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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

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


Dan Butler

Jimmy Price

(as Dan E. Butler)

Michele Shay

Beverly Katz

Robin Moseley


Paul Perri

Dr. Sidney Bloom

Patricia Charbonneau

Mrs. Sherman

(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


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

Gross: $8,620,929

Technical Specs


(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
bad review that criticizes Cox or Noonan invariably mentions the movie
Dragon" in the same breath. How about being a little objective?

On its own as the original Hannibal Lecter movie, Manhunter is a good
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
he really plays the part with mystery and ambiguity not like the
maniacal Lecter that Hopkins portrays.

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

So when we analyze the profiles of true psychopathic serial killers, we
quite clearly see that Cox plays the better Lecter than Hopkins. We can
Cox is devoid of compassion, and yet acts like a normal person. Hopkins
the other hand, never passes the creepy stage – he is too creepy and
have the "acting" ability of a true psychopath to mask that image from
public eye. Cox shows that he could blend into normality without being

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