Release Date: August 16th, 1986.
Written by: Thomas Harris and Michael Mann.
Directed by: Michael Mann.
Starring: William Peterson, Dennis Farina, Tom Noonan, Joan Allen, Kim Greist, Brian Cox, and Stephen Lang.
You're either going to love this movie, or wonder why you wasted two hours watching it. Most of us here at THC grew up on this movie, so we definitely have a sentimental love for it, but we also understand why some people would say "This sucks, where's Anthony Hopkins!" and then dismiss it out of hand.
|"THROW ME THE BALL!"|
|JACK CRAWFORD: MASTER MANIPULATOR.|
Intense profiling ensues.
|"THEY SEE ME ROLLIN, THEY HATIN..."|
You have to know that this movie is not very heavy in the Hannibal Lecter department. This is Will Graham's story, and to a lesser extent, the Tooth Fairy's, so if you go into this thinking that Hannibal is going to be anything but a minor player, you're going to be disappointed. That's alright though, because Will Graham is so interesting, and William Peterson played him so damn perfectly, that you'll barely notice that Dr. Lecter is in absentia throughout most of this one.
We really loved Hugh Dancy in the Hannibal TV show, but William Peterson is the definitive Will Graham for us. He played the role with equal parts intensity and vulnerability as if it had been written just for him. Dennis Farina (who was still a real life Cop when he shot Manhunter) is his usual excellent self here, and Steven Lang (who plays the creepy old dude in the upcoming Don't Breathe) is delightfully skeevy as Freddy Lounds.
And for our money, Manhunter boasts the best portrayal of a villain in the Hannibal Lecter universe. As good as Ralph Fiennes and Richard Armitage were when they played Francis Dolarhyde, Tom Noonan's portrayal of him here was on some next level, brilliantly creepy shit. He doesn't show up until nearly an hour into the movie, but once he does, it's pretty much his show until the end. He's terrifying.
|GUARANTEED ONE SHOT STOP. RIGHT.|
Then again, Mads Mikkelsen played Hannibal just fine in the TV show, so moot point.
|IT'S ALWAYS GREAT FUN WHEN OLD FRIENDS GET TOGETHER.|
|THE BLOODIEST BIT.|
- "Do you see?"
- "No. Not Francis. Francis is gone. Francis is gone forever."
- "It is in your nature to do one thing correctly: Tremble."
- The entire sequence where Will goes to visit Hannibal is brilliant, especially the "You're insane" exchange.
|"JUST YOU AND ME NOW, SPORT."|
As cool as it is to have the Director's Cut included on a separate disc in this set, it's not very visually impressive at all. The film elements that Scream has added into the DC are in rough shape, so if you want to watch the whole cut, you'll have to do so in standard def. The theatrical cut is better anyway, so no big loss.
As far as the Special Features go, this set boasts some great interviews (both old and new) with cast and crew, the best of which is Tom Noonan's 22-minute talk where he recalls what it was like to play Dolarhyde.
Overall, if you love this movie, you absolutely have to own this disc. Just don't expect too much out of the Director's Cut.
|HE SHAVES WHILE HE READS.|
Either way, this is an excellent movie, a great disc from Scream Factory, and should be a part of any respectable Horror Blu-ray Collection.
Manhunter is available now on Blu-ray, DVD, and VOD.
Kim Greist, but we tried!