Wednesday, July 10, 2013

010: Manhunter (1986) - Dolarhyde's Chairs


In this episode:
  • Discussion of "Manhunter," the 1986 adaptation of Thomas Harris' novel Red Dragon, including Brian Cox's interpretation of Hannibal, the hallmarks of '80s movies, Tom Noonan's interpretation of Francis Dolarhyde, and off-putting chair designs
  • Seriously, every time the movie feels like it's not so '80s, you get an '80s power ballad or Will Graham calling Dolarhyde "sport."
  • Actually, who does Will think he is, Jay Gatsby?
  • Serial killers--did "Manhunter" define their depiction in film? (Martha DeLaurentiis believes so)
  • We look at the way Will interprets crime scenes in this movie, and how it compares to the TV series.
  • What WAS Tom Noonan doing?
  • Dolarhyde's kitchen chairs! They're very distracting! (Have you heard my new indie-prog-punk-core band, Dolarhyde's Chairs?) (Thanks to for the find [and Cleolinda for the request]!)
  • MAJOR SPOILERS FOR THE ENDING OF RED DRAGON. In short: Things don't work out quite as well for Will as they do in the movie. (Maybe if he'd done an '80s action-movie window crash...?)
  • The Hannibal Book Club on Tumblr
  • We're Alive, the Zombie Radio Drama
  • We've announced a contest winner!
  • Also, the special guest next episode is none other than Cleolinda Jones! Listen in next time as we discuss Silence of the Lambs (1991)!
  • Sensuous. I think that's the word I was looking for when talking about Reba's experience with the tiger. Much different connotation.
  • We apologize to the '80s. We really don't hate you. It's just your over-the-top synth ballads that are somewhat disconcerting amidst dark psychological drama.
  • "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida" - Iron Butterfly | YouTube | iTunes | (They only have the single version on iTunes! I KNOW!)
  • "Heartbeat" - Red 7 | YouTube | iTunes | (Oh, '80s music videos.)
(Screencap taken from this YouTube video)


  1. There was a deleted scene from "Manhunter" where Chilton gets on Will's nerves. He's not at hateable as Lounds though!

    An excellent essay on the firm and the emphasis on things like mirrors as Will identifies with and distinguishes himself from the "Tooth Fairy" is here. Their link for Aaron Aradillas' companion essay on music no longer works, it can be found here. He doesn't have a defense for "Heartbeat" at the end either.

    I think it makes sense that the Reba scenes "don't seem like the same movie". Dolarhyde sees the possibility that he will be drawn out of the horror movie he's living in, though it all comes crashing down. It could have been more distributed though.

    The horror aspects may not be as salient in "Manhunter", but what it does seem to be the first example of is the notion of a criminal "profiler" sort working with the police and digging deep into the psyche of the suspect.

    I thought the climax of "Manhunter" was fantastic, crazy music with jump cuts and everything. It looks strange because Mann wanted it to look strange. The fakeout in the book and Ratner version of "Red Dragon" was annoying. The reason it ends with him saying "I'm Will Graham" is explained in the Seitz essay linked above.

    "Comfortably Numb" was supposed to appear in Mann's first movie, "Thief", but instead he had Craig Safan compose an instrumental titled "Confrontation" that sounded similarly.

    Why would Will need to see Hannibal again after catching Dolarhyde? Maybe to spit on him for trying to murder his family?

    The TV show does not have the rights to Clarice, or any other characters introduced in "Silence of the Lambs".

    I believe the scene where Dolarhyde put Reba's hand on his face is about his cleft palate, which he is ashamed of and has separated him from others. She has already noticed it in his speech, but he wants her to feel the disfigured face she can't see.

    The emphasis on visuals with the "Tooth Fairy" also ties into his use of mirrors which he puts over his victims eyes. He smashes mirrors in part because he is repulsed by his own appearance.

  2. Will calls Dolarhyde "Sport" because he pictures him having that childlike innocence.

    And why are you put off by chair designs, talk about being picky. There is an obvious reason to why Michael Mann designed his home in this way, Francis Dolarhyde shows that he can be gentle and appreciative of (ART!) and nature