In Manhunter, Brian Cox plays Dr. Hannibal Lecter (spelled Lecktor in the film) – Lecter's first on screen portrayal. Hannibal Lecter is famously a cannibalistic serial killer, but I cannot recall if Manhunter dropped the cannibal part of his character or not. I recall a scene in which Will Graham tells his son Lecktor killed college girls, but I don't remember any other details. This screenplay mentions the word "cannibal" once in the description of a headline referring to Lecktor:

The caption reads: "Federal Manhunter Will Graham Recover- ing from Near-Fatal Slashing By Hannibal 'the Cannibal' Lecktor."

But as this is a screenplay, and not a transcript of the film, it doesn't confirm whether the element was dropped in the final cut.

Does anyone have a definitive answer? Was Brian Cox's Hannibal Lecktor a cannibal? Bonus question: I recall him being referred to as "Dr. Lecktor", but was his first name ever mentioned in the film?

1 Answer 1


There is no specific reference to "cannibal" in Manhunter...

...that I can find in either the subtitles dialogue or on screen newspaper headlines.

Indeed, in the original novel the reference is only used in newspaper headlines. The FBI and Will Graham do not use this term nor can I find any reference in the novel to Lecter eating victims. This seems to have been a development for The Silence of the Lambs.

As for a reference to Dr Lecter/Lektor's first name there is only one as far as I can tell.

When the message from the Tooth Fairy is located they are told it was found...

"In Hannibal Lecktor's cell. It was hidden in a book."

  • Fascinating addition about his history in the novels. It seems the phrase "Hannibal the Cannibal" does appear three times in the book, but it's interesting how downplayed this aspect is
    – Mike S
    Commented Dec 10, 2018 at 22:55

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