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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very scary film, because it is so believable
The opening sequence keeps me awake at night, years on from watching this film from Michael Mann. Understated, and very, very believable, it taps into our worst fears about our home being invade by a psycopathic killer in the dead of night.
What was that creaking noise? Was it the wind, or - should I get up and go and have a look? If you are of a nervous...
Published on 15 Feb 2005

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Very disappointed
To put it in short... very disappointed with this Blu-ray release of Manhunter.

Perhaps it's because I'm such a huge fan of the film, or perhaps it's the fact that Optimum (the studio who released this version) aren't. I'm not an expert on these matters -- and don't pretend to be -- so I won't presume to know who is responsible for this transfer. Howevever I do...
Published on 11 May 2012 by MPS


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25 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A very scary film, because it is so believable, 15 Feb 2005
By A Customer
This review is from: Manhunter--Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
The opening sequence keeps me awake at night, years on from watching this film from Michael Mann. Understated, and very, very believable, it taps into our worst fears about our home being invade by a psycopathic killer in the dead of night.
What was that creaking noise? Was it the wind, or - should I get up and go and have a look? If you are of a nervous disposition, best get something else as this is about the creepiest cop hunts killer film ever, in my humble opinion.
Of course, Mr Mann is a genius, so what do you expect.
My advice, 1. watch the film, and 2. never read reviews, it only spoils the experience by prejudging it.
So why write one? Well I have not mentioned the plot, the acting or the other films of Thomas Harris's books. This one is easily the best in my view, although the Silence of the Lambs was a bit good too.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Genius - I just wish Michael Mann would stop tinkering with it!, 24 Feb 2007
By 
Grev (Brighton) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Manhunter--Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
Manhunter is an absolutely fantastic film full stop - the only niggle is that every time it's released (in the UK at least) it always turns out to be a slightly different version of the film. The video was a different cut to the first DVD which is a different cut to the two on here, although at least one of these now claims to be the definitive director's cut. Strangely in these later cuts Michael Mann has removed once and for all a 30 second sequence where Will Graham expresses a great sympathy for the Tooth Fairy on one level before declaring that the Tooth Fairy should be executed as soon as possible. It's a strange cut because the rest of that scene is left completely intact - he's just removed 3 lines of dialogue from the middle. As an aside, for fans of the soundtrack 2 of the 3 previously hard to find Shriekback songs used in the film are now readily available on the CD Oil & Gold.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the Dragon, 4 Jun 2003
This review is from: Manhunter--Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
Forget if anyone tells you different, the remake of this, Red Dragon, however close to the book it was, is no match for this original version of Tom Harris' book.
Allthough the actors in this might not be as well known as RD's cast, the performances are spot on. Mainly thanks to the fantastic direction from Michael Mann.
Brian Cox is especially brilliant in a small role as the original Hannibal Lecktor and William Petersen is suprisingly good as Will Graham, capturing the emotional vulnerability of the character, again this is thanks to a super script from Mann.
The plot in case you didn't know it is Will Graham (Petersen) is brought back from retirement by FBI boss Jack Crawford (Dennis Farina, another wonderful performance) to hunt down a brutal serial killer known as the "Tooth Fairy" (played with exceptional chillingness by Tom Noonan) however, he is not the man he once was and is forced to consult imprisoned Hannibal Lecktor (Cox) for help in the case.
This disc has been released twice before, but never as good as this, a two-disc version with two cuts of the film, a couple of documentaries and an insightful commentary from Michael Mann.
If you haven't seen this before, I couldn't recommend it enough.
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40 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally, a worthy DVD release for Mann's Masterpiece !, 15 Sep 2001
By 
John Mounsey "Mounsey Web Consultancy" (Sheffield, England.) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
First of all: Accept no imitations - Manhunter will always be the definitive Hannibal Lecter movie, even if they do decide to 're-make' the film under the original title of 'Red Dragon', which has been widely rumoured for many months now.
After the disappointing original UK DVD release of Manhunter from BMG, and the ambitious, but ultimately flawed Region 1 editions from Anchor Bay, this new release is the definitive edition of the film to own.
Momentum have wisely decided to avoid using the obscure Director's Cut of the film and have stuck with what appears to be the original theatrical cut, which is a great start. Whilst some of the extras included here are identical to those found on the USA release, as a bonus you also get a 53 page book about Manhunter and the other Lecter films called 'Michael Mann's Head Games.' Although the book is far from being a 100% definitive guide to the film, it is still the finest companion to this excellent film which has been written to date.
Overall then, this is another highly impressive release from Momentum and one which will satisfy all fans of the work of Michael Mann, Thomas Harris and Hannibal himself! Don't miss it.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than the Hopkins version, 18 April 2010
By 
Amazon Customer (PLYMOUTH, DEVON United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Manhunter [DVD] (DVD)
This is the original version of the Hannibal Lecter film and stars Brian Cox in the Hannibal role. He really gets into the character and out-acts Hopkins. William Peterson (CSI) is also excellent as the FBI investigator and the film is pretty true to the book. I prefer this film to any of the other Hannibal films and wish they had retained Cox throughout the series.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars amazing, scary, suspenseful!!!, 14 Jun 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Manhunter--Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
this truely is a scary film. i found that is was excellently made with a super performance by Brian Cox as Hannibal Lecter and Tom Noonan as Francis Dollarhyde (Tooth Fairy). it is weirdly styleized giving it a terrifying atmosphere to this picture. i have no doubts this is the best in the Hannibal Lecter series.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fantastic Classic - The Influence for 'Cracker' and 'CSI' !, 28 Feb 2007
This review is from: Manhunter--Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
'Manhunter' is a product of the marvellous director Michael Mann (Thief, The Last of the Mohicans, Heat, The Insider, Collateral), who applies his usual array of cinematic, artistic and musical application talents to make a film which is my all-time favourite.

It has all the ingredients you could wish for: a stylistic production, excellent acting, realistic characters, a thrilling tempo, mystery, terror, drama, human emotions and (above all) a fantastic accompanying soundtrack.

The film is based on the Thomas Harris book 'Red Dragon' from his Hannibal Lecter series; this story being the 'prequel' to 'The Silence of the Lambs'. The book has more recently been remade into a film with the 'correct' title, but whilst it follows the novel storyline more accurately it does not compare to 'Manhunter' as a cinematic experience...

Dating from the mid-80's, the plot and film are most certainly the stimulus for such programmes as 'Cracker' and 'CSI' (and latterly series like 'Criminal Minds'), due to the forensically detailed nature of the investigation, but especially the criminal psychology aspect depicted superbly by the character Will Graham (it is probably no coincidence that he is played by the subsequently famous star of CSI, William Petersen !).

The way the film shows the tracking down of the serial killer, and the fact that he is revealed to the viewer before the detectives have found him, helps to build a multi-layered storyline as well as being unusual (until copied by the later programmes mentioned above). Although obviously covering extreme violence, the film rarely depicts it in any other way than by implication, description and/or aftermath imagery. This does not detract from the horror theme and, in my opinion, enhances the chilling nature of the subject !

Various matters that I have already alluded to mean that first-time viewers of Manhunter should avoid perhaps being slightly 'under whelmed', by remembering that any similarities to other films they have seen are because they copied it ! Also, to avoid any perception of it being dated, it is essential to watch the restored version as that brings the picture quality and soundtrack up to modern standards...There is also some rather 'clunky' dialogue at the beginning between Graham and his detective friend Jack Crawford which might make some stop watching there and then, but things improve dramatically from then on...

Despite the viewer already knowing who the murderer is, the 'revelation' of him being detected is stunningly portrayed by Peterson as he speaks his thought processes out loud. Whilst the key clue is there all along, I doubt any viewer will have figured it out before he does !

William Petersen portrays his disturbed and gradually fixated/overwhelmed character extremely well, Hannibal Lecter (Brian Cox) is played beautifully as a chillingly reserved monster, and the serial killer (Tom Noonan) shows all the character 'flaws' required of someone who feels killing is a solution to their issues with great skill; the book obviously covers those aspects more fully than the film....

Finally, a few words about the soundtrack. Mann is well-known for his talent to apply suitable music to his productions and this is no exception (which is why the best sound quality DVD issue is worth getting !). The original music blends beautifully with the plot progression but, more significantly, the addition of existing commercial tracks from talented groups such as 'Shriekback' and 'Iron Butterfly' make the production quite outstanding (they prompted me to explore the music of those groups more and buy their albums).

The background of Shriekbacks 'Evaporation' to Graham's back yard detection scene is enthralling, 'This Big Hush' provides a marvellous backdrop to the serial killer 'love' scene. However, the true highlights are the use of 'Coelocanth' to support the 'Tiger in the vet's' scene and the climax of the film relying on 'In A Gadda Da Vida' by Iron Butterfly.

It is noteworthy that the artistic nature of Mann's direction is especially evident in the climax, as the film is edited to fit in with that 10 minute-long music track, rather than the music being applied to the film.

SEE THIS FILM !!!

---

One point worth bearing in mind that a definitive DVD edition does not really exist as the various issues all have flaws and varying 'cuts' (variations even exist between those issues labelled 'Theatrical Cut' and 'Director's Cut' !).

I own the Region 1 Limited Edition Anchor Bay 2-disc effort (as it was the 1st special re-issue), the Restored Region 2 UK Directors Cut (for the commentary and other extras) and lately have acquired the Region 2 issue originating from Japan which has DTS, a good image transfer and has the 'definitive' Theatrical cut !

All these newer issues have a very good picture quality and soundtrack, so you can't really go wrong with any of them.

However, various tweaks (mostly detrimental) have been made to later issues, including the omission of crucial exchanges between Graham and the police and latterly between Graham and Crawford. Whilst the addition of some scenes is welcome, I cannot fathom why some scenes have been 'cut' like this when they are so important to the overall plot...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than Red Dragon, 11 Mar 2007
By 
S J Buck (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
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...

This DVD is well worth getting as it includes the paperback book 'Michael Mann's HeadGames' which contains a lot of information and an interview with Brian Cox.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Brilliant, 11 Dec 2006
This review is from: Manhunter--Special Edition [DVD] (DVD)
I can't praise this film enough, it's delivered everything I have come to expect from Mann and also a thoroughly intriguing angle on the lector franchise. Watch it now, trust me, it's absolutely fantastic.

OK, so first things first, as all the other reviews here will support me on this is very different from the lector franchise delivered to us by SOTL and it's sequel Hannibal, and though it is based on the same novel as Red Dragon it is completely separate there too.

This is first and foremost a film about Will Graham and not lector, who plays a pivotal, memorable, but nonetheless supporting part in the story. Graham is an extremely interesting character and I liked the way his character development was drawn out and slow burning throughout the movie. The plot I won't spoil for you beyond the first scene, where we learn a mysterious killer has been attacking families who are apparently unrelated and graham is asked to aid the investigation.

Direction by Michael Mann is superb as always but you can tell this is a slightly experimental Mann who has not gained the refinement and expertise that brought us Heat and Collateral. But he still has is obsession with detail, his eye for the perfect shot, and of course a lot of the color blue. Action here lacks the realism he later gains but then most of the violence in this film is suggested and seen in past tense instead of being explicitly shoved in the viewers face - a technique which actually I find far more disturbing.

As I said before i loved this film and the extras are alright, the extended edition is good but not essential. I recommend this over the 1 disc edition unless there is a significant price difference. Enjoy.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars LECTORS FIRST INCARNATION, NEAR PERFECTION., 13 Feb 2001
By A Customer
This review is from: Manhunter [VHS] [1986] (VHS Tape)
The film that introduced us to cinemas most memorable psychopath; Hanibal Lector, "Manhunter", based on the Thomas Harris book "Red Dragon", predates its over rated sequel; "The silence of the lambs" by four years. On it's initial release it didn't do so well and finally dissapeared without trace, which to put it mildly, is a crime. Anyone who hasn't seen this film, is really missing out on one of the classics of the genre.
The plot sees FBI agent Will Graham (William Peterson) coaxed out of retirement to track down serial killer "The tooth Fairy",(Played by Tom Noonan, one of the most truly terrifying celluloid pyscho's ever), who has been butchering entire families while they sleep. Enlisting the help of Hanibal Lector to gain valuable insight into the psyche of a killer, Graham moulds his own way of thinking to that of the killer so that he may feel as the killer feels, think as the killer thinks and hopefully by doing, so he may finally catch the killer.
As with most of director Michael Mann's films, every scene is treated as a work of art and every piece of dialogue, like a line of poetry. The use of music too, is crucial, witness the classic climax, played out to the strains of IRON BUTTERFLY's "In-a-Gadda-Da-Vidda".
"Manhunter" will never be as popular as it's big brother, although it is far superior. No, it's more likely to be remembered as the Lector film with "the other Lector". While "The silence of the lambs" was good, the central performance by Hopkins as Lector was, I feel, over the top, possibly played that way deliberately to detract from such dark subject matter. Here, the part of Lector is played by veteran Scottish actor Brian Cox, it's a part played to perfection. There is no big scenery chewing performance here that Hollywood is so fond of, but a very subtle, underplayed performance that truly terrifies, letting the action and situation, rather than performance carry the film. Given the fact that Cox is only on screen for ten minutes or so, only gives credence to the magnitude of his performance.
With the release of the new film; "Hanibal" and a possible big budget remake of "Manhunter" in the pipeline, you really should take the time to seek this film out, before it is thrust deeper into obscurity, trust me it will be worth it, as with most things in life, the original is the best. Also worth checking out if you can, is the directors cut of the film, which does add considerably to the film.
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Manhunter--Special Edition [DVD]
Manhunter--Special Edition [DVD] by Michael Mann (DVD - 2003)
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