Episode 127. In Plain Sight: Manhunter (1986)

In this episode, Andrea and Alex investigate how multiple characters are perceived and perceive Michael Mann’s entry into the Hannibal Lec(k)tor cinematic universe. From cops to killers and the humanity in between, these cuts go deep. 


Manhunter. Dir. Michael Mann, 1986. 


How Thomas Harris defined a genre and created fiction’s most likeable villain. An overview of the Hannibal Lecter saga and what made it unique. 
The Tabloid that Launched America’s Obsession with True Crime. Joe Pompeo’s look back at the lasting impact of the Daily News. 
Eating Blake, or an Essay on Taste: The Case of Thomas Harris’s “Red Dragon”. An examination of the use of high art in a mass market paperback. 
How 70 years of cop shows taught us to valorize the police by Constance Grady. A history of depictions of law enforcement, from bumbling buffoons to modern day menace.


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2 thoughts on “Episode 127. In Plain Sight: Manhunter (1986)

  1. FictionIsntReal says:

    Manhunter is one of my favorite films and made me a fan of Mann. I agree that Cox’s version of Hannibal is scarier than the hammier version the character became.
    I recall Mann once saying he thought the scene of Graham talking about the Tooth Fairy as an abused child was really important to the film, which makes it strange to me he removed it from his director’s cut used for most home-video releases I’m aware of.
    The first two seasons of the Hannibal TV show were stupendous, but the third was so bad it retroactively lowered my opinion on what came before. It was like the writers just gave up on things like writing coherent characters, as well as treating death seriously rather than a joke.
    Thomas Harris apparently lives in the Miami area now (at least he volunteers at an animal rescue center there), and set his most recent book in Florida. That book was released 12 years after Hannibal Rising, which is also how long it has been since George R. R. Martin published A Dance With Dragons. The difference is that nobody was expecting another novel from Harris (whose previous novel not featuring Hannibal was in 1975). My understanding is that the character of Hannibal was inspired by an incarcerated Mexican doctor who killed his (male) lover. That doctor was eventually released for good behavior. Mann has claimed that his version of Dolarhyde (and specifically his use of the song Inna Gadda Davida) was inspired by an incarcerated murderer who wrote to him named Dennis Wayne Wallace, but I wasn’t about to find documentation on him outside of Mann’s statements.

  2. LipsWetWithVenom says:

    We need an adaptation of this set in Halifax. The Tooth Fairy can be named Donairhyde.

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