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Manhunter (1986)

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Former FBI profiler Will Graham returns to service to pursue a deranged serial murderer named "the Tooth Fairy" by the media.



(based on the book "Red Dragon" by), (screenplay)
1,255 ( 1,468)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Seaman ...
Benjamin Hendrickson ...
Jimmy Price (as Dan E. Butler)
Michele Shay ...
Robin Moseley ...


Will Graham is a former FBI agent who recently retired to Florida with his wife Molly and their young son. Graham was a 'profiler'; one who profiles criminal's behavior and tries to put his mind into the minds of criminals to examine their thoughts while visiting crime scenes. Will is called out of his self-imposed retirement at the request of his former boss Jack Crawford to help the FBI catch an elusive serial killer, known to the press as the 'Tooth Fairy', who randomly kills whole families in their houses during nights of the full moon and leaves bite marks on his victims. To try to search for clues to get into the mind of the killer, Will has occasional meetings with Dr. Hannibal Lecktor, a charismatic but very dangerous imprisoned serial killer that Will captured years earlier which nearly drove him insane from the horrific encounter that nearly cost Will's life. With some help and hindrance, Will races against the clock before the next full moon when the 'Tooth Fairy' will ... Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


It's just you and me now, sport... See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

15 August 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Red Dragon  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)


$8,620,929 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (director's cut) | (video)

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Based on David Rader, the infamous "BTK" (Blind, Torture, Kill) killer, who also inspired the later film A Good Marriage (2014). That film also featured Joan Allen and Stephen Lang. See more »


When the St. Louis police pull up Dollarhyde's drivers license, it says he lives in "Chester, MO 64101". 64101 is a Kansas City, Missouri zip code, and Kansas City is 250 miles from St. Louis. See more »


[first lines]
Jack Crawford: We should have talked at the boatyard. You don't wanna talk about it here.
Will Graham: I'm not fallin' all over myself to talk about much anywhere, Jack.
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Performed by Iron Butterfly
Written by Doug Ingle
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

are you all crazy?
25 April 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I can only surmise that the detractors of this film are under 25, the new generation of cinema-goers who need all the ultra-violence and gore to make a film "complete". This is quite simply, one of the best films of all time. Tom Noonan is amazing and absolutely masterful in his portrayal of Dollarhyde, and even comes across as sensual, when he is obviously deriving sexual satisfaction watching Reba fondle the sleeping tiger. One of the sexiest scenes ever, by the way. This is what I think people who don't "get" this film are missing, the little nuances, such as his look of sexual ecstasy watching Reba with the tiger, you can see he is imagining himself in the tigers position, being the recipient of loving caresses. And his awkwardness when Reba finally makes love to him, its all these things that you actually have to engage your brain to understand, thats where people just don't understand this film. The music is incredible, especially Shriekbacks "This Big Hush", where Dollarhyde is in bed with Reba, is just inspired. William Petersen was born to play Will Graham, the tormented retired forensic cop, brought out of retirement by the Tooth Fairy's slayings of whole families. Brian Cox's portrayal of LECKTOR is superb, playing the "straight man" to Hopkins "over the top" campness. I cant understand why Cox didn't play the proper Lecktor role in the subsequent films. But thats what people don't get-its not about Lecktor. Its not about Red Dragon. It is BASED on the novel Red Dragon, which is why it doesn't follow the book ad verbatim. Don't watch this as a prequel or sequel, watch it on its own merit as one of the best films ever made.

103 of 145 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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