Hannibal Lecter single-handedly transformed the cinematic serial killer. Before him they were monsters in rubber masks; Through Lecter, they evolved into masterminds capable of psychologically toying with their prey. More than three decades after Anthony Hopkins made the cannibal formerly known as the Chesapeaker Ripper iconic The silence of the Lambs, he remains the benchmark for mass murder in film. To celebrate the Chianti-sipping, liver-bean-eating psychiatrist’s impact, here’s every Hannibal Lecter film adaptation ranked, from blockbusters to art-house cult classics to an entire TV show.
6. Hannibal Rising (2007)
Hannibal Lecter novelist Thomas Harris was essentially blackmailed into writing this prequel. Hannibal and Red Dragon Producer Dino De Laurentiis claims he told the writer, “If you don’t do it [Rising]I’ll do it with someone else,” forcing a hated 2006 novel and an even more hated film adaptation the following year.
Harris wrote the book Hannibal risen and the film’s screenplay, both of which expand on the cannibal’s backstory that the Hannibal Roman flew through. On screen, Gaspard Ulliel plays young Lecter; At just 22 years old, he matches the menace and scale that defined Anthony Hopkins’ attitude toward the character. However, that’s all there is to write home about in this origin story, a ten-pack revenge thriller that sees Lecter go after the Nazis who ate his sister. The narrative also reveals everything from Lecter’s childhood to his arrival in the United States, which means it detracts from much of the ambiguity that helped make the Chesapeake Ripper so chilling a decade and a half earlier.
5. Hannibal (2001)
Everyone is hoping Hannibal died on June 8, 1999, the day Thomas Harris published his long-awaited follow-up novel The silence of the Lambs: a sequel that was widely derided for its insane story and nonsensical character development — and one that the next Lecter film had to revolve around. The book featured Clarice Starling falling in love with her serial killer tormentor, which scared Jodie Foster and director Jonathan Demme so much that they refused to go back.
Eventually, Hannibal rejected the atypical ending of the original novel, but even that wasn’t enough to save him from absurdity. Lecter storms the line from clever psychopath to supervillain as he feeds his victims their own brains and publicly guts them while spitting out one-liners. Director Ridley Scott also strips any semblance of subtlety, playing lion roars over cannibalistic killings and for some reason creating human faces out of flocks of pigeons. The performances from Hopkins, Foster’s stand-in Julianne Moore and newcomer Gary Oldman are superb, although it’s all for naught in this otherwise cartoonish sequel.
4. Manhunter (1986)
That is amazing manhunter no more is said. The first adaptation of Thomas Harris’ first novel by Hannibal Lecter, Red DragonDirected by Michael Mann: the master of crime dramas Thief, heat and make Tom Cruise the villain security. It also marks Lecter’s earliest cinematic appearance, played by Brian Cox, and is possibly the first serial killer thriller to emphasize the importance of forensics.
However, upon release manhunter bombarded without delighting the film critics. However, recent years have been friendlier, and rightly so. Cox’s Lecter is quick-talking and narcissistic, in contrast to Hopkins’ composure, but still enormously intelligent. William Petersen (now from CSI Fame) portrays protagonist Will Graham as an FBI profiler so gifted he threatens to march straight into psychopathy. Meanwhile, the music is a minimalist synth rock score, and the killer The Tooth Fairy is often not given a soundtrack at all, befitting the character’s quiet intensity. Although it’s at the bottom of this list, manhunter is an alternative version of Hannibal mythology that will reward the curious.
3. Red Dragon (2002)
To Hannibal turned out to be hugely profitable but also a bit of a bummer, producer husbands Dino and Martha De Laurentiis quickly decided to readjust Red Dragonthis time in canon started by The silence of the Lambs. Brett Ratner – who The guard simultaneously reviled as “a young fellow of mediocre ability” – was pushed into the director’s chair, with famed film hijacker Edward Norton playing Will Graham. It sounded like a recipe for disaster.
However, Red Dragon surpassed its predecessor and remains a worthwhile companion Be silent…. There are flaws, of course: the cinematography lacks the intimacy of Jonathan Demme’s classic, and The Tooth Fairy’s abusive upbringing and evil scrapbooking lean too heavily on killer clichés. At the same time, however, this is a far more loyal take on the Harris novel than manhunter, which devotes more time to the tragedy of Francis Dolarhyde, dynamically adapted by Ralph Fiennes. There’s a careful balancing act with the Lecter scenes, too: although there’s more of it than in the book due to its post-production,Be silent… Popularity, he’s still busy only economical enough to maintain its mysteriousness.
2. Hannibal (2013-2015)
To Hannibal risen bombed and snuffed out by critics, interest in another Lecter film was at its lowest since the 1980s. Luckily though game of Thrones and breaking Bad ushered in an era of prestige television, and Harris’ books seemed perfect for a longer adaptation. Hannibal premiered on April 4, 2013 and quickly received critical acclaim.
Bryan Fuller’s three-season series returns to the dysfunctional psychology at the heart of Red Dragon. Profiler extraordinaire Will Graham’s fragile relationship with common sense is at the heart of the show, his fear, insecurity and brilliance masterfully conveyed by actor Hugh Dancy. Meanwhile, Hannibal Lecter plays shady with him, this time played by Mads Mikkelsen. Mikkelsen’s interpretation has the same coldness as Hopkins’, but also adds a sneaky, sarcastic humor to make the cannibal more believable in a world outside of his prison cell. Although there are a lot of kills, it’s the psychology and the interactions that matter Hannibal one of the biggest TV series of all time, so much so that its cancellation in 2015 still hurts.
1. The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
By 1991, cinema’s serial killers had become subhuman. The corpses of the past decade’s horror landscape had been heaped up by the likes of Jason Voorhees and Freddy Krueger: monsters whose uncollectibility was matched by their hideousness. then The silence of the Lambs made moviegoers throw up in the aisles by pushing the screen killers in the opposite direction.
Hannibal Lecter is a cannibal capable of destroying his victims not only physically but also mentally. Anthony Hopkins portrays an upper-class man with dignity and dignity and, as a psychiatrist, the ability to manipulate his prey during their deepest lows – before eating them. His verbal battle with FBI intern Clarice Starling, played by Jodie Foster, is the culmination of Jonathan Demme’s masterpiece. Each of their interactions is sustained by flawless performances and claustrophobic cinematography that only adds to the suspense. Hopkins doesn’t even blink in front of the camera: a detail that works wonders in conveying the intensity of the once-good doctor.
Not surprisingly, Hopkins and Foster won the 1992 Academy Awards for Best Actor and Best Actress, but the fact that Be silent… The awards for Best Film, Best Director and Best Adapted Screenplay should not be overlooked either. Even if his two best-billed stars were somehow AWOL, this would still be a master class in camerawork. Just that one shot of Starling at the FBI in the middle of an elevator surrounded by taller men in uniform T-shirts says so much about her social status and the police’s implied sexism. The dialogue, inspired of course by Thomas Harris’ novel, is incessantly quick-witted, while the suspense underpins the entire film as Starling desperately hunts serial killer Buffalo Bill.
In the 21st century, Be silent…‘s policy is conscientious, with some criticizing the characterization of deranged transvestite Bill as transphobic. The film remains the gold standard of horror thrillers, however, ushering in a generation of blockbusters infatuated with incredibly intelligent lunatics. There’s no way the world would have seen seven, Seen or zodiac If it weren’t for Anthony Hopkins sipping over his lovely Chianti.