Red Dragon (film)

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Red Dragon is a 2002 thriller film, based on the novel written by Thomas Harris featuring the brilliant psychiatrist and serial killer Dr. Hannibal Lecter. It is a remake of the 1986 film Manhunter.

Written by Ted Tally and directed by Brett Ratner, and based on the novel Red Dragon by Thomas Harris.
To understand the origin of evil, you must go back to the beginning. (taglines)
  • Think to yourself that every day is your last. The hour to which you do not look forward will come as a welcome surprise. As for me, when you want a good laugh, you will find me in fine state... fat and sleek, a true hog of Epicurus' herd.
  • Remarkable boy. I do admire your courage. I think I'll eat your heart.
  • Ah yes, Dr. Chilton. Gruesome, isn't he? Fumbles at your head like a freshman pulling at a panty girdle.
  • Without our imaginations, we'd be like all those other poor dullards. Fear is the price of our instrument. But I can help you bear it.
  • Have you ever seen blood in the moonlight, Will? It appears quite black. If one were nude, say, one would want to have outdoor privacy for that sort of thing.
  • Do you like my little exercise cage, Will? My so-called lawyer is always nagging Dr. Chilton for better accommodations. I don't know which is the greater fool.
  • Tell me, Will. Did you enjoy it? Your first murder? Of course you did. And why shouldn't it feel good? It does to God. Why, only last week in Texas, He dropped a whole church roof on the heads of 34 of His worshippers, just as they were groveling through a hymn. He wouldn't begrudge you one journalist.
  • [in the final letter to Will] My dear Will, you must be healed by now... on the outside, at least. I hope you're not too ugly. What a collection of scars you have. Never forget who gave you the best of them, and be grateful; our scars have the power to remind us that the past was real. We live in a primitive time, don't we, Will? Neither savage nor wise. Half measures are the curse of it; any rational society would either kill me or put me to some use. Do you dream much, Will? I think of you often. Your old friend, Hannibal Lecter.
  • [Of Dolarhyde] When I read his journal, it was just so sad. I couldn't help feeling sorry for him. He wasn't born a monster; he was made one through years of abuse.

Francis Dolarhyde

  • I am the Dragon, and you call me insane. You are privy to a great becoming, but you recognize nothing. You are an ant in the afterbirth. It is your nature to do one thing correctly: before me, you rightly tremble. But fear is not what you owe me, Mr. Lounds. You owe me awe.
  • [Dolarhyde's "fan letter" to Dr. Lecter]: My dear Dr. Lecter: I wanted to tell you I'm delighted that you've taken an interest in me. And when I learned of your vast correspondence, I thought: "Dare I?" Of course I do. I don't believe you'll tell them who I am. Besides, what particular body I currently occupy is trivial. The important thing is what I am becoming. I know that you alone can understand this transformation. I have some things I'd love to show you. If circumstances permit, I hope we can correspond. I have admired you for years and have a complete collection of your press notices. Actually, I think of them as unfair reviews. As unfair as mine. They do like to sling demeaning nicknames, don't they? "The Tooth Fairy." What could be more inappropriate? It would shame me for you to read that, if I didn't know you had suffered the same distortions in the press.
  • [Continuing Dolarhyde's "fan letter"] Investigator Graham interests me. Not your standard gumshoe, is he? More alert. Purposeful-looking. You should've taught him not to meddle. Forgive the stationary. I chose it because it will dissolve very quickly if you should have to swallow it. If I hear from you, next time, I might send you something wet. Until then, dear doctor, I remain your most avid fan.


Dinner Guest: Hannibal, confess. What is this divine-looking amuse-bouche?
Hannibal Lecter: [smiles deviously] I'm afraid if I tell you, you won't even try it.

Hannibal Lecter: Special Agent Graham? What an unexpected pleasure
Will Graham: I'm sorry to bother you again, Dr. Lecter. I know it's very late.
Hannibal Lecter: There's no bother. We're both night owls, I think. Come in, please. Let me take your coat. So, what's on your mind?
Will Graham: We've been on the wrong track, this whole time, doctor, you and I. Our whole profile's wrong. We’ve been looking for someone with a crazy grudge, and some kind of anatomical knowledge - decertified doctors; med-school dropouts; laid-off mortuary workers…
Hannibal Lecter: From the precision of the cuts, yes, and his choice of souvenirs.
Will Graham: See, that's where we're off target. He's not collecting body parts.
Hannibal Lecter: Then why keep them?
Will Graham: He's not keeping them. He's eating them. Listen, we were at Molly's parents for New Year's, and Molly's dad was showing my son Josh how to carve a roasted chicken. He said, "The tenderest part of the chicken is the oysters, here on the outer side of the back." I--I had never heard that expression before, "oysters"? And suddenly, I had a flash of the third victim, Darcy Taylor. She was missing flesh from her back. And then it hit me - liver, kidney, tongue, thymus - every single victim lost some body part used in cooking.
Hannibal Lecter: [studies Graham for a moment] Have you shared this with the Bureau?
Will Graham: No, I didn't. I needed to see you first, but I'm right. I know I'm right. I'm... I'm starting to be able to think like this one.
Hannibal Lecter: That's fascinating. You know, I'd always suspected as much: You are an eideteker.
Will Graham: I'm not psychic.
Hannibal Lecter: No, no, no, this is different; more akin to artistic imagination. You're able to assume the emotional point-of-view of other people, even those that might scare or sicken you. It's a troubling gift, I should think. How I'd love to get you on my couch.
Will Graham: Something still doesn't make sense to me: you're the best forensic psychiatrist I know. And somehow, in all our time together, this possibility never occurred to you.
Hannibal Lecter: Well, I am only human, Will. Perhaps I made a mistake.
Will Graham: You don't strike me as a man who makes very many mistakes.
Hannibal Lecter: Now I'm starting to think that I might no longer enjoy your full confidence.
Will Graham: No, no, I--I didn't say that. I didn't. I don't, I don't know what I'm saying, I... I'm very, very tired. [thinks for a minute, and then shakes his head in frustration] I... I almost had it.
Hannibal Lecter: [smiles] It'll come to you.

Will Graham: [speaking of the serial killer he's investigating] He's not going to stop.
Detective: Why not?
Will Graham: Because it makes him God. Would you give that up?

Dr. Frederick Chilton: Tell me, when you saw Lecter's murders, their style, so to speak, were you able perhaps to reconstruct his fantasies? And, if so, did you jot down any impressions?
Will Graham: No.
Dr. Frederick Chilton: Let me be frank, Mr. Graham. The first definitive analysis of Lecter will be a publisher's wet dream. I'd give you full credit, of course
[Graham ignores him, and walks toward the cell door]
Dr. Frederick Chilton: Dammit, man, you must have some advice. You caught him. What was your trick?
Will Graham: I let him kill me.

Hannibal Lecter: That's the same atrocious aftershave you wore in court.
Will Graham: I keep getting it for Christmas.
Hannibal Lecter: Christmas, yes. Did you get my card?
Will Graham: [uncomfortable] I got it. Thank you.
Hannibal Lecter: So nice of the bureau to forward it for me. You know, they wouldn't give me your home address.

Will Graham: I need your help, Dr. Lecter.
Hannibal Lecter: Birmingham and Atlanta. You want to know how he's choosing them, don't you?
Will Graham: Yes.
Hannibal Lecter: Why should I?
Will Graham: There are things you don’t have - books, library privileges, maybe even computer access. I'll speak to the Chief of Staff.
Hannibal Lecter: Ah, yes, Dr. Chilton. Gruesome, isn't he? Fumbles at your head like a freshman at a panty girdle. If you’ll recall, Will, our last collaboration ended rather messily.
Will Graham: And there’s another reason.
Hannibal Lecter: I’m all ears.
Will Graham: I thought you might enjoy the challenge. Find out if you're smarter than the person I'm looking for.
Hannibal Lecter: Then by implication, you think you are smarter than I am, since it was you who caught me.
Will Graham: No, I know I'm not smarter than you.
Hannibal Lecter: Then, how did you catch me?
Will Graham: It's all in the transcripts. What does it matter now?
Hannibal Lecter: It doesn't matter to me, Will.
Will Graham: You had... disadvantages.
Hannibal Lecter: What disadvantages?
Will Graham: ... You're insane.
Hannibal Lecter: [pause] You’re very tan, Will. And your hands are so rough, not like a cop’s hands, anymore. That lotion is something a child would select. It has a ship on the bottle, does it not? [menacing] And how is young Josh, and the lovely Molly? They’re always in my thoughts, you know.

Hannibal Lecter: What were the yards like?
Will Graham: Big back yards, why?
Hannibal Lecter: Because if our pilgrim feels he has a special relationship with the moon, he might want to go out and look at it. Have you ever seen blood in the moonlight, Will? It appears quite black. If one were nude, say, one would want outdoor privacy for that sort of thing.
Will Graham: You think that would be a factor when he chooses a victim?
Hannibal Lecter: Oh, yes. And there will be more of them, of course... victims. So, you'll be wanting lots of these little chin-wags, I take it?
Will Graham: I might not have time.
Hannibal Lecter: Oh, but I do. I have oodles.
Will Graham: I need your opinion now.
Hannibal Lecter: Then here's one... you stink of fear under that cheap lotion. You stink of fear, Will, but you're not a coward. You fear me, but still you came here. You fear this shy boy, yet still you seek him out. Don't you understand, Will? You caught me because we're very much alike. Without our imaginations, we'd be like all those other poor... dullards. Fear... is the price of our instrument. But I can help you bear it.

Reba McClane: If there's anything I hate worse than pity, it's fake pity. Especially from a walking hard-on like Ralph Mandy.
Francis Dolarhyde: I have no pity.

Hannibal Lecter: Beneath the yellow folder, you'll find your latest rejection slip from the archives. It was brought to me by mistake with some of my archives mail. I'm afraid I opened it without looking. Sorry.
Dr. Frederick Chilton: I think we'll remove Dr. Lecter's toilet seat as well

Hannibal Lecter: You sensed who I was back when I was committing what you call "my crimes".
Will Graham: Yes.
Hannibal Lecter: So you were hurt, not by a fault in your perception or your instincts, but because you failed to act on them until it was too late.
Will Graham: You could say that.
Hannibal Lecter: But you're wiser now.
Will Graham: Yes.
Hannibal Lecter: Imagine what you would do, Will, if you could go back in time.
Will Graham: Put two in your head before you could palm that stiletto.
Hannibal Lecter: [smiles] Very good, Will. You know, I believe we're making progress.

Will Graham: [to Reba] That's all for now, but I'd like to come back before I leave town to see how you're doing.
Reba McClane: [choking up] Sure. Who could resist a charmer like me?
Will Graham: Whatever was left in him that was still human was only kept alive because of you. You probably saved some lives. You didn't attract a freak... You attracted a man with a freak on his back.
Reba McClane: [crying] I should have known!
Will Graham: Sometimes you can't. Trust me, I've been there myself. There was a lot wrong with Dolarhyde, but there's nothing wrong with you. [smiles] Except your hair. Your hair is a train wreck.

Will Graham: What is taking him so long?
Molly Graham: Are you kidding? It takes him 20 minutes to get out of bed in the morning!
Will Graham: Yeah, but now I have a serious marshmallow jones.

[Dolorhyde is holding Graham's son at knifepoint]
Francis Dolarhyde: Drop it. Do it now, gumshoe. Your son is about to change. Then your wife. You can watch, then I'll take care of you.
[Will drops knife, then notices that his son has wet himself]
Will Graham: [imitating Dolorhyde's grandmother] Look at you. I have never seen a child as disgusting as you! You pissed your pants? How dare you! You want me to cut it off? Is that what you want me to do? Apologize! Don't cry at me, you little faggot! Say it! Say it, or I will cut it off! Say, "I'm sorry, daddy, I'm a dirty little beast. Freak. Harelip. And no one will ever love me!
[Enraged, Dolarhyde attacks him]
Will Graham: Run!

Dr. Frederick Chilton: Hannibal, there's someone to see you. A young woman... says she's from the FBI, but she seems much too pretty for that if you ask me. I'll tell her you said no.
Hannibal Lecter: ...what is her name?

About Red Dragon (film)

  • In "Red Dragon", Lecter is so much angrier. He's enraged. And he's furious with Ed Norton's character about being locked away, and would destroy him if he could. So it's that anger I wanted to be there. No charm. Just lethal. And Brett helped me get there with that.
    • Anthony Hopkins, "Red Dragon", Alec Hawthorne BBC, 2002/10/02
  • The story is very much about how this guy who has left this kind of work, gets pulled step by step into exactly the kind of full-on level of exposure to danger that he's told himself he doesn't want to get involved in anymore.
    What's intriguing to me is how Hannibal Lecter is simultaneously insane, filled with rage and desire to do harm to my character [Will Graham] and yet is also the one who's offering him counsel on how to get over the wounds that he, Lecter, gave him. It's very complicated. When Lecter is saying to Graham that he can help him have a better understanding of what happened to him and how he can get past this, even though he's the one who did it to him, it's very strange.


  • Before the Silence
  • Meet Hannibal Lecter For The First Time
  • How It All Began!
  • FBI Agent Will Graham Is About to Enter the Mind of a Killer. He Must First Let Hannibal Lecter Inside His Head.
  • Before the Silence, there was the Dragon


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