Hannibal
Quicklinks
Top Links
trailers and videosfull cast and crewtriviaofficial sitesmemorable quotes
Overview
main detailscombined detailsfull cast and crewcompany credits
Awards & Reviews
user reviewsexternal reviewsawardsuser ratingsparents guide
Plot & Quotes
plot summarysynopsisplot keywordsmemorable quotes
Did You Know?
triviagoofssoundtrack listingcrazy creditsalternate versionsmovie connectionsFAQ
Other Info
box office/businessrelease datesfilming locationstechnical specsliterature listingsNewsDesk
Promotional
taglines trailers and videos posters photo gallery
External Links
showtimesofficial sitesmiscellaneousphotographssound clipsvideo clips

FAQ for
Hannibal (2001) More at IMDbPro »

The content of this page was created directly by users and has not been screened or verified by IMDb staff.
Visit our FAQ Help to learn more
Unable to edit? Request access

FAQ Contents


The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Hannibal can be found here.

Ten years after the events in The Silence of the Lambs, FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore) is assigned to the case of Mason Verger (Gary Oldman), the only surviving, but severely disfigured, victim of cannibalistic serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins), and Verger wants revenge. Lecter, who disappeared (after the events in The Silence of the Lambs), is currently living in Florence, Italy as a library curator under the assumed name of Dr Fell. Recently disgraced for a bungled drug raid, Clarice is contacted by a sympathetic Lecter. Now that Lecter's whereabouts are known, the hunt for Lecter begins.

Hannibal is based on a 1999 novel of the same name by American writer Thomas Harris. The novel was adapted for the movie by American screenwriters David Mamet and Steven Zaillian. Hannibal is the film sequel to The Silence of the Lambs (1991). It was followed by Red Dragon (2002) and Hannibal Rising (2007), both adapted from novels by Thomas Harris and written as prequels to The Silence of the Lambs. Prior to The Silence of the Lambs, there was another Hannibal Lecter movie, Manhunter (1986), also based on Harris' 1981 novel, Red Dragon, but not considered to be part of The Silence of the Lambs franchise.

Anthony Hopkins reprises his role as the cannibalistic serial killer, Hannibal Lecter, this time in the guise of Dr Fell, new curator of the Capponi Library in Florence, Italy. FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling is also back, although she is played by Julianne Moore, not Jodie Foster. Barney Matthews (Frankie Faison), the nurse who admitted Clarice to the locked row of cells in which Lector was being held at the Baltimore State Hospital for the Criminally Insane, is seen again in a small part at the beginning of the movie. Justice Department official Paul Krendler, played by Ray Liotta rather than Ron Vawter, returns in an expanded and more sinister role. Added to the cast is Gary Oldman playing Mason Verger, a pedophile horribly disfigured by Lecter and the only one of his victims to survive. Also added to the main cast is Chief Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi (Giancarlo Giannini) of the Florence Questura, who recognizes Fell as Lecter and attempts to capture him for Verger.

According to the film, Mason Verger is the only surviving victim of Dr. Lecter's 14 victims. In the novels, it is said that there are three known surviving victims: (1) Verger, (2) an unnamed victim residing in a mental hospital in Colorado, and (3) Will Graham from Red Dragon. Although the novel Red Dragon was written in 1981, before The Silence of the Lambs (1988) and Hannibal (1999), it wasn't filmed until 2002, after the filming of The Silence of the Lambs (1991) and Hannibal (2001), so the character of Will Graham hadn't yet been introduced to the Hannibal franchise.

Mason was a sexual deviant who was also infatuated with Lecter. Lecter had given him a "popper" [in the book, a mixture of hallucinogenic and hypnotic drugs] before suggesting that he cut off his face and feed it to the dogs. Verger was based on the real case of a man named Michael who, while under the influence of PCP, did the same thing—cut off parts of his face and fed them to some dogs. For more information on Michael, see here.

This was another mishap from his encounter with Hannibal Lecter. In the film, when Verger is explaining how Lecter gave him the popper and told him to cut off his face, Verger is seen swinging from some form of rope. The book goes into slightly more detail than the film. Basically, however, the rope was a sexual device, a sort of noose that was used for auto-erotic asphyxiation. After Verger was finished cutting off his own face, he says that Lecter broke his neck with the noose. This however, didn't kill him but left him paraplegic.

It was a joke, meant to loosen the tension between Barney & Clarice. Clarice was jokingly talking to a non-existent microphone or recording device to convince Barney that her meeting with him wasn't in an official capacity for the FBI. Notice the way she smiles when she does it.

The song is called Vide Cor Meum (See My Heart). Composed especially for the movie by Patrick Cassidy, the song was later used in Ridley Scott's Kingdom of Heaven (2005).

Indeed he did. Benjamin Raspail was the man whose severed head was found by Clarice in the locked storage garage in the beginning of Silence of the Lambs. In that movie, Hannibal Lecter later identifies the head as belonging to Raspail, but claims not to have killed him; he merely admits to have found Raspail's remains after he missed several appointments, and simply hid them. Lecter claims that Raspail was killed by his (Raspail's) lover, who is the same person as Buffalo Bill.

However, during the conversation between Clarice and Paul Krendler in the archives in Hannibal, Clarice casually mentions that Hannibal once killed Benjamin Raspail in order to improve the quality of the orchestra Raspail played in, since he was such a dreadful player. This claim seems to be confirmed in the opening scene of Red Dragon, where Lecter feeds parts of a flautist's corpse to the unwitting members of the orchestra board, though this flautist is never mentioned by name in either the film or the credits.

In the novels Red Dragon and Silence of the Lambs, the events are told a bit differently. The head that Clarice finds in the storage locker belonged to Raspail's boyfriend Klaus. Klaus was actually killed and beheaded by a jealous Jame Gumb/Buffalo Bill, who was once Raspail's lover. Raspail found Klaus' head, kept it in his garage and told his psychiatrist, Hannibal Lecter, about it. Raspail went missing shortly thereafter, and his body found a few days later, missing its pancreas and thymus. Hannibal was caught several days later, and found to be the so-called Chesapeake Ripper, who had already made nine victims. During his trial, Hannibal admitted to feeding Raspail's organs to the orchestra board.

In the movie adaptation of Silence of the Lambs, most of this information was not used or changed. Most references to the Red Dragon novel (including Will Graham's earlier interaction with Lecter) were purposely removed to make Silence a stand-alone movie, and possibly to avoid legal issues (since the studio did not own the rights to the Red Dragon novel or its first adaptation, Manhunter). The character of Klaus was omitted completely, perhaps to avoid introducing characters that had no significant role in the plot. However, since Clarice finding a severed head was so central in the progress of the plot, this was kept in; however, the victim was changed from Klaus to Raspail, and was explicitly established as Gumb's very first kill (in the book, Gumb had already killed his grandparents at age 10).

From what we can tell, the movies Hannibal and Red Dragon followed the continuity established in the books, so this seems like a deliberate retcon without a clear in-universe explanation. One possibility could be that Hannibal is still playing a game with Clarice in Silence of the Lambs, by providing her with false information, to see how quickly she can see through his lies. Note that Hannibal did the same with her when he told her to look for Ms Moffet, (an anagram for "the rest of me") and with senator Martin, providing her with a false name of the killer, as his way to toy with people.

The Silence of the Lambs is Chilton's last appearance in the franchise, in both the novels and the films. It is never out right stated whether Hannibal did kill and cannibalize Chilton during the time between The Silence of the Lambs and Hannibal. In the novel, it is mentioned that Chilton disappeared while on vacation seven years before the events of Hannibal; in the film Barney says that Lecter, when possible, preferred to eat "the rude" and that Chilton "was a bad man". Both statements strongly imply that Lecter did indeed kill and eat Chilton.

In Ridley Scott's commentary on the film, he says that the reason they walk right past Lecter is a combination of a) the fact that Lecter is standing still (whether they consider him no harm or an inadequate food supply is unclear), and b) the boars feel an "animal connection" of sorts with Lecter (in other words, they sense Lecter as another animal and leave him alone). Another possibility is that the hogs were attracted to blood and were accustomed to feeding while hearing screams. Since Lecter wasn't screaming and had no blood on him, they walked past him and went straight to the screams. In the novel of Hannibal, it is said that the boars smelled no fear on him, so they went past him to eat the screamers.

Stripped of her gun and her FBI status, Clarice goes alone to the Verger estate to look for Lecter. She finds him strapped down and about to be fed to Verger's vicious boars. She shoots the two henchmen guarding him, one fatally, the other just wounding him. Just as Clarice sets Lecter free, the boars break out through the gate and Verger arrives to watch the carnage. One of Verger's henchmen shoots Clarice, so Lecter takes her into his arms as the boars go after the two downed henchmen. Verger orders his personal physician, Dr Cordell, to go into the swarming mass of squealing, ravenous boars to retrieve a gun, but Lecter convinces Cordell (who greatly dislikes Verger) to feed Verger to the boars and blame it on Lecter. Lecter takes the barely conscious Clarice to Krendler's lakehouse, where he removes the bullet and tends to her wound. When Clarice awakens from a morphine-induced sleep, she laboriously makes her way to a telephone to call for backup and then downstairs where she finds Lecter preparing an elegant dinner for Krendler, who appears to be heavily drugged. Clarice is horrified when she sees Lecter lift off the top of Krendler's skull, scoop out a portion of his brain, saut it, and feed it to Krendler. When Krendler insults Clarice, Lecter wheels Krendler to the kitchen and prepares to make his getaway, leaving Krendler to die and knowing that Clarice has called the FBI. Clarice tries to hit him with a candlestick, but Lecter catches her hair in the refrigerator door. He kisses her and is about to walk away when she slaps a cuff on his wrist and cuffs him to herself. When she refuses to give him the key, Lecter picks up a meat cleaver. "This is really going to hurt," he says, and the cleaver comes down. In the next scene, Clarice is standing over the lake, watching for any signs of Lecter, who has disappeared. Her backup arrives, and Clarice identifies herself but says nothing about Hannibal Lecter getting away. In the final scene, Lecter is seated on an airplane, one of his own hands missing, about to enjoy his carry-on lunch. A small boy looks curiously into the box and asks what some of the food is. One of the containers holds what looks like sauted brain. Lecter offers the boy a bite.

It's never made certain. Hannibal, when he says, "above or below the wrist?", suggests that he did but he could have been threatening to cut off Clarice's hand in order to scare her into giving him the key. It's also possible Hannibal chopped off only his thumb to wriggle out of the cuff. What is certain is that he definitely did not try to cut through the chain on the cuffs; it would have been too unbelievable and he clearly doesn't have the use of that hand in the final scene.

In an interview for Total Film magazine, Foster said:


The official reason I didn't do Hannibal is I was doing another movie, Flora Plum. So I get to say, in a nice dignified way, that I wasn't available when that movie was being shot... Clarice meant so much to Jonathan and I, she really did, and I know it sounds kind of strange to say but there was no way that either of us could really trample on her.

No. The packaging is obviously different, but the content on each of the DVDs is exactly the same.

Hannibal Complete Story/Script - Enhanced Presentation includes highlighted dialogue and over 400 screenshots in sync with the story.

r73731


Related Links

Plot summary Plot synopsis Parents Guide
Trivia Quotes Goofs
Soundtrack listing Crazy credits Alternate versions
Movie connections User reviews Main details