Living in exile, Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Sir Anthony Hopkins) tries to reconnect with now disgraced F.B.I. Agent Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore), and finds himself a target for revenge from a powerful victim (Gary Oldman).
A retired FBI agent with psychological gifts is assigned to help track down "The Tooth Fairy", a mysterious serial killer. Aiding him is imprisoned forensic psychiatrist Dr. Hannibal "The Cannibal" Lecter.
Publicist Stuart Shepard finds himself trapped in a phone booth, pinned down by an extortionist's sniper rifle. Unable to leave or receive outside help, Stuart's negotiation with the caller leads to a jaw-dropping climax.
The final chapter of the Dr. Hannibal Lecter quadrilogy, the murdering cannibal. He is presently in Italy, and works as a curator at a museum. Clarice Starling (Julianne Moore), the F.B.I. Agent who he aided to apprehend a serial killer, was placed in charge of an operation, but when one of her men botches it, she's called to the mat by the Bureau. One high ranking official, Paul Krendler (Ray Liotta) has it in for her. But she gets a reprieve because Mason Verger (Gary Oldman), one of Lecter's victims who is looking to get back at Lecter for what Lecter did to him, wants to use Starling to lure him out. When Lecter sends her a note, she learns that he's in Italy, so she asks the Police to keep an eye out for him. But a corrupt Policeman, who wants to get the reward that Verger placed on him, tells Verger where he is, but they fail to get him. Later, Verger decides to frame Starling, which makes Lecter return to the U.S., and the race to get Lecter begins.Written by
The largest of the Russian boars was around seven hundred seventy pounds. See more »
When Lecter writes his first letter to Clarice, he licks the envelope to seal it. When we see it on her desk before she opens it, the only thing keeping it shut is the seal wax in the center. however, Lecter licks the envelope to provide DNA to verify it is not a fake, as he is "re-emerging" from hiding. See more »
[apparently about to cut Starling's hand off with a cleaver]
This is really gonna hurt.
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As the opening credits end, Hannibal's face can be seen in the formation of pigeons on the ground before they fly away. See more »
Over half an hour of footage was deleted from the film, including totally new scenes and alternate versions of scenes already in the movie. These scenes include:
A different version of Clarice watching Brigham's funeral on TV. Here, she doesn't cry, but rather just sits staring at the screen. Another FBI agent comes to visit Clarice with all of Brigham's personal belongings, saying that his parents don't want them, and Clarice asks if she can have them.
A new scene where Starling visits the abandoned asylum where Hannibal Lecter was held. At the door she meets the janitor, a shy young boy who flirts with Starling but refuses to go into the basement because of asthma. Starling goes down into the basement, where she searches old patient files, and finds a vagrant old man huddled in Lecter's old cell screaming for Jesus. Later, we see Starling on Ebay searching for Hannibal Lecter items, among which are X-rays and Lecter's Mercedes.
A new scene where Starling gets a follow up on the X-rays she got from Barney and Mason. An FBI specialist tells her that Mason's X-ray is several years old, and that Barney's X-Ray of Lecter's broken arm is the most recent.
An alternate version of the scene where Lecter writes a letter to Starling. We see Lecter going to pick up the scent for the envelope, where Pazzi spies on him and, in turn, Lecter spies on Pazzi. The letter itself is worded differently, but still contains the lines about Starling's parents. Here, we learn that Jack Crawford, Starling's old boss from the FBI, died of a disease. Hannibal assures Starling in his letter that he observed a moment-and no more-of silence. We also see Lecter sealing the letter with ink, and dropping the letter off at a mailbox, with Pazzi watching him. The entire scene is accompanied by music composed and played by Anthony Hopkins.
A scene where Pazzi gets FBI passwords from a secret agent holed up in a building in Italy.
An ignored subplot about Pazzi and a brother-sister gypsy pickpocket team. The sister was a girl named Romula, who Pazzi saw steal a man's wallet. This was the only sequence filmed, which was scrapped in favor of just leaving in the brother as the thug Pazzi sends after Lecter.
An entire subplot about Pazzi working on Il Mostro, a real unsolved Italian serial killer case in which an unknown man stalked and killed young couples kissing in their cars. It features an alternate version of the scene where Lecter first meets Pazzi--now there is a leering janitor waxing the floor in the next room. Pazzi talks at great lengths with Lecter about Il Mostro, and Lecter gives him information regarding the case, most notably that the killer is posing his victim's corpses like classic paintings. Pazzi follows this lead, which gets him put back on Il Mostro after being removed to investigate Dr. Fell. Later, when he goes to retrieve luggage from Lecter, we have an alternate version of Pazzi in Lecter's living room, with more talk about Il Mostro. All of these sequences feature the janitor from the museum. Finally, we are given an alternate version of Lecter attacking Pazzi. The dialogue is slightly different, and there are several shots of the janitor watching. Here, Pazzi's intestines and bowels don't fall onto the spotlights, and the tourists videotaping the tower laugh instead of scream. Lecter turns around and waves at the tourists, and then walks away. Meanwhile, we see several shots of security looking at Pazzi's body on security cameras as Lecter passes by the Janitor, who had been watching the whole thing from behind it a curtain: He is Il Mostro.
A deleted scene in which Barney drives through Mason's plantation. Originally, the movie was supposed to open with the fish market shootout, and the meeting with Mason was to come later. When the meeting was moved to the opening, the scene was Barney in his car was cut: It features him going past security and men reaping vegatables. The box containing Lecter's restraint mask is visible in several shots on the seat beside Barney. Lastly, Barney comes across the man-eating boars in a pen and drives away from them.
A brief shot of Lecter sleeping on an airplane with his head shaved. He has a nightmare and wakes up almost screaming. This came from the book, in which Lecter had flashbacks to WWII, when his two-year-old sister was killed in a snowbound concentration camp in Austria and eaten for food by starving Nazis.
Scenes of Lecter shopping for his party. He goes to a kitchen store, and catches a tabloid show talking about Starling. A humorous bit is included in which Lecter gets angry because the TV commentator addresses him as "madman Hannibal Lecter," and he corrects her by whispering at the TV "Doctor Lecter!" A clerk then comes in and directs Lecter to where he can buy steakknives. Lecter then finishes watching the program, where he sees an interview with Krendler.
An extended version of Clarice in the woods. She runs for a longer period, and shots of her feet on the ground are intercut with Lecter's feet. After the part where the scene would've ended in the final cut, we see Lecter standing by Starling's car on a hilltop. He breaks the lock and gets in, smelling her steering wheel and then running his tongue across it. He gets out, but leaves his sun glasses on the horn.
An alternate ending: Here, Starling doesn't handcuff Lecter, and he runs his tongue over her lips after they kiss. Starling gets her hair free from the refrigerator, gets her gun, and runs out to the woods after Lecter. She finds the boat drifting and draws her gun on it, but it's empty and she smirks for a moment before she's surrounded by police who have her drop her weapon. A spotlight hits Starling and she yells "Clarice Starling! FBI!" The scene then cuts to Starling watching the fireworks over the lake, as in the original. Here, though, instead of cutting to the plane, we see Lecter walking up to a gas station and getting into a van. He waves at some kids and their mothers waving sparklers, and drives off. This goes to a wideshot of the plane cabin, showing most of the passengers and waitresses to be Oriental (implying Lecter is headed to Japan, Korea, China, etc.) The wide shot cuts to the young boy coming out of the bathroom and finding Lecter with his food. They have the same conversation as in the finished version, but only up until the boy asks for food. Here, Lecter asks the boy if his mother ever warned him about taking food from strangers. The boy says she has, but Lecter smiles and says that it doesn't matter since the boy's mother is asleep. Lecter then feeds several forkfulls of the brains to the boy before the screen freezes, with the back of the boy's head superimposed over half of Lecter's face. Commentary by the director says that the scene as it is viewed here was meant to be symbolic, showing Lecter corrupting the boy.
Doesn't come close to the quality of the original, but Anthony Hopkins's performance saves the movie. *** (out of four)
HANNIBAL / (2001) *** (out of four)
By Blake French:
Some movies are born to inspire sequels but "The Silence of The Lambs" is a movie that does not need a sequel. The Academy Award winning thriller earned ubiquitous critical acclaim, therefore a continuation is nearly incapable of living up to its standards. To make things worse for the highly anticipated sequel "Hannibal," the original film's director and main star bailed out, leaving Ridley Scott ("Gladiator") and Julianne Moore ("Magnolia") filling their places in the credits. It is hard to imagine how this movie could possibly succeed. But the exceptionally beautiful filmmaking, strong performances, intriguing story, and moody atmosphere provoke more nail-biting moments than most thrillers these days.
The story of "Hannibal" does not compare with "The Silence of the Lambs." It replaces tension-filled sequences of psychological terror with scenes featuring some of the most grotesque images and realistic gore to ever make its mark on the big screen. This film relies heavily on the shock factor of such extreme graphic violence, although such content is never excessive or relentless. It has perfect timing. The sheer presence of Anthony Hopkins, in another horrific and career defining performance, often creates enough terror for several movies. "Hannibal" knows that and frequently gives the character more freedom than he had in he first film. But I am not so sure that is a good thing; is it more terrifying listening to Hannibal Lecter discuss his disgusting actions or to actually see him perform such disturbing behaviors?
The film takes place ten years after FBI agent Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster then, Julianne Moore now) interviewed convicted mass murdering cannibal Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) while searching for another disturbed killer. Present day: Clarice is involved with a drug bust shoot-out that leaves many dead. Justice Dept. Official Paul Krendler (Ray Liotta), is about to punish her when she gets a call from a the unrecognizably deformed surviving victim of an attack by Lecter. His name is Mason Verge (Gary Oldman), a wealthy recluse who asks that Starling be placed back on the case of the Cannibal, who has been on the loose for ten years.
The movie investigates a lot more than Clarice's experiences with Hannibal Lecter. The script actually consists of two separate stories, one detailing the revenge scheme of Mason, whom is still angry with Lecter after he caused the removal of his face and partial paralysis. The other takes place in Italy, where an inspector named Rinaldo Pazzi (Giancarlo Giannini) is out to claim a multimillion dollar reward for providing authorities with proper evidence leading to the arrest of a local, who turns out to be none other than Lecter himself. Obviously this man does not know what he is in for, and ends up losing his cuts for the money literally.
Parallel stories are always interesting, but are easily sidetracked with certain characters and or events. What keeps this movie intriguing is the consistent focus on Lector; everything in the story seems to revolve around him. Then again, "Hannibal" is also quite pointless because it solves nothing. Without giving away the ending, I will say that we are once again left pondering about Lecter. Most any movie that provokes thoughts is worth seeing, but "Hannibal" forgets the first film, takes a stand on its own, and once again sets us up for another unnecessary follow-up.
The most apparent conflict many audiences with have with "Hannibal" is the absence of Jodie Foster. Julianne Moore is most definitely a capable and challenging actress, and plays the role of Starling with exuberance and clarity. But Foster is simply better in the role and we miss her dearly. Anthony Hopkins saves the movie; the actor is so intense and grisly in his subtle and classy manner, he once again qualifies as an award nominee. Thank goodness he returned for the role; without Hopkins, "Hannibal" would be nothing but underdone carnage.
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