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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

Customer Reviews:

  • Very stupid
    Manhunter, An over-acclaimed piece of garbage that I will never attempt to watch again. If you say this is better than Silence of the lambs, you are seriously screwed up in the head. This shouldn't even count as a movie. This is a horrible attempt to make a film out of a great book. For those of you who didn't know, this is based on the book, Red Dragon by Thomes Harris. First off, I want to say the acting was bad. But I can't. The acting was putrid. This has some of the worse acting I've seen since the matrix reloaded. The only person who got even the slightest bit close to being an actor was Brian Cox, who still didn't pull it off. Anthony Hopkins is much better and creates a personality to Lecter in the other 3 movies. Brian Cox talks like he's been taking drugs. Second, the acting was putrid. Did I already say that? Well I mean it!Third, it dragged. It was annoying and outdrawn. Those two things can just destroy a movie. For a better movie try...well, just about any movie is better than this one. Try the other 3 SUPERIOR installments in the Hannibal Lecter series....more info
  • Too stylized for the 1980's.
    This is an average film in terms of pacing, script, direction and acting. What's most memorable about this film is that it was made in the 1980's.

    Red Dragon, a remake of Manhunter, offers a more compelling treatment of Harris' novel.

    Rental only....more info

  • The tooth fairy strikes again!
    This is the first of the Hannibal Lector series. The second which is a more known film, Silence of the Lambs, came out 5 years later. Manhunter introduces us to Dr. Lector through the FBI agent Will Graham. All we know is that Graham captured Dr. Lector and he is now in jail, but Graham still respects Dr. Lector's knowledge on forensic psychology and helps him to find another serial killer, "The Tooth Fairy". This serial killer prays on "happy families" and remains illusive. Will Graham is determined to capture him at any cost. Lector is played by Brian Cox. I have to admit that I like Anthony Hopkins' portrayal of the diabolical Lector better. "The Tooth Fairy" is played by Tom Noonan and is by far his best acting role and he should have received some award for it. He made the movie. This film is produced by Dino De Laurentiis, the same producer as all of the Lector series except, Silence of the Lambs. The story line was good, but the screen play adaptation could have been better, alot was lost. I still believe this first in the series is an excellent choice and explains Hannibal's character. This should be viewed before seeing Silence of the Lambs....more info
  • Manhunter (or The Great Red Dragon)
    What can I possibly add that 300 + reviews haven't already stated.

    I know after watching Red Dragon (the Brett Ratner version) I wanted to write Michael Mann a personal letter (definitely not my style!!!) thanking him for the beautiful movie he made in 1986 called Manhunter.

    It has always been one of my favourite, must have movies, and after seeing Red Dragon, I now knew why. For those who Silence of the Lambs/Hannibal/Red Dragon were first introductions to these characters, I wish they had only been acquainted with 'Manhunter' first, but generational and promotional gaps can't be helped. Mann's film was low budget, but he presented one of the most influential crime films of its time. The style and atmosphere were an inspiration to many a movie and television drama after it, despite its lack of monetary backing.

    I rewatched Manhunter after Red Dragon, and even noticed that Jodie Foster played her character in Silence of The Lambs much like Petersen did, even down to facial twitches when speaking to Hannibal. There's something about the Frankenstein Dungeon atmosphere of the 90's adaptions of Hannibal that has always for me 'telegraphed' the menace of the cannibal psychologist, but I always felt that Anthony Hopkins was brilliant as Hannibal just by the sheer menace that boiled underneath him. Great actor, and I personally feel he saves all 3 films from a slight mediocrity when held in comparison to Mann's Manhunter. Hannibal in an all- white prison cell (as in Manhunter) somehow allows the actor to ''create'' that menace in a blank space. The big difference in Hannibal's (Cox & Hopkins) is the speed in which they deliver their insanity. Hopkins is very slow and menacing, manipulative and calculating in speech, Brian Cox quick and sure-footed, adapting quickly to each situation and response as it arrives. I feel both are suited for that character. But there was something about Cox's way of getting Will Graham's home phone number in Manhunter that I found more believeable and chilling at how easy it was gotten. Hopkins is a wonderful actor, and I can only imagine what Mann could have done if given the liberty to work with him, but Cox is certainly admirable and credible in the role as well. Understated is the word. Hopkins LOOKS crazy. I'm not so sure I would go to him for psychological advice. Cox is much more approachable, and thats where the danger is.

    There is so much in Mann's Manhunter that stylistically, atmospherically and artistically dwarfs the later adaptions, even though it was low budget, that I cannot even begin to describe how well this movie worked on so many levels. The main one being, the characters are so much more defined. Details from the book are somewhat left out, but what is brought in its stead is 'mood'. Dennis Farina carries the protective air over Petersen's Graham to much greater effect. The feeling is that Farina's Crawford is just as in danger of falling over the psychological 'edge' as Petersen's Graham, but he serves as a foothold for the character should they start falling. You start caring about these characters and their dependency on eachother in mad circumstances, Lecktor/Graham/Crawford and The Red Dragon/Tooth Fairy Dolarhyde. The relationships are shown and explored through camerawork and very understated acting. Everything is very low key. Until the menace begins to grow.

    Brilliant film. Too bad Mann was not asked to direct Red Dragon. THAT would have been justice!...more info

  • William Peterson is highly under-rated!!
    If you think, as I did, that Anthony Hopkins' Hannibal was over-the-top, and a caricature of a serial killer, then you too will LOVE "Manhunter." This film's Hannibal was so subtle that the actor probably gave ppl the creeps on the subway for years. He is also under-rated...Brian Cox.

    Just see it, and see how much BETTER (not "nearly as good," as the descr states) it is than "Silence." And DO NOT EVER spend any money supporting the remake, which is such a joke that I am still laughing...

    That's my short version....more info
  • Better looking than the Limited Edition's Directors Cut
    First off, the movie itself is excellent. I give it 4 stars. I bought this movie back in 1987, remembering that I wanted to see it based on previews at the theaters, but I never got to see it until it came out on VHS. However, this DVD release get's 3 stars only because it's nothing really special and it's the Limited Edition's Director's Cut with the video much improved. But, it still has a glaring omission that I will cover later in this review.

    I remember Showtime advertising a Director's Cut of the movie and I remember it being so much better than the theatrical version. The one scene that especially stands out in my mind is the final confrontation between Dolarhyde and Graham. First off, Graham has a 38 Bulldog special which only holds 5 rounds. Also, he is using Glazer safety slugs. In the theatrical version, Graham gets off six shots. WHOOPS! In the Director's cut, they get it right. He only fires 5 shots. Also, with Glazers, the bullet does NOT travel through the body. The whole point of Glazers is that they explode on impact, preventing them from passing through the intended target and possibly hitting someone behind them. In the theatrical version, you see blood spray after the 2nd or 3rd shot hitting the kitchen wall behind Dolarhyde. This would not happen with Glazers. Also, due to the impact and explosion of the bullet upon impact, anyone hit would have been down on the first shot.

    In the director's cut, the blood spray never happens, although there is blood on the back wall. I guess Mann decided to cut out the scene that contained the spray rather than reshoot it since the director's cut came out on Showtime some couple of years after the movie was released in theatres.

    With the theatrical and limited edition that Anchor Bay released, I got what I was looking for, but only to a degree.

    First off, the DVD theatrical version is NOT the true theatrical version. There are extra scenes added that were NOT in the theatrical version. Also, a scene where Graham sympathizes with Dolarhyde before the final confrontation is left out for some unknown reason. The Director's Cut is still not the TRUE director's cut that I saw on Showtime because of the missing scene just mentioned. However, it was the only version available, but the picture was horrible. Colors bled and overall, it appeared to have been copied from a pirated copy on VHS. That's how bad it looked.

    Much to my surprise, I was looking at a local store and saw the Restored Director's Cut. I was excited to finally have what was not given to us before. Or, so I thought. I guess the sentence that sold me was the one on the back of the DVD case: "The restoration of this Director's Cut was overseen by Michael Mann to bring you the definitive version of this chilling classic." I guess I thought since Mann oversaw this version, I figured it would have the complete movie in it.

    To begin with, unlike the theatrical version that Anchor Bay released, this is only in Dolby 2.0. Not a big problem. The picture through MOST of this version is excellent. Apparently, they used the theatrical version for most of the movie. However, you can tell when it switches to the director's cut scenes because they are not as crisp and clear as the theatrical scenes, but it is still a big improvement over the first Anchor Bay Director's Cut. However, the scene with Graham sympathizing with Dolarhyde is STILL missing. The actual scene is as follows:

    Agent Jack Crawford FBI: You feel sorry for him.
    Will Graham: As a child, my heart bleeds for him. Someone took a little boy and turned him into a monster. But as an adult... as an adult, he's irredeemable. He butchers whole families to fulfill some sick fantasy. As an adult, I think someone should blow the ... out of his socks.

    This scene is still absent for whatever reason and many of us fans feel it is too bad that it's missing. It's a powerful statement that actually hints as to what drives Dolarhyde to become such a brutal killer. It actually coincides with what is explained about Dolarhyde in the book.

    What is nice is to have Michael Mann's commentary. At one point, he does briefly explain that DEG went bankrupt in the 1980s, making it impossible to find the original film prints for many of the scenes. So, this possibly explains the reason why the Director's Cut scenes are still grainy and also why the ommitted scene is still missing. It's too bad, but apparently, there are European versions of the theatrical release that contain the missing scene, so why they could get ahold of it, but Anchor Bay could not doesn't make much sense.

    Other than that, this DVD doesn't have much to offer. There are still pictures of deleted and alternate scenes, a trailer, and those with a DVD ROM can read the script in PDF format. Since many scenes were filmed with Tom Noonan with the Red Dragon tatoo on him, it's too bad they couldn't have put those into a deleted scenes section. But, then again, maybe due to DEG going bankrupt, they couldn't find the original prints for those scenes.

    If you have the Limited Edition and theatrical version, keep it since there is nothing else special about this DVD. Still, to have a better looking Director's Cut, this DVD is worth it.

    Due to the lack of special features (except for Mann's commentary) AND the still missing scene, this DVD release gets a 3-star rating. Still, it's worth having to complete your Hannibal collection (and I still think it's better than the remake, although that's a good movie as well)....more info

    My first Michael Mann movie was "Heat", a stunning drama in itself. When I saw "The Insider," I was hooked on to his style. This movie predates the other two, so this is where his style must have developed. Lots of wide-angled shots, a fluid narrative and some astonishingly riveting music (the soundtrack is hard to find btw, it is a collector's item now and boy does it deserve to be!)

    Manhunter was the first movie adaptation of Tom Harris' book called "The Red Dragon". Although this is a Hannibal Lecktor movie (yes, with a "K") the role of Hannibal is not that prominent here, although what little there is does leave a malevolent tinge. Apparently, Brian Cox (as Lecktor here) caused a lot of furore in 1986 but after having seen Anthony Hopkins thrice in the quietly sinister role I must say he is unmatched. The voice of Hopkins has much more current than Cox's. IMHO.

    With the exception of Hopkins though, whom I prefer, almost everyone in this film is more compelling than the newer movies (Silence of the lambs, Hannibal, Red Dragon.)

    I found William Petersen as FBI manhunter Will Graham much more appealing than Jodie Foster's or Julian Moore's Clarice Starling. Petersen's portrayal of Graham as the haunted, introspective, reluctant hero is more complex and get the sense that he is driven by inner demons to solve the crime he is faced with, but doesn't really want to be there and would much rather spend the remainder of his days in the bosom of his family on the beaches of Captiva Island.

    The centerpiece of the film though is the terrifying portrayal of psychotic killer Francis Dollarhyde by the underrated but talented actor Tom Noonan. Noonan's hulking build seems a stark contrast to his character's quiet, introverted, soft-spoken persona, which hides the inner embodiment of pure, psychotic evil. Here is a guy who runs a photo lab by day but returns every night to a spooky, surreal lair which obviously reflects his inner psychosis, which he has learned to hide from view. The symbolism of his relationship with the blind Reba (Joan Allen) is obvious. His character is able to present a normal appearance to everyone around him yet goes out on the night of a full moon and slaughters whole families whose pictures he has processed, simply to fulfill his fantasies.

    Give this film a go if you can manage the tension and the buildup to the shattering climax. Then give the family a hug afterwards, and make sure your doors and windows are locked at night. Mann's filmmaking has a way to make your skin crawl....more info

  • Smell Yourself....!
    This film kinda took me by surprise as being one of those films of which I remember most of the lines of the antagonists. Brian Cox as Hannibal Lecter I think was more menancing than Anthony Hopkins portrayal. The incorporation of rock music (easy rock to heavy metal)places this movie as a definite eighties classic. Not gory or flashy with special effects, this film plays more on psychological themes...well obviously. There's no glorification of the killer or too much philosophizes on why the killer "the tooth fairy" kills. It's a simple yet complex film, that's a lot better than it is generally credited as being....more info
  • Rubbish
    For those who enjoyed all of the other Hannibal Lector Movies, plesse avoid this one as it is a load of rubbish and I will not be watching it again. It is of a very low quality and seems to be a remake of the original Red Dragon which was in my eyes one of the best of the series of movies....more info
  • "No beast so fierce but knows some touch of pity." "But I know none, and therefore I am no beast." Richard III, Act 1, Scene 2
    Francis Dollarhyde has to be one of the more disturbing and chilling villains in modern day literature and cinema. Abused and damaged as a child to a point where only a series of rudimentary, barely functioning social masks takes the place of a whole man, Dollarhyde hides the savage pathology of a serial killer who annihilates entire families to fuel his twisted desire and impossible longing.

    Although "Manhunter" is less true to Thomas Harris' book "Red Dragon," and the 2002 film version with the same name, I found it to be a vastly superior film. Despite its retro `80's fashion and the distinctive pastels and sun-drenched look of Michael Mann's work during his Miami Vice television series days, you will find a film that cuts through the meat, slicing through the bone and exposing the marrow. Tom Noonan's performance is one of the most haunting and pitiable on celluloid. Noonan delivers the tortured, damaged and ultimately unsalvageable soul of Francis Dollarhyde in a way that even Harris' book didn't convey. He is a howling soul in Hell--a grotesque who is driven by his delusions.

    William Peterson is Will Graham, a former FBI profiler, who retired after a near death encounter in apprehending the notorious and now incarcerated Hannibal Lector (played by a wonderfully sinister and reptilian Brian Cox). When Graham's former handler, Jack Crawford (Dennis Farina), asks him to help him profile the murderer, Graham visits Lector in his jail cell, to recover the mind-set necessary to track the killer. In doing so, Graham incurs Lector's wrath and his collusion with the very killer Graham is pursuing, bringing him far closer to the case than he anticipated.

    Joan Allen absolutely shines as Reba McClane, the blind girl who has the misfortune to be attracted to Francis Dollarhyde and who unwittingly serves as Dollarhyde's last connection to his vanishing humanity. Early on in their relationship, Dollarhyde takes Reba to a veterinarian who is set to cap a sedated tiger's tooth. Watching Reba's facial expressions as she ran her hands along the tiger's fur and listened to the beating of its heart, with tears streaming down her face, was almost painful. Dollarhyde watches her from a corner in the room and seems to experience something akin to an emotional release from her experience. It is one of the strangest and most erotically charged scenes I've ever seen in a film.

    When I first saw this film in its theatrical release, I remember thinking, "Thanks a lot, Michael Mann, you've totally ruined Iron Butterfly's Inna Gadda De Vida for me. Now I'm never going to be able to hear this great song from my youth without feeling vaguely frightened." Even so, the sound track for the film contains some of the most eerily beautiful music from `80's groups like Red 7, Prime Movers and Shriekback, which Mann has integrated flawlessly into the film.

    "Manhunter" might annoy some viewers who remember only too well the big hair and bad fashion of the 1980's. However, if you can manage to put these aside, I think you will find an often overlooked and intense gem of a thriller....more info
  • Moment of Truth

    *** This comment may contain spoilers ***

    "Manhunter" (1986) directed by Michael Mann - is a masterpiece, pure and simple. It took me five times but I finally realized it. I see it as the best adaptation of the favorite book written on the subject of serial killers and investigation of their crimes. I also discovered William Blake and his fascinating art, including the painting which gave the book its title, "Red Dragon", thanks to Mr. Harris. Michael Mann certainly read the book "Red Dragon" before he started to work on the movie and he was able to get inside of it as well as the book's main character, Will Graham was able to get inside a murderer's mind. The scene where Will Graham (William Peterson) finds out who the killer is makes me shiver every time I watch the movie. I can not recall another "moment of truth" as powerful and convincing as this one. It is more powerful that the similar scene in "The Sound Of The Lambs" where Clarise Starling figures out who and where the "Buffalo Bill" can be. Michael Mann took his time understanding how important the scene was and it received a royal treatment in the movie. I used to be disappointed that Mann cut the book's very impressive ending but after many viewings I think I understand why he did it. For me, the whole movie was a build up for the "moment of truth" scene and after Graham figured who the murderer was making us the participants of the process, it did not really matter (at least for me) how they were going to catch Francis "Red Dragon" Dolarhyde.

    ...more info
  • [3.5]--The forgotten movie that is taken on its own terms
    Like many people who have seen "Silence of the Lambs," I didn't know of "Manhunter," the first in the series, and by far one of the best one. This film was not only far ahead of its time but also a fantastic bit film making (Michael Mann once again hits the spot) in every sense of the word. The plot is the now basic serial killer on the loose/ cop must stop him and save his next victim. However, there are some very original and brilliant inventions in this film that separates it from the rest.

    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. The opening scene pans down from a blue sky to Graham and Crawford sitting on a branch on the sand. Freeze frame that. It is a perfect composition. A Vettriano image. This respect for composition is echoed through the movie. There are so many opportunities here to see the visual, the lighting, the camera all coming together. Yes, it is a 1980's pic. It was made in the 1980's and is a tribute to the look and feel of the time. He directs the film with so much skill and style. If I could get anyone to film night's scenes, it would be Mann. His night scenes (The Insider, Last of the Mohicans, Heat) are fantastic to look at and this is no exception and we get a lot of it as the film is mostly filmed at night. The screenplay is a cracker (again by Mann) and the music is class as well. For those who haven't seen this film should and for those who had see this again please.
    ...more info
  • Outstanding performance by William Peterson
    This was one of the first William Peterson movies I had ever seen. The first one was "To Live and Die in L.A." If you haven't seen that one, pick it up.
    Even though this movie has been reproduced, this is still worth watching. The villian is menacing and more frightening than Ralphe Fiennes, although I love Ralphe. Check it out if you haven't already!!!...more info
  • Lock the doors, pull the drapes...
    This first adaptation of a Thomas Harris novel is by far the best, yes, superior even to "The Silence of the Lambs". Most of the actors were unfamiliar to audiences at the time, which just enhances the entire experience, giving the film an immediacy and lack of predictability that one misses when Big Stars are onscreen. There will be only one Hannibal Lecter, imho, and it is the exquisitely bland Brian Cox, not Anthony Hopkins (not a dis, Sir Tony, you're great and all, but hoooo wheeeee, Brian!). I dare you to hear Iron Butterfly's "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" without shuddering. A classic horror film with subtle nuances that will flash in your subliminal mind at the most inconvenient times. Do not watch alone, at home, at night, as I did once. The giant German Shepherd slumbering at my feet did nothing to reassure me.......more info
  • The best of the series
    Unlike the Dec. 26th troll down below who repeated himself (or herself) three times, I must say this is the best one out of the bunch. I saw it twice in the movie theaters when it came out and bought a cassette of the soundtrack, which has criminally been out of print since 1986.

    Brian Cox was effectively creepy and didn't overact in a hammy fashion they way Anthony Hopkins did. And William Petersen beats the pants off Edward Norton, anyday of the week! Too bad the later films got all the glory.

    I wish MCA or Rhino would re-release the soundtrack since my cassette wore out a long time ago....more info

  • The Original Profiler: Petersen before C.S.I.
    MANHUNTER was the first movie to feature the now ubiquitous "profiler,"
    an agent who uses psychology and empathy with his target to pursue him.
    This film, based on the equally original novel RED DRAGON by Thomas
    Harris, is stylish and effective. Its luster may have been diminished
    by the many subsequent efforts in the same area (I won't say imitators),
    but it is still worthwhile for its "Miami Vice" style direction and
    music(Michael Mann directs), its taut police procedural scenes, a chilling
    "key revelation" scene, and star-making performances by Tom Noonan, Joan
    Allen, William Petersen, and especially Brian Cox as the original
    Hannibal Lector.

    Note: There are two earlier widescreen DVD releases of this film, each
    with extra features. One is a "director's cut" special edition, which
    has received mixed reviews. I didn't think it was an improvement over
    the original. Both editions appear to be out of print, but there are
    many "New & Used" sellers on Amazon. I would recommend the "flashlight
    cover" version over this one, which appears to have no extra features
    at all....more info
  • not as vivid and sharp as the 2001 DVD release
    Manhunter the restored director's cut is the most comprehensive version of the film and the transfer was supervised by Michael Mann, but the source print doesn't look like it's in as good of shape as the one used in the Anchor Bay 2001 theatrical version DVD release. I am referring to all of the scenes. The color is more washed out and there is more film grain present than the 2001 release. The picture has a darker look to it, the lush colors of the 2001 release are lacking. The opening scene is framed differently and is grainier than the other version. The scenes edited back into the movie are of horrible quality, and add little to the film, but nevertheless work very well. The opening credits appear as Will Graham is asked to help track the Tooth Fairy on the beach instead of shortly before. There is an extra scene with Will and Molly having a telephone conversation, along with an extension of a scene with Dennis Farina. The most noticeable difference is the end where an additional scene is provided where Graham visits the Jacobis, which on the theatrical release were only referred to. The shootout between the Tooth Fairy and Graham is edited a little different too. I prefer the 2001 DVD for this scene, but that's just me. This version of the film is in Dolby Digital 2.0 instead of Dolby 5.1 used in the 2001 release. The sound isnt going to test your home theater, but does exhibit decent separation. This movie is a Super 35 movie which shows more grain than anamorphic 2.35 or Academy Flat 1.85. This also means that both DVD versions show more width than what you might have seen on TV, or the VHS release, but are matted and show less height. This is just the Super 35 process which allows more flexiblity in framing. This is the version Michael Mann intended for you to see, still if you like the film, the 2001 DVD release isnt a let down because of the slightly better transfer. The director's cut print doesn't seem to be in as good of shape. Highly recommended. I like this better than Red Dragon, because this is more realistic, and the characters are more developed and believable....more info
  • William Petersen, the most underrated actor ever.
    I agree with JJ Justice's review, "Manhunter" is great and the "Red Dragon" remake was a travesty. It truly was a slap in the face to the great early work of William Petersen and director Michael Mann.

    I still ask, why oh why did William Petersen not become a humongous star in Hollywood? He had the movie star looks, the charisma, and he's a darn fine actor on top of it all. He's BELIEVEABLE. He put his heart and soul so much into the role in "Manhunter" that it literally drained him physically and emotionally. Brian Cox was also superb, and in my opinion he was better in many aspects than Anthony Hopkins ever was.

    If you want to look more into the work of William Petersen, I highly encourage you to check out "To Live and Die in L.A." If you don't believe in his star quality, you will after you see that movie. What a shame he never truly rose to the top.

    ...more info
  • Enter the mind of a serial killer... you may never come back
    I know Silence of the Lambs is more popular in the series than this one, but I think this is a better movie. It stars William Petersen as Will Graham, a semi-retired FBI profiler, who is called into service to catch a highly methodical serial killer. Will has the unique ability to get into the killers' mind, see what he sees, understand the motives behind the crimes. Only problem is when he gets so close, lets all those bad thoughts in, it's difficult to deal with them, as they sort of poison his mind. This, along with the physical injuries he sustained on a previous case, forced him to go into semi-retirement/seclusion with his family.

    At the time this movie came out, I got the feeling that profiling of serial killers was a fairly new science, and not yet deemed as useful of a tool as it could be. This is represented in the meeting Will attends with a group of FBI agents who are working on the new case, with the killer named 'The Tooth Fairy'. It's not that they derided him when he presented the information in the course of his profiling, but you felt like they looked at him like he was making psychic predictions and his input wasn't all that credible. That was my opinion, and I may be wrong. Anyway, it was amazing to go with Will to the murder scenes and see things they way he saw them, that is to say they way the killer may have seen them. He uncovers clues missed during previous investigations, clues that help to further along the case against the ever elusive Tooth Fairy.

    Some really great scenes involve Will visiting Dr. Hannibal Lecktor, played by Brian Cox. While I thought Anthony Hopkins did a great job in the part in the following movies, I will always visualize Brian Cox as Lecktor. He brought such a subtle and sublime presence to the part, and underlying evil that is so evident that his prison walls, while managing to keep his physical being, seems unable to contain his spirit of evil. Will visits Dr. Lecktor, the most recent serial killer he caught and the one that made him leave the work behind, to try and develop the scent, so to speak, get the feeling back, to track this new killer. Another thing I really enjoyed was the methodical investigation performed by the FBI. They weren't made to look like a bunch of fools, in that clues just fell out of the sky and the case solved itself. The scene where the letter from the killer to Lecktor is scrutinized but different groups within the FBI was really fascinating. It was amazing to see how much they could do with so little information.

    Dennis Farina has a great role as FBI section chief Jack Crawford, the person who brings Will back into the world that he tried to put out of his life. He knows Will is the best, even if he doesn't understand his methods. He shows a genuine friendship for Will, concern for when he thinks Will is getting in too deep, but has to travel a fine line between friendship and duty, which sometimes gets blurred and causes conflicts. One of my favorite lines in the movie is when Will and Jack are arguing about it being too late to catch the killer, as the killer operates within a certain time frame, and Will is unwilling to give up, telling Jack "I'll tell you when it's over!" with such conviction. And Tom Noonan does a great job portraying the killer, who always manages to seem a little off kilter with the world around him, out of sync, but sort of hidden from view, like something always in your peripheral vision but never in plain sight. The scene where the FBI eventually catches up to the killer is one of the most memorable movie moments for me. The music combined with the visuals is incredible. The movie really kept my attention throughout, but the end kept me riveted.

    This version looks really good, and I did notice that a few scenes were added, hence the director's cut, and I think they added to the movie. The high definition transfer looks really good. There is also a new commentary by the director, Michael Mann, trailers, promotional stills, advertising materials, and alternate and deleted scenes. On thing I did notice was in some of the pictures, the serial killer has a rather large tattoo on his back, with what looks like wings, but wasn't present in the movie. It looked pretty amazing, and I haven't listen to the director's commentary to see if he explains not using that visual effect, but I would be interested to know why it wasn't used. This movie will stay with you awhile, and holds up extremely well to repeated viewings. Another really good movie with William Petersen was the one he made before Manhunter, called To Live and Die in LA, which also stars Willem Dafoe. It's not as good as this one, but just as taut and highly intensive viewing, but not on DVD at the time this review was written.

    Cookieman108...more info
  • The best of the Hanibal Lecter movies!!!
    I bought this DVD a few years ago and I haven't had any of the problems that some of the new editions have. That said, This is a great movie in every respect. The acting is top-notch all through. I don't think that Red Dragon can stand up to this movie at all, despite its star-power. I am a huge fan of Edward Norton but William Peterson is much better. You can really feel him getting deeper and deeper into the case. The scene where he realizes that Dollarhyde has seen the videos is one of the best ever. And although Anthony Hopkins is THE Hannibal Lector, Brian Cox is actually better. He doesn't play it for laughs at all. I read the book Red Dragon quite a few years ago so I knew that the ending in Manhunter was not true to the book, but it was still terrific, especially with the use of "In-a-gadda-da vida" in the scene.

    One isuue I would like to talk about is the last scene in some of the versions. Graham (Peterson) goes to the house of the would-be victims and tells them that they would have been next. Many people thought this scene was unnecesssary (why tell them anything at all?) I think the reason it was put in was to make the audience think for a split second that Graham went there to kill them. Remember that the reason they brought him in was because he could get into the mind of a serial killer....more info
  • Interesting, but if you like the film buy the other version!
    I know Manhunter is somewhat dated and has a very 80s feel to it, but this was a very well-done, creepy film with decent acting and decent directing. Unfortunately, the powers that be (which I suppose in this case is director Michael Mann) have made it so that out of the 4 or 5 different VHS and DVD releases of this film, not one has ever been of the actual theatrical film. Even though these new DVD releases have some new footage put in, there are several short scenes from the original cut that have always been chopped out of these home releases, for some unknown reason. This particular release includes some new clips that add nothing to the plot of the movie and actually make you like some of the lead characters less; they were better off left on the cutting room floor, as they were originally. What makes these new scenes most distracting is that their quality is terrible, so you'll be watching a crisp, high-quality scene and all of a sudden a little grainy, awful-looking clip will appear, having been spliced back in, and then the picture quality suddenly goes to perfect again. Very distracting. I've never seen a director's cut of a film done this way, and I hope I never do again. Most directors would cringe at the thought of saying, "Yes, this is my perfect vision of how this film should have looked, even with these horrible-looking clips included." To get the best experience of this movie, stick with the 2001 release. This one is only interesting for one viewing, and only then just for hard-core fans of the film whose curiosity is piqued....more info
    "MANHUNTER" is a 5 star film that has yet to receive the treatment it deserves. Technically speaking, this new DVD gets 3 stars, which is a big step up from the 1 star treatment it got in 2002. I'll dispense with the superlatives about Michael Mann's screenplay and direction and the performances of William Peterson, Tom Noonan and Brian Cox and concentrate on the merits of this new DVD edition. I became familiar with this film from a taped broadcast from The Movie Channel back in 1987 which Mann also reworked from the original theatrical release by adding the same footage included in this new edition. The only difference is the deletion of a scene in which Graham has a brief interview with the director of the institution in which Dr.Lecktor is imprisoned. In that scene, Graham becomes irritated when asked about his ability to get inside of Lecktor's fantasies. It's not an important scene, but it does help convey Graham's discomfort with the talent that makes him such an asset to the FBI. The scenes which Mann added both to that TMC release and this new edition are welcome improvements.
    There is a notice at the beginning of this edition advising that some of the footage is of less than optimum quality due to some inferior source material for scenes that were not included in the theatrical version. That's an understatement. The image quality through 95% of this film is very good. However, several shots are of VHS quality and a few look like they were shot through cheesecloth. In the director's commentary, Mann explains this dissapointing result. But it's by far the best version available. Especially since the 2 versions released by Anchor Bay in 2002(the same distributor responsible for this new edition)are so awful.
    How many fans of this film noticed that the theatrical version released in 2002, which claimed to be widescreen, was not? I thought something looked strange, so I compared it to the tape I'd made from TMC 15 yrs. prior, which was of course in standard full screen (1.33:1) format. I found that the left & right borders of the image stopped at exactly the same point and that image which appeared at the top and bottom of the frame of the VHS was covered by the black bars on the DVD. I was amazed & appalled; they'd taken a full screen original and plastered black bars over the top & bottom and pawned it off as widescreen. The Director's Cut that was simultaneously released had the worst image quality I've ever seen on DVD. I returned my copy for a refund.
    This new edition actually is widescreen. The extras are only so-so. There's the usual theatrical trailer and production stills. Michael Mann's commentary is interesting at times, but doesn't provide much insight into the movie making experience. Unless forgotten original film negatives of the added scenes are found in some studio storeroom, it's unlikely that there will ever be a better version of this excellent film. In spite of the technical flaws, this disc is a must-have for any "avid fan"....more info
  • Go ahead and buy the full screen edition
    I have seen the "director's cut" and the theatrical release. I strongly recommend this DVD (I own it). It is the theatrical release and, quite frankly, Michael Mann's original editing instincts were on target. The "director's cut" really doesn't add significant impact to the film. The only detrimental thing I have to say about this DVD is that it is not widescreen. But, it's really not worth spending between $25 and $300 dollars for out-of-print director's cuts. Or, get the new 3-disc Lector set that includes this film, Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. Unfortunately, as with many of Mann's films - the director's cut releases reflect poor judgment by the director [Last of the Mohicans is a prime example -- ruined by Mann in re-editing. And, the theatrical release was withheld from DVD.] Invest in the theatrical cut of Manhunter while it's available....more info
  • They don't make em' like this anymore, sport....
    I am one of those people who typically leans towards the original version of a movie. To put it nicely, I hate remakes. Well, the same applies to this great movie. "Red Dragon" isn't even close to being as good as "Manhunter". To me, "Manhunter" is a contemporary classic in the truest sense. Michael Mann can do no wrong, and certainly hits the nail on the head with this flick.

    Now, this movie is 20+ years old, but ages perfectly. I will even go as far as to say I like this movie more than SOTL. That doesn't mean it's a better movie, just more favorable to me. "Manhunter" really is creapy, more than SOTL.

    The music is perfectly scary, the way Mann directed the cameras to cue when "Graham" flicks on the light of the bedroom of the first murder scene we see is so shocking. And really, this movie is probably the first of it's kind in regards to showing forensics, criminal profiling, and in-depth FBI usage.

    Another cool thing Mann does is when he uses the quick camera movements. I can't describe it really, but for example when "Graham" is slaying the dragon so to speak at the end, you see several of these quick camera movements. It's really interesting style and works great.

    This movie also gives us the introduction to one of the most diabolical villians in the history of cinema, Dr. Hannibal Lector. Not played this time by Anthony Hopkins, but brilliantly by Brian Cox. Cox does a wonderful job. Maybe not as good as Hopkins in SOTL, but better than Hopkins in "Hannibal" or "Red Dragon".

    Most people are disappointed to know that Lector is already in jail in this one, but that makes his character even more mysterious. All you know is that Special Agent Will Graham caught him and sort of how he caught him. That formula worked well with "Manhunter" and SOTL. But when he escaped and was on the lose, the movies sunk tremendously ("Hannibal" and "Red Dragon").

    I highly recommend this movie. If you liked the SOTL series or "Miami Vice" or "Thief" or any other Michael Mann stuff, you will absolutely love "Manhunter". It will not disappoint. It really is a brilliant movie....more info
  • Divimax Treatment for a seminal 80s classic!
    Even though RED DRAGON released last year ...
    This adaptation was made four years before SILENCE OF THE LAMBS and was based on the earlier Thomas Harris novel RED DRAGON. They did not call it RED DRAGON, because there was another movie that year with DRAGON in the title that did not do so well...and the studio feared it would get confused with that film. It's driected by Michael Mann who is famous for MIAMI VICE, and yes it shows in this film. But it's a grueling fast-paced reality-based thriller similar to SILENCE OF THE LAMBS. Big challenge is they had to vocalize Will Graham's thoughts in the book into actual lines in the movie. Sometimes you can tell the film was made on a smallish budget in the mid-80s, but on the whole? It holds up today as a great adaptation of a great book! It's a fun movie, and if you are a fan of the other thrillers like SILENCE OF THE LAMBS this will be right up your alley. Yes, there is a wonderful appearance by Hannibal the infamous cannibal -- though not much is made of his modus operandi. He is never referred to as a cannibal. But Brian Cox's portrayal is strong if brief. The real stars here are the actors portraying Will Graham and the killer. Both give creepy a human edge as they play cat and mouse with each other. And fans of Joan Allen -- her portrayal of the blind Reba is amazingly well done. Sexy and stylish, not too much gore, and very tight pacing. I can't be more effusive about this movie.

    DIVIMAX DVD presentation of the film with added scenes before only seen on television showings. The only problem with that is you see a difference in the film quality when they go to these scenes. They really don't add too much, but worth a look. Also in this version is a commentary from Michael Mann. He's not as chatty as some directors, but gives you a good idea of what he wanted out of this thriller....more info

  • Michael Mann is my hero
    There hasn't been one Michael Mann movie that I haven't liked. They all are always top notch, with good acting. This movie is no different. This limited edition set is hard to come by anymore, but might be worth it just for the extras. The director's cut isn't much different from the original, I didn't even really notic a difference. The original is remastered and boy does it look better! If you want to see the difference in picture, just pop in the director's cut, which for some reason doesn't seem to have been touched at all. This is one of the few movies by the way, in which I was actually happy and tense at the end when the good guy (William Peterson) confronts the bad guy. This movie had me hooked the whole way though and I have to say I liked it more than the newer adaptation (cough......remake.......cough cough). I actually like Brian Cox as hannibal lecter more than Anthony Hopkins, although it is a tough one for me to call. The collector's booklet is really cool and a nice touch. If you can pick this version up, I really recommend it, although any version should do. This is one of the movies that really should be seen to see how movies can really make you get involved in the story!...more info
  • Hunt this man down.
    Quietly forgotten in the whirlwind hype surrounding the more mainstream versions of Thomas Harris' character Hannibal Lecter (Silence of the Lambs, etc) - this severely under appreciated gem juggles elegance and style, character development and excellent plotting to conjure up the most satisfying of all the Lecter adaptations to date.

    Release in 1986 to middling reviews, director Michael Mann's third feature (following on from his TV success with 'Miami Vice' and big screen endeavors 'The Keep' and 'Thief') is a triumph of both style and substance. Shot with a mid 80s gloss, Mann transfers Harris' novel to the big screen with panache and manages to wring many a scare out of the source material. The movie stars William L. Peterson as Will Graham, an ex-FBI agent who is forced out of retirement to track down a serial killer, suitably named 'The Tooth Fairy' (played beautifully by Tom Noonan). His only hope is to seek council with a killer he successfully captured years before . . . Hannibal Lecter (here spelt 'Lektor'). This sets in motion a chain of events that will lead Graham to question his own talents and sanity all the way up to a dynamite climax in which graham comes face to face with The Tooth Fairy himself.

    Peterson is well cast as Graham. Brooding and awkward, yet heroic in equal measure - he fills the screen whenever he is in shot. His performance totally eclipses Edward Norton's interpretation of the character in Brett Ratners' pointless remake 'Red Dragon'. Dennis Farina essays the role of Jack Crawford, and although I prefer Scott Glen in 'Silence', he too is excellent in the part. His and Peterson's exchanges in the movie give it its intensity and power the movie along. As always, Mann directs with style to spare and (for me, anyway) gives his best movie - even bettering the mid 90s star fest 'Heat'. Brian Cox essays the role of Lektor this time around, and although not as entertaining as Anthony Hopkins interpretation, he does a sterling job and keeps the character in check with a subtle nuance.

    The score too is excellent - granted, very mid 80s, but Mann's choices of music to accompany the visuals is inspired and really lifts the imagery. Talking of imagery, Dante Spinotti's cinematography is excellent and really alternates the picture between high gloss slick drama to gritty, urban thriller. The police procedural elements are very well handled and the sense of urgency that is highlighted give the movie its heart and the lighting and style echo each and every beat of the story. All in all, an impressive film that deserves to be seen.

    The DVD too is impressive. With an excellent high calibre transfer and short documentaries to unravel the behind the scenes story. All in all, a worthy DVD of an excellent movie. Recommended. ...more info
  • Finally, The Original Theatrical Release!
    I did not think this was ever going to come out after three itterations that were chop shopped up by Anchor Bay.

    I am a huge fan of this movie and was still holding on to my VHS copies as the DVD releases that previously came out were......not good. Why they cut certain scenes and poorly edited dialogue, while adding previously unseen "cut" scenes that added nothing to the orginal threatical release is beyond me.

    THIS is the movie that I have long since beleived to be one of THE finest made crime drama movies ever made.

    The ORIGINAL Hannibal "Lecktor". The orginal Will Graham. The Original Tooth Fairy and Dennis Farina and Joan Allen and Micheal Mann Directing, too boot.

    If you own the DVD already, BUY this anyways. There will be NO dissappointment.

    I guarantee it.


    Addendum: Here is my orginal review of the movie when it was first released on DVD. The difference between THAT and THIS is amazing:

    "How difficult is this? You'd like to rate this movie five plus stars, because it is indeed a masterpiece (Don't listen to those whiney saps who want to compare it to Silence of the Lambs. Manhunter was a crime drama. SOTL was a horror movie. While I don't favor Hopkins cartoonish portrayal of Lechter, I'll admit it was entertaining. I prefer Cox's cerebral portrayal which resembled the book. But let's stop this bashing back and forth, it's tiresome.), on the other hand, Anchor Bay butchered it so much, it doesn't deserve the high ranking. What do you do? I'd almost like to opt for a seperate rating system here at Amazon. One for if you like the movie, and a seperate one for what fans of the movie thought of Anchor Bay's "remastering".
    For those of you who'd be interested, here is Anchor Bay's "canned" response to a recent critique:

    "Dear Customer:

    It has come to our attention that our THX version of Manhunter is missing several seconds of footage which can be found by viewing other sources.

    Please be aware that the interpositive of the film was used to make our disc, not a print, of which there are many with varying differences. This was and is the best source in the world for the film. We were aware of several minutes of differences between this version and the director's cut, so we went to Michael Mann for the master containing the only existing and exact version of his preferred cut.

    Michael Mann's cut is the version he wanted on home video, and he, as well as Anchor Bay understood the trade-off of content at the expense of state-of-the-art quality. It was with that in mind that ABE followed the quality path to create the THX disc version.

    We have heard positive feedback from most in regard to both of our releases and are sorry if you, our customer, prefer one of the several other versions that are in distribution in other media or territories.

    We were (and are) opposed to cannibalizing Manhunter to create a hybrid version of the two, and apologize to anyone who feels we didn't put our best efforts into each version. I think you know we always appreciate your feedback (good or bad) and strive to do our best for each film. In this case, the versions released are the best we could do, and for the record, we're hoping you, our customer, enjoy our efforts."

    Yes it is a very lame response and I took my shot back at anchor Bay telling them that in fact what they did do was indeed "Cannabilize" this film (interesting choice of words.). they never responded back.

    What did I really expect though. Again in summation: Five stars for the movie. 0 stars for Anchor Bay's effort/laziness."

    ...more info
  • Manhunter (director's cut edition)
    An FBI agent William Graham (William L. Petersen) comes out of retirement to examine a set of bizarre murders of families. These murders are suspected to have been the work of notorious serial killer known as The Tooth Fairy. Interested enough by the case, Graham makes use of profiling, or tries to think exactly like the killer in order to gain clues regarding his various whereabouts. He consults the incarcerated psychopathic psychiatrist that put him into retirement through near-fatal violence, Hannibal Lecktor (Brian Cox), for further clues. Graham is put into considerable danger when Lecktor warns The Tooth Fairy via phone of the case. It is only a matter of time before The Tooth Fairy will create another victim.

    Complicated, well acted, and absorbing, Manhunter is an original thriller that focuses on the unique psychological struggle to catch a heinous criminal.

    Note: the director's cut edition has an alternative ending.

    If you liked this film, I would recommend you see "Silence of the Lambs", in which Hannibal Lecktor's character is emphasized more.

    Overall rating: 4 stars

    Rated R for adult themes, sexual encounters, language, and violence....more info

  • Best Hannibal Lecter Movie
    The set, the music and especially the actors and director are excellent. It is the best of the movies done with the Hannibal Lecter character....more info
  • Better than Red Dragon
    This is the first film to feature Hannibal Lecter. It predates Silence of the Lambs by five years and is frequently forgotten because of the later film. However be assured this is a marvellous film in its own right and superior to Red Dragon (which is the same story) in every way.

    The reason for its excellence is mainly due to Michael Mann, the director who was meticulous in the design and look of the film. His use of colour and the way the film was lit are crucial and as he said "all are there to create dread".

    The casting is very good; Brian Cox plays Lecter completely differently from the way Hopkins plays him. In Manhunter it is a smaller role, but Cox's performance is crucial to the films success. Cox spent time researching criminal psychology and preparing for the role and he is the most important actor in the film. Having said that Tom Noonan is truly terrifying as Francis Dollarhyde, and if the film does have a weakness it just might be William Peterson...

    ...more info
  • The original and best version FINALLY on DVD!
    Now we finally have the DVD release of the proper version of this film. In recent years we've seen two DVD releases containing a total of 3 different cuts of this film. But none of them contained the original theatrical version (the one released on VHS and laserdisc oh so many years ago).

    This one, the MGM release, is the "definitive version" that most of the fans have been screaming for for a long time. I can't believe it took this long.

    I was delighted when the other versions were released on DVD because they had some bonus goodies included with them, but my delight faded as soon as I discovered the film was cut differently from the version I had seen so many times on VHS and Laserdisc and had grown to love. The other DVD versions are missing parts of scenes, have alternate versions of some scenes, are missing dialogue, and have added scenes that interrupt the flow of the movie. At least one of the other versions includes a coda at the end where William Peterson's character pays a visit to the family that would have been the Tooth Fairy's next victims. Being so familiar with the original theatrical cut, I found that coda to be unnecessary and and even a bit clunky.

    This new MGM release has no bonus features at all. And you know what? I don't care. I didn't buy it for the bonus goodies, I bought it for the FILM!

    And with all due respect to Sir Anthony Hopkins and his take on the Hannibal Lector character (which grew more over-the-top with each sequel/rehash), Brian Cox's portrayal of Lector is shrewder and more believable. His Hannibal is far more understated than Hopkins', and it works better for the character and the film. Hopkins' portrayal seems "too Hollywood" by comparison. But as another reviewer so rightly pointed out, "Manhunter" is a crime drama and "Silence of the Lambs" is closer to being a horror film. Brian Cox's Hannibal wouldn't be as effective in "Lambs" and Hopkins' Hannibal would be FAR too much in "Manhunter". So I guess it really is like comparing apples and oranges.

    But you don't have to choose one over the other. You really should like them both. "Manhunter" is gritty, "Lambs" is eerie.

    But you need to have one definitive version of "Manhunter" to hold up high and cherish, and this version is it.

    ...more info
  • Very overrated
    With all the buzz out there, I rented this film with some anticipation only to find that the "original" does not equate with higher quality. First of all, it lacks the writing, direction, and acting of both the "sequel", 'Silence of the Lambs', and the recent remake 'Red Dragon'. Neither this glorified movie-of-the-week nor the misfire, 'Hannibal', are worthy additions to the franchise....more info
  • Manhunter remains memorable
    When it comes to the "serial killer genre," I suppose Michael Mann's 1986 film "Manhunter" began it all. One could argue for Richard Fleischer's superb The Boston Strangler in 1968, but no matter. Mann's tight and stylish version of Thomas Harris's novel Red Dragon is a thoroughly fascinating work. To this day, I recall the terror felt during the early sequence when Will Graham (William Petersen) investigates the blood-soaked crime scene alone, practically whispering his version of the events into a tape recorder. It's a deeply chilling segment, and one of the first times I can recall such an investigative process shown on film.

    Mann, early in his career here, still had his trademark Miami Vice: Season One & Two touches, stark colors, unique MTV-styled camera angles and the insertion of pop music at unexpected moments. The technique has dated the film, though his use of Iron Butterfly's In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is brilliant.

    I have grown to like Petersen as he's aged as an actor, but in "Manhunter," he was a bit too young and bland for my taste. I would have liked to seen a more established, brooding actor in the role. But the supporting cast, including Dennis Farina, Stephen Lang and Joan Allen, never disappoint. Tom Noonan gives a haunting performance as the hunted serial killer, but his work is so good it threatens to capsize the film. He does not enter the proceedings until midway in, and the film changes course en route to the shocking climax. His struggles are heartbreaking, and it puts an uncomfortably human face on a terrifying monster. But once the film changes focus, and a face is put to the killer, much of the suspense and fear of the investigation is lost.

    I have never liked how the police arrive at the exact moment Noonan's character is about to commit a murder, and his house, an isolated structure that looks as if it were designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, does not fit such a lonely and disturbed man. But this was 1986, and back then we were dancing to Rio by Duran Duran with Patrick Nagel prints hanging on the wall. So who am I to blame Mann for wanting to be hip?

    "Manhunter" is perhaps best known for having the first film version of the Hannibal Lecter character, played with extraordinary coolness by Brian Cox. It results in pretty much just an extended cameo, but the scene plays with uncommon menace. Cox's Lecter is not be fooled with and, unlike Anthony Hopkins' portrayal, he is unremittingly evil.

    After all these years, "Manhunter" holds up, with multiple scenes that remain memorable to this day. It's a fine work by a master director. While far inferior to Jonathan Demme's The Silence of the Lambs (Two-Disc Collector's Edition), it blows the remake, Red Dragon (Widescreen Collector's Edition) in 2002, out of the water. In terms of this often times repellent genre, this ranks as one of the greats. ...more info
  • William Peterson ,Michael Mann
    Everything stems from this one movie."Silence of the lambs"."C.S.I". Know it! Give William Peterson the recognition he never received and in my opinion there is'nt anything anyone can do to make up for a great injustice. Remake of "Red Dragon" which i thought was the biggest slap in the face to William Peterson, repeating every line word for word, give me break. Manhunter should have been re-released in theatres and i dont care if it made less money than "Red Dragon". Check out "To live and die in L.A." "Heat" and (old favorite "Day the Earth Stood Still" a movie which is still way ahead of its time.) if you havnt seen them yet. I have to ad i think Anthony Hopkins stands as one of the best actors out there........But William Peterson did a great job. One of my favorite movies of all time. I guess i have to add "Silence of the Lambs" and remaking Red Dragon may have made William Peterson.(More people learned about "Manhunter") But i loved "Manhunter" before Silence of the Lambs and Red Dragon ever were released........more info