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Manhunter

Year: 1986
Production Co: De Laurentiis Entertainment Group
Director: Michael Mann
Producer: Dino De Laurentiis
Writer: Michael Mann/Thomas Harris
Cast: William Petersen, Dennis Farina, Tom Noonan, Brian Cox, Joan Allen
Like most people who've seen this film, I was curious to see how a modern master like Michael Mann handled a story we've seen done by (among others) Jonathan Demme and Ridley Scott and which has become such a cultural institution.

The answer is that this was the same Michael Mann who cut his teeth on Miami Vice. It's so much a product of its time (the 1980s) it's nearly laughable in places - everything from the cool blue lighting to the Giorgio Moroder-style soundtrack.

The other major change from Silence of the Lambs is that Hannibal Lecktor (note the spelling) - this time portrayed without as much menace by Brian Cox - is in barely more than two scenes, and the focus is much more on the Crockett-a-like cop (Petersen, in the role Jodie Foster would make her own) and his offsider and commander Dennis Farina.

It would have stood much better on its own without a far superior film overshadowing it quite a decade later, but it manages a sense of creepiness in all that Miami neon and Axel F-like soundtracking.

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