Thrillers/Suspense : Poll: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

MANHUNTER
0% 0 votes
RED DRAGON
0% 0 votes


Ok! So watched these 2 Lecter films pretty much back to back. It was nice to see Manhunter in its original scope matte since the first initial cinema viewing. Other times after were on grainy vhs.

Interestingly, both films boast the same cinematographer Dante Spinotti and Dragon has the same production designer as Lambs.

I don't find Red Dragon really comes alive until the 3rd act compared to a more compelling and stylish presentation in Manhunter and Edward Norton as Will Graham acts like he's on Prozac. He also doesn't have the visual appeal of William Petersen who plays him in the original. He doesn't come across as mentally tortured either.

Dragon is a prequel to Lambs, yet some of the same characters that appeared are visibly older which is off-putting too. Hopkins looks like he's phoning it in and the direction by Brett Ratner is uninspired cut and paste.

I find it hard to believe its the same cinematographer that worked on both versions too. Dragon doesn't appear to have much passion or vision. The substance isn't really mirroring in the style and Michael Mann knew what he wanted in his version.

Tom Noonan was quite terrifying as the Tooth Fairy in Manhunter, yet Ralph Fiennes appears to be very much acting his part and I found him too good looking which was distracting.

Worst of all in Red Dragon is Danny Elfman's non-score, which is just predominantly a cacophony of noise without any nuance. Music needs to act as an undercurrent to the visuals, like The Reds and Rubini score in Manhunter, yet Elfman's is telegraphing and insipid.

I find the tiger scene with blind Reba is so much more effective in Manhunter and the score here is exotic and atmospheric. It also makes it appear more dangerously exciting too. Both Joan Allen and Emily Watson as Reba in Red Dragon are excellent and Watson perhaps gives the best performance in the reboot.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman as the sleazy Lounds doesn't quite get the terror factor done as well as Stephen Lang did either in his kidnapping and interrogation/torture scene.

Brian Cox has less time as Lecter in Manhunter, but he gives a more solid performance than Hopkins does in Dragon. A big fan of Silence Of The Lambs - 91' though, I don't compare Manhunter to Lambs, but I do to Red Dragon, due to it being the same story.

Wasn't too fond of Kim Greist though in Manhunter, (horrid actress), and I was imagining the warm, witty and pretty Catherine O'Hara as Grahams wife in Manhunter and thinking she would have been a better choice.

Norman! What did you put in my tea?

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

Manhunter is the better film.

Bill Cox's portrayal of Hannibal Lecter is much closer to what serial killers are like in real life, compared to cheesy Anthony Hopkins.

Just because I'm not on THEIR side, doesn't mean I'm on YOURS.

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

Red Dragon

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

Manhunter by a million miles! I had many a battle on IMDb over this subject.

Edward Norton was just wrong as Will Graham, sleep walking through the film he fails to portray the tortured character who nearly died at the hands of Lecter. William Petersen was perfect.

Hopkins was far too old and hammy and his part was extended, presumably to sell the film to TSOTL fans. Cox, on the other hand was chilling and made the most of his time on screen. Lecter was a minor character in the novel so less is definitely more.

Tom Noonan managed to make the monster a sympathetic character, the scene where he perceives Reba's infidelity is heartbreaking, "Francis is dead"

I don't mind Harvey Keitel as Crawford but he needed to be the kind of guy who would sell his own grandmother to solve the case and Dennis Farina is that man.

I love Fiennes and he was fine(!) as Dolarhyde, I just prefer Noonan because he genuinely looks both creepy and sad. He was also, as you point out, far too attractive.

Unforgivable that they missed the opportunity to include the "you've seen these films haven't you my man?" scene. It's the pivotal scene in many ways, because Will realises that he now knows how to find his man.

I love the Manhunter cinematography and the soundtrack is one of my favourite of all times, Will Graham bursting through the glass to Iron Butterfly is sublime.

Lounds, although Hoffman is good, Lang edged ahead as the obnoxious journalist, the horrible sparkly suit helped!

Agreed about the Reba character, both do it well.

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

Thanks for your thoughtful and comprehensive response Dazed.

Edward Norton was just wrong as Will Graham…
No slight on Norton as an actor, but he was miscast here. I really don't think he understood Graham the way Petersen did. Petersen really got you into his head and was just so much more believable.

Apparently, he was so immersed in the role, that playing Graham was something he had trouble shedding within himself. Of course too, Petersen then made a name for himself on the small screen playing in C.S.I. A part of Graham must have stayed with him, because he doesn't have an extensive movie resume.

Tom Noonan managed to make the monster a sympathetic character…
Yes, sympathy for the devil and the emotional torture Dolarhyde started to feel at what he was experiencing with Reba was also more believable in Manhunter. I also felt dirtier watching Reba with him, than I was watching Reba with Fiennes, as Fiennes performance was more showcasey within his psychosis.

I also feel though, that neither movie got into the aspects of the disturbance that created The Tooth Fairy well enough.

Lounds, although Hoffman is good, Lang edged ahead as the obnoxious journalist, the horrible sparkly suit helped!
Hoffman downplayed it a bit more, but I wasn't feeling his terror the same as I was with Lang. Lang cried better as little bitch too.

I did feel bad for this character though, because he was pretty much handed to Dolarhyde on a plate by Crawford and Graham due to the deceit they fed him. He was a lamb to a slaughter by then and that they didn't realize this, I lose a bit of empathy for Graham. Even though Lounds was an arrogant schumck, he was also a citizen that is supposed to be protected by institutions like the FBI, from the likes of psycho's like Dolarhyde.

Norman! What did you put in my tea?

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

No, thank you for posting about my favourite film

Apparently, he was so immersed in the role, that playing Graham was something he had trouble shedding within himself.

Yes, in many ways Gil Grissom was just Will Graham but in Vegas.
Another interesting thing about Manhunter is that, if memory serves, it was shot in sequence so that Noonan and Petersen didn't really meet until that final showdown. I think Noonan tried to stay in character throughout so creeped out a few people!

I also feel though, that neither movie got into the aspects of the disturbance that created The Tooth Fairy well enough.

In the novel Francis is a child born with a facial deformity, a harelip, he is unloved, teased and called "cunt face", his grandmother raises him most cruelly. All of this is subtly hinted at in Manhunter. When he first meets Reba she touches his face but he doesn't want her to touch his mouth, despite his corrective surgery he still has scars…. "trust me, I'm smiling". Reba also picks up on the slight speech impediment caused by his cleft palate.

In Red Dragon Ifind the added extra Hopkins, snarling and drawling in a Southern accent unforgivable and distracting. Lecter is supposed to be a charming man, he has charisma. That sneering thing was all wrong and at the risk of repeating myself he was far too old! The events of RD take place before TSOTL, the film was made at least 11 years later so Hopkins was 11 years older playing a man who was supposed to be much younger.

Lounds fear in Manhunter is palpable, from the moment Francis rips the sanitary towel off his eyes and it dawns on him just who it is who has captured him. He gulps and gasps his way through the message. Then as Granny's teeth go in and Francis leans in for the kiss, the camera takes us outside but we hear that agonising scream in the darkness.

I think Will lacks sympathy for Lounds, Lounds was the guy who printed photos of his slashed body as he lay in a hospital bed after being nearly eviscerated by Lecter during his capture. Will has the scent back and Lecter/Lecktor comments that it must have felt good to him to do a number on Freddy. Graham made a deal with Crawford to use his unusual skill to find the killer and Lounds was just collateral damage.


Yes, the ending of RD is closer to the end of the novel, but in my opinion it doesn't begin to make up for the miscasting, the wasted cast and general mediocrity. The only reason I'd re-watch is it someone put a gun to my head.

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

Red Dragon was a better overall adaptation of the story, but Manhunter got the characters down better. Especially Will Graham.

That said, I'd rather rewatch Red Dragon.

I am a dick. I've always been a dick.

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

Red Dragon was a better overall adaptation of the story, but Manhunter got the characters down better.
I haven't read any of Harris's novels, and there is only perhaps about 5 mins difference in runtime between them. The film ending in Red Dragon is extended with Dolarhyde finding his way to Graham's home. I'd say this is how the novel worked.

Between them though, and a few differences in how scenes may play out, there is not a lot of change between the stories.

That said, I'd rather rewatch Red Dragon.
This I think is the main issue with RD. It is made in a manner that is more palatable for the viewer. Its doesn't come across as the higher art that Mann strived for in Manhunter.

I wasn't sure what to make of Manhunter when I first saw it in the cinema. I thought it a bit dull at the time and I wasn't connecting with the style, but I guess one could say it was presented in a manner that hadn't been seen or done before. I appreciate it now.

The other factor is that Red Dragon amps up on the graphic violence more, yet Manhunter to me, the violence and the undercurrent of the threat of violence appears more disturbing. Silence Of The Lambs did this aspect very well too and sometimes less is more with a skillful approach.

Norman! What did you put in my tea?

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

I read the book, saw Manhunter first, then saw Red Dragon. I have to say, I do suffer from judging each movie as an adaptation.

As for the ending, Red Dragon is closer to the book, but both films alter things to make Will Graham more of a hero. In the book, Dolarhyde also comes back to get revenge on Will and his family. Except Will runs away in fear. Molly still ends up killing him. Will is left disfigured with a family that leaves him.

I am a dick. I've always been a dick.

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

We have to remember too, that films aren't the book, only an adaptation. Sometimes films can do things better and other times they don't live up to expectations, but only really for those familiar with the original source material.

That ending in the book sounds a bit too pessimistic, although RD does appear to have made it as faithful as possible. Books endings may be less depressing for the reader, than for a visual experience and some changes I can approve of.

King's Cujo took the bleak route, which wasn't exactly necessary and I don't think the film suffers much for the change it made.

Norman! What did you put in my tea?

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

The book ending does make more sense when you question why Lecter doesn't go after Will after he escapes. In the books, he's already had his revenge. In the movies, it doesn't really make sense.

I am a dick. I've always been a dick.

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

I never thought about that aspect regarding Graham and Lecter. And as Clarice says in Lambs….He's not going to come after me….He would consider that rude.

I just see it as Lecter respecting them for their intelligence, (he did after all see himself as intellectually superior above all and likes a challenge), and both Graham and Starling paid prices in the process. Lecter was wicked, but he still had some decorum.

Norman! What did you put in my tea?

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

I don't see Lecter having the same respect for Will he had for Clarice. Will is the one who caught him. Lecter gives Dolarhyde Will's address and tells D to kill Will's family. Lecter wants revenge.

That said, I love the book and both films. I actually prefer them all to Silence of the Lambs.

I am a dick. I've always been a dick.

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

Although I sincerely like The Silence of the Lambs, I never understood the change from Billy Rubin to Lewis Friend. It made it overly convoluted. Also the Crawford character is nicely portrayed by Scott Glenn for me it's not brought home enough that he's using Clarice to get insight from Lecter.

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

King's Cujo took the bleak route, which wasn't exactly necessary and I don't think the film suffers much for the change it made.

I still recall my shock at that ending mind you King was never afraid to kill children.
It was a relief that the film took a different route.

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

I prefer Man for so many reasons.

I like it how Hannibal is underplayed or not used as much and not as central to the movie as Hopkins was.
He is a distraction in Red and takes away from the focus which should be on Dollarhyde.

I also prefer the ending where in Man he is taken out at his house instead of going to Graham's.

From what I have seen the majority prefer Man to Red.

I admit that I made up bullshit about you WarrenPeace and I am sorry. - Friendo in a PM to me.

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

From what I have seen the majority prefer Man to Red.
I thought this would be the case.

I thought the ending in Red Dragon was the best thing, and it was an interesting twist. Being different films, I did like that they made a change here, but I have no issue with how Graham apprehends Dolaryhyde in Manhunter.

On IMDB, The Tooth Fairy is listed as Dollarhyde in Manhunter and Dolarhyde for Red Dragon. 🤔

Norman! What did you put in my tea?

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

I prefer Red Dragon by a landslide. Was manhunter a 3-hour film? Was it even a thriller? So slow-paced and humbug. You can't go wrong with Ken Norton, and the other performances were equally great.

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

Manhunter was a few minutues shorter than Red Dragon? They both clock in at around 2hrs.

Who is Ken Norton?

Norman! What did you put in my tea?

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

Ed Norton, my bad.

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

I prefer Red Dragon.

I wanna say all those things, those dirty things
That would be better unsaid

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

Have you voted Leo?

Norman! What did you put in my tea?

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

I did vote.

I wanna say all those things, those dirty things
That would be better unsaid

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

👍

I can see why peeps would prefer RD over Manhunter.

Norman! What did you put in my tea?

Re: Manhunter - 86' vs Red Dragon - 02'

I much prefer Manhunter.
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