I have posted a youtube video link below to Moviedrome presenter Alex Cox’s introduction to director Michael Mann’s 1986 Neo-Noir/psychological horror/mystery/thriller Manhunter. Readers can also read Cox’s intro transcript here. The episode’s original airdate was August 4, 1991 (read here). As much as I enjoy Cox’s commentaries (this one included), I must say that he is totally off the mark here. Granted, Jonathan Demme is the better director, The Silence of the Lambs does not rank among his finest work. As with that 1991 Oscar-winning hit, Manhunter was adapted from a Thomas Harris novel (Red Dragon) and also featured convicted serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lector (last name appears as “Lecktor” in this film) as one of it’s characters. Unlike Lambs though, there is actually more to Manhunter than meets the eye. On the surface, Manhunter plays out as little more than a standard police procedural, but at the center, it is director Mann’s visual style that intentionally powers the film. The highlights in this case would be cinematographer Dante Spinotti’s stylish use of color and an atmospheric rock soundtrack. Also, despite his limited screen time, I always felt that co-star Brian Cox’s turn as Dr. Hannibal Lector was superior to that of Anthony Hopkins. Whereas Hopkins portrayal bordered on camp, Cox’s Lector comes off as down-to-earth, which only makes his presence more unsettling.
Here is a youtube video link to Alex Cox’s Moviedrome intro to Manhunter
Here is a youtube video link to the film’s original theatrical trailer