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


Michael Mann


Thomas Harris (based on the book "Red Dragon" by), Michael Mann (screenplay by)
1,399 ( 79)
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
William Petersen ... Will Graham
Kim Greist ... Molly Graham
Joan Allen ... Reba McClane
Brian Cox ... Dr. Hannibal Lecktor
Dennis Farina ... Jack Crawford
Tom Noonan ... Francis Dollarhyde
Stephen Lang ... Freddy Lounds
David Seaman David Seaman ... Kevin Graham
Benjamin Hendrickson ... Dr. Frederick Chilton
Michael Talbott ... Geehan
Dan Butler ... Jimmy Price (as Dan E. Butler)
Michele Shay Michele Shay ... Beverly Katz
Robin Moseley Robin Moseley ... Sarah
Paul Perri Paul Perri ... Dr. Sidney Bloom
Patricia Charbonneau ... Mrs. Sherman


Will Graham (William Petersen) is a former F.B.I. Agent who recently retired to Florida with his wife Molly (Kim Greist) and their young son, Kevin (David Seaman). 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 (Dennis Farina) to help the F.B.I. catch an elusive serial killer, known to the press as the "Tooth Fairy" (Tom Noonan), 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 (Brian Cox), 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 ... Written by matt-282

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Enter the mind of a serial killer... you may never come back. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »

Did You Know?


Michael Mann's direction to Brian Cox about playing Dr. Hannibal Lecktor was to play him like a British public schoolboy. Cox based his performance on his fifteen-year-old son, who was attending public school at the time. See more »


Graham's house number changes during the film. When Dr. Bloom's secretary gives it to Lector, it's 3680. Later in the movie, when Crawford mentions it, it's 3860. 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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Alternate Versions

USA cable network Showtime ran a "Director's Cut" of Manhunter that contained a different version of the ending. It was also a different edit of the film, and ran three minutes longer. See more »


Referenced in Petticoat Planet (1996) See more »


jogger's stakeout
Written by The Reds
Performed by The Reds
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User Reviews

that hand running through the tiger's fur was clearly burned into my subconscious

Dull and mundane title for such a fine film. I had some problem with the third victim in that the discrepancies between that and meticulously worked out modus operandi of the killer from earlier atrocities seemed glaring, never mind where he was likely to be on this night of the full moon. But never mind, the film is scary, very worrying and stunningly designed and shot with a decent central performance from William Petersen. He seems laid back and almost carefree but this is inevitable alongside the frightening performances of his past and present nemesis. The former is holed up in a terrifyingly all white cell and the latter lurking largely and taunting freely. Even though I had reservations about the final scenes these are very well executed and though I remembered little from my video viewing many years ago, that hand running through the tiger's fur was clearly burned into my subconscious. Great!

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Frequently Asked Questions

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Release Date:

15 August 1986 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Red Dragon: The Curse of Hannibal Lecter See more »

Filming Locations:

Florida, USA See more »


Box Office


$15,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,204,400, 17 August 1986

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs


| (director's cut) | (video)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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