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Hannibal (2001)


Duration 2h 11m Rating (UK) 18
Source of story A book of the same name by Thomas Harris
Director Ridley Scott
Writers/Script David Mamet, Steven Zaillian
Starring Anthony Hopkins, Julianne Moore, Gary Oldman, Ray Liotta Giancarlo Giannini, Francesca Neri.

Elevator Pitch: Ten years after his escape Dr Hannibal Lector is living in Florence posing as a museum curator. Clarice Starling is sacked for a botched drug bust where five people are killed, drawing Lector’s attention to her again, and this attention is fostered by a millionaire who has survived an attack by Lector, and who now thirsts for revenge. Dr Lector writes Clarice a letter, whose perfume allows her to identify his location, and despite her warning an Italian policeman goes on the trail with disasterous consequences.

Content: There is a firefight during the drug bust and thereafter a continuous level of tension as we meet Dr Lector again, initially in the streets and buildings of Florence. Mason Verger, the millionaire is a grotesque figure. Clarice interviews him and we see his plans to capture Lector gradually being put in place. Back in the States Hannibal begins to put a diabolical plan together which involves him stealing the saw used to take to tops of skulls from corpses in a pathology lab.

A View: This outing was not much liked by the critics, possibly because it is all rather violent and unpleasant, and I had seen it before which did not actually reduce the tension. By now, in 2019, much more violent films have been aired, so it would not be quite as much of a shock today, even so I had to look away once or twice. Like it or not it is still fascinating in its own way so probably worth the cost of a download if you liked the others of the franchise.

Additional Info: Ridley Scott chose to end the film differently from the book, which had Clarice and Lector becoming lovers. He thought she would never have done that, and I agree.

About Victor R Gibson

Author of this site three technical books and two novels


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