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Released to box-office indifference in 1986, Manhunter introduced Hannibal Lecter and established the rules of the modern race to find serial killer thriller five years before The Silence of the Lambs packed cinemas everywhere. This was Michael Mann's third feature, reuniting William L Petersen and Dennis Farina from his debut Thief (1981) as FBI agents hunting the killer dubbed "The Tooth Fairy". Petersen's Will Graham is the man who put Lecktor (as it is spelt here) behind bars, and as in Lambs consults with the Doctor, played with understated malevolence by Brian Cox. Manhunter is an exceptionally well-photographed film: Mann's regular cinematographer Dante Spinotti created sparse, elegantly framed, often mono-chromatically lit compositions which are essential to the shifting psychological moods. The performances are very good, and the typically 1980s, Vangelis-esque electronic score effectively sustains tension. Once the killer is introduced the scenes with Joan Allen have a genuinely unsettling, almost surreal quality. There is at least one serious plot flaw--how does "The Red Dragon" get his letter to Lecktor? Manhunter never packs the sheer excitement of Lambs, nevertheless, it is a powerful and compelling thriller which remains far superior to the third instalment in the series, Hannibal (2001).
On the DVD: In addition to the trailer there is a revealing 10-minute conversation with Dante Spinotti in which he explains how he created the very distinctive look of Manhunter. Also included is a more general 17-minute retrospective "making-of" documentary. This is good but too short, the extras failing to live up to the wealth of material on the Lambs and Hannibal DVDs. The anamorphically enhanced 2.35:1 image is generally very good, being just a little soft in one or two early scenes. The sound is listed as Dolby Digital 5.1, but appears to replicate the main stereo signal in the rear channels. Audio is none the less powerful and clear, though lacks the sheer edge and atmospherics of some more recent thrillers. --Gary S Dalkin
Will Graham (William Petersen) retired from the FBI after capturing the murderous Dr. Lecktor (Brian cox). He is persuaded to return from retirement by his colleague Jack Crawford, who convinces him his ability to understand the thoughts of a murderer can help them to capture elusive serial killer, ‘The Tooth-Fairy’. Facing the desperate and grisly task, Graham employs the help of Hannibal Lecktor and thus puts himself at the mercy of a ruthless and sinister genius. Soon, with the caressing help of the murderous doctor, Graham finds himself courting danger as he opens himself up to the mind of a killer.
- Director’s Cut
- Director’s Cut Commentary
- Inside Manhunter
- The Manhunter Look
- Theatrical Trailer
Adaptacja pierwszej części legendarnej trylogii o Hannibalu Lecterze. Były agent FBI, Will Graham, specjalista od spraw psychopatycznych morderców, wraca do służby, by schwytać seryjnego zabójcę zwanego Czerwonym Smokiem, który z zimną krwią morduje całe rodziny. Graham zwraca się o pomoc do odbywającego karę śmiertelnie niebezpiecznego psychopaty - kanibala Hannibala Lectera.