Three actors, one Hannibal Lecter scene

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I like the SET for the original Manhunter version best…The complete sterility illustrates just how scared of Lector the hospital is AND illustrates how much of his motivation is boredom and lack of human contact. He is ENJOYING the intellectual give and take of an actual conversation. It is a rare chance for him to show how smart he is…


Still Brian Cox for me. I think because it’s not so fucking dark. He’s a prisoner, in a cell. And the book talks a lot about how everything was white because they didn’t want Lector to be able to get up to anything, which makes sense. Mann shoots him overexposed and there are moments where he looks like a floating head and hands. The other versions look like dungeons–out of place in terms of verisimilitude. The light fixtures behind Mads are particularly ridiculous.

Also, Lector is smug. He’s arrogant in the extreme and demeaning more than menacing. That’s his vibe. Mads gets that, at least. I always thought Hopkins looked like a psycho. That was the big deal with Lector–he was a smart, standoffish doctor until he palpated your inner neck area.

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It was filmed in Atlanta (well before the current boom of movies here). The outside is from High Museum of art (before the added the new buildings). It’s the big white building in the open cut of this video.

Does the tv series recreate much of the movies or novels? I wasn’t thrilled with the few early episodes I saw, but somehow a tv remake sounds interesting.

Mikkelson is definitely the best of the three, he’s the definitive Lecter for me now, he’s subtle and utterly convincing. I can easily imagine meeting his character and being totally fooled into being eaten. The other two were more obviously nuts.


They hadn’t gotten the rights to do the Silence of the Lambs story line, Hanibal and Red Dragon are both in there, and more of the plot lines from the books are present.

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Gosh, I haven’t seen the original Manhunter for ages. It was really strange to see a young CSI Grissom talking to Lecter, stranger than seeing Will Graham on CSI in the first episodes.

Look at those guys, chewing up the scenery. And probably the odd extra.


I love Nicholson, but the thought of him mugging for the camera as Lecter is an abomination.


I’d split the difference on Hopkins’ performance; I liked it fine in Silence of the Lambs, at least originally, although lots of the impact has been blunted by repetition and parodies of some of the key moments, and it wasn’t even too much in the movie Hannibal, although it was a not-great movie made from an even worse book, but by Red Dragon he was just doing a shtick and not really hiding it. (If anyone comes off as “too stagey…too smug and superficial”, it would be Hopkins, IMO.) Cox might seem stagey in comparison to William Petersen in that scene, but that’s because Petersen is deliberately underplaying Will Graham because Graham is very well aware of how well Lecter (or “Lecktor”, if you will) can pick up clues to someone’s state from their body language. He almost, but not quite, holds it together until he can leave. (Here’s the entire scene.)

I quite agree about Mikkelsen, though; I just recently watched the pilot of the TV show, and will be going through the rest of it as I have time.


Robert DeNiro, Gene Hackman and Jack Nicholson all apparently turned the part down, and all would have been bad.

That’s a silly thing to suppose. They might have played it in a way you don’t like, but none of them would have been “bad.”

Jeremy Irons was also offered the part, and would later play Lecter (in no small degree poking fun at Hopkins’ performance) in an SNL sketch, paired with Phil Hartman. That’s not even the only funny alternate-Lecter SNL sketch, as Matt Damon did a riff on Young Hannibal in a sketch set in college.

I wasn’t at first, but give it a chance. It’ll blow your mind, it’s just so beautiful and full of feels.

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