WILL GRAHAM HAS THE MIND OF A PSYCHOPATH – THANK GOD HE’S ON THE RIGHT SIDE OF THE LAW.
FBI agent Will Graham (William L. Petersen) is forced to consult the incarcerated serial killer Hannibal Lecktor (Brian Cox) in order to catch a man who slays families. Director Michael Mann had a hit with the stylish cop show Miami Vice and latterly received critical recognition for this film, the first one featuring Lecter (spelt “Lecktor” here). Mann sets a melancholic, fatalistic tone that easily draws one into this very beautifully shot, but pitch-black, nightmare. Living a peaceful, happy life with your family is not an option for people in this movie, not even Petersen’s tormented investigator. Tom Noonan is worth a look as the megalomaniacal murderer Dollarhyde.
1986-U.S. 121 min. Color. Widescreen. Produced by Dino de Laurentiis, Richard Roth. Written and directed by Michael Mann. Novel: Thomas Harris (“Red Dragon“). Cinematography: Dante Spinotti. Cast: William L. Petersen (Will Graham), Kim Greist (Molly Graham), Joan Allen (Reba McClane), Brian Cox (Hannibal Lecktor), Dennis Farina, Stephen Lang… Tom Noonan.
Trivia: Frankie Faison has a small part – in the following three movies about Hannibal Lecter he would play Barney the prison guard. They are The Silence of the Lambs (1991), Hannibal (2001) and Red Dragon (2002), the last one a remake of this film. John Lithgow and Brian Dennehy were allegedly considered for the part of Lecter. Alternative title: Red Dragon.
Last word: “The film did well critically, but [de Laurentiis] never got it out there. And it was purely his own idiocy, because it was terrible mismanagement. But what happened was, it was something like three years later, probably about 1988, when it was finally released in the UK. It was Jeremy Thomas who came to the rescue, because he found it and released it in the UK. Gene Hackman, of all people, originally owned the rights to ‘Silence of the Lambs’, and then he let it go, and Jonathan Demme did it – and the rest is history.” (Cox, Den of Geek)