Chris Elliot's cameo -- give me a break, I was really bored that weekend! Read morePublished on May 9 2004
After hearing all the rave reviews for the prequel that was better then silence, and reading the book that is one of my all time favorites. I bought this movie. Read morePublished on March 15 2004 by David Finniss
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