August 15th, 1986



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Still of William Petersen in ManhunterStill of William Petersen in Manhunter

An FBI specialist tracks a serial killer who appears to select his victims at random.

Release Year: 1986

Rating: 7.2/10 (26,731 voted)

Critic's Score: 78/100

Director: Michael Mann

Stars: William Petersen, Kim Greist, Joan Allen

Will Graham is a former FBI agent who recently retired to Florida with his wife Molly and their young son. Graham was a 'profiler'; one who profiles criminal's behavior and tries to put his mind into the minds of criminals to examine their thoughts while visiting crime scenes. Will is called out of his self-imposed retirement at the request of his former boss Jack Crawford to help the FBI catch an elusive serial killer, known to the press as the 'Tooth Fairy', who randomly kills whole families in their houses during nights of the full moon and leaves bite marks on his victims. To try to search for clues to get into the mind of the killer, Will has occasional meetings with Dr. Hannibal Lecktor, a charismatic but very dangerous imprisoned serial killer that Will captured years earlier which nearly drove him insane from the horrific encounter that nearly cost Will's life...

Writers: Thomas Harris, Michael Mann

William Petersen - Will Graham
Kim Greist - Molly Graham
Joan Allen - Reba McClane
Brian Cox - Dr. Hannibal Lecktor
Dennis Farina - Jack Crawford
Tom Noonan - Francis Dollarhyde
Stephen Lang - Freddy Lounds
David Seaman - Kevin Graham
Benjamin Hendrickson - Dr. Frederick Chilton
Michael Talbott - Geehan
Dan Butler - Jimmy Price (as Dan E. Butler)
Michele Shay - Beverly Katz
Robin Moseley - Sarah
Paul Perri - Dr. Sidney Bloom
Patricia Charbonneau - Mrs. Sherman

Taglines: (reissue) Hannibal Lecter's legacy of evil begins here.

Release Date: 15 August 1986

Filming Locations: Atlanta, Georgia, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $2,204,400 (USA) (17 August 1986) (779 Screens)

Gross: $8,620,929 (USA)

Technical Specs

Runtime:  | USA: (director's cut)

Did You Know?

The film was originally going to be entitled "Red Dragon", the same name as the novel. However, when Year of the Dragon became a box office failure, Dino De Laurentiis decided to avoid a "dragon" title.

Crew or equipment visible: As Graham walks through the woods toward the house in the final scene, the dolly tracks for the camera are visible on the ground.

[first lines]
Jack Crawford: We should have talked at the boatyard. You don't wanna talk about it here.
Will Graham: I'm not fallin' all over myself to talk about much anywhere, Jack.

User Review

Pretty Good!


I have a problem with a lot of people's review of "Manhunter". Every single bad review that criticizes Cox or Noonan invariably mentions the movie "Red Dragon" in the same breath. How about being a little objective?

On its own as the original Hannibal Lecter movie, Manhunter is a good movie. Cox plays Lecter convincingly, and you can read from other reviewers who praised his work shows that with a little objectivity we can see an alternative representation of Lecter. It is true, as one other reviewer says, Hopkins acts Lecter, Cox *IS* Lecter. Cox never seems to be acting, he really plays the part with mystery and ambiguity not like the distinctly maniacal Lecter that Hopkins portrays.

Cox plays a true psychopath - one devoid of feelings, and yet a consummate actor. Some of the world's best actors are in fact psychopaths. A psychopath is not necessarily a killer - a psychopath is simply someone who does not feel for other human beings, which is often why the psychopath killers of this world were in fact convincing actors - for example Geoffrey Dahmer and Charles Manson.

So when we analyze the profiles of true psychopathic serial killers, we can quite clearly see that Cox plays the better Lecter than Hopkins. We can see Cox is devoid of compassion, and yet acts like a normal person. Hopkins on the other hand, never passes the creepy stage - he is too creepy and doesn't have the "acting" ability of a true psychopath to mask that image from the public eye. Cox shows that he could blend into normality without being caught.

And therein lies the problem with the negative reviews. We read countless negative reviews of this movie bemoaning the fact that Cox is not as creepy as Hopkins - but my dears, that is exactly why Cox plays the better Lecter!


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