Red Dragon

Question: Was there any specific reason that Dolarhyde chose his victims other than through home movies? Was there anything about the families that made him want to kill them?

Answer: His choices had to do with the layout of peoples' property. At his job, he studied customers' family video tapes that contained scenes of their homes and yards. He looked for seclusion around the properties, easy-access back entrances, whether there was a family dog that would bark, and so on.

raywest Premium member

But what was his reason for killing them? Was it because he saw a happy family and he was angry because he never had one or because he saw a life that he would never have?

He chose the houses that had big backyards. During the Edward Norton/Lecter interaction, Lector says something about how blood looks in the moonlight.

Answer: "Because it made him a god" as it was put early in the film.

Question: At the beginning of the film, Will Graham discovered that Hannibal Lecter was the murderer he had been searching for. How was he able to do this? All he did was open a book and the word 'Sweet Bread' appeared on a page. Could some explain this to me?

Answer: The victims had particular body parts removed. Will saw recipes in the book belonging to Lecter for those particular body parts and made a leap of intuition.


Answer: It is revealed through a conversation between Will and Hannibal that Will already suspected Hannibal but had failed to act on his intuition. This combined with the recipes Will sees, that correspond with the missing body parts, highlighted in Hannibal's cookbook and the penny drops.

Answer: "Sweetbreads" is an organ meat (like kidney or liver)...he wrote it in the book as he most likely cooked it.

Answer: When Lecter and Graham were talking at Lecter's desk, Will went into a story about how his son's grandpa was showing him how to carve a chicken. When he showed him a part on the back that he referred to as "oysters" it caught his attention because he hadn't heard that before. Now a few moments later he finds the cookbook which referred to other parts of animals that can be used to make what they called "sweetbread." From the previous conversation at the desk it was safe to say Will was already somewhat suspicious of Lecter because of his analysis.

Question: How did Dolarhyde pick the women that he would kill?

Answer: The two familes had their home movies sent to Chromalux for developing. Dolarhyde is the director of technical services, so he has access to every tape that Chromalux recieves. He discovered Mrs. Leeds and Mrs. Jacobi through their respective home movies.

Cubs Fan

Question: What did Dolarhyde mean in his letter to Lecter that if Lecter responds next time Dolarhyde will send him something wet?

Answer: It means he will send Lecter a fresh body part from one of his victims.

Sierra1 Premium member

Question: When Graham is talking to his wife about joining Crawford on the investigation, she says something about "we're all paid up, even Josh." What does she mean by this?

Answer: What she means is that Graham (and, by extension, his family) has served his country enough, including suffering serious injury and mental trauma in the course of his duties. She feels that, whatever moral debt they might owe their country, they've paid it in full, Graham directly through his actions, and she and Josh through the negative effects his work and its consequences have had on them.

Tailkinker Premium member

Question: In the brief scene where Hannibal is having a fancy meal served to him in his cell as a reward for helping Will, what classical piano music is playing in the background? This is just before we see Will and his co-workers watching a home video of the Jacobis.

Answer: I think it's part of Bach's Goldberg Variations. Incidentally, it is part of this piece that is playing when he kills the 2 guards in his cage in The Silence of the Lambs. He is also seen playing part of it himself in Hannibal.

David Mercier

Question: In the scene where you first see Dolarhyde lifting weights, he has some sort of cloth over his face. Is there any significance to this or is it just a weird character trait?


Chosen answer: Its because he deems himself as ugly (as a result of the abuse of his grandma) which why when he kills he smashes all the mirrors in the houses.


Question: Why did Brett Ratner bother making this film if, essentially, it's just a scene-for-scene remake of "Manhunter"?

Cubs Fan Premium member

Chosen answer: First, it's not a scene by scene remake - they didn't even use the same script. Secondly, the first movie was made with low production values, the star at the time had only been a bit player in a couple of movies. Since the movie of the second novel was a huge hit in 91, the third novel a hit in 01, plans for a remake of the first novel were probably put into motion before William Petersen made it big on CSI, which didn't even start until late in 2000. And let's face it, everybody wanted to see Anthony Hopkins as Hannibal again.


Question: When it's discovered that Dolarhyde and Lecter have been secretly communicating with each other, a letter that was intercepted from Lecter was for Graham's house address. Since the FBI was able to retrieve the letter before it got to Dolarhyde, then how did he find out where Graham lived?

Answer: Lecter and Dolarhyde were communicating via coded classified advertisements in the newspaper, not by letters. The FBI managed to decode the content of the message, but because it was published in the newspaper, they could not prevent Dolarhyde from seeing it.

Sierra1 Premium member

Answer: To answer the second part of your question. He found out how Graham lived by telephoning the fbi agency and reaching Crawford's assistant and pretending to be someone important who needed to send Graham something at his home address. (This is from the book).

Question: In Brooklyn, why does Francis Dolarhyde eat the Blake painting? I've watched the movie twice, and I still don't understand that scene.

Cubs Fan

Chosen answer: Dolarhyde thinks that by eating the painting, he can destroy the Red Dragon from inside of him. He is trying to stop the monster/killer side of his personality because he wants to lead a normal life with Reba.


Question: When Will mentions that Lecter was given sodium amytal in hopes of finding the location of a student that Lecter killed, Lecter instead gave them a recipe for dip. How was Lecter able to lie? Wouldn't giving him the amytal have made him tell the FBI where the student was?

Answer: So-called "truth serums" don't actually work like you think they do. They are super unreliable. Sure, they can sometimes make subjects more open and willing to talk... but just as often (if not more so), they can make the subjects super suggestible, which can lead to things like false memories, altered memories, and even false confessions. Or they can simply have no effect on the subject whatsoever besides making them a little high and groggy. There's a reason they typically aren't used and aren't always trusted. It's possible that Lecter either wasn't affected by the drug, or was simply able to keep a sound-enough mind to not divulge information. Of course, there's also the chance that Lecter hid the relevant information in the recipe... as he likes to hide information out in the open, disguised as other things... (Which he did several times in "The Silence of the Lambs").


Question: What exactly is the reason Dolarhyde is killing people?

Answer: By killing people, he believes he is "changing" them for the better, and that his use of such power will aid his transformation into the Great Red Dragon.

Sierra1 Premium member

But why is he killing them? Is it because he sees a happy family and he's angry that he'll never have that life or is it some other reason?

As a child, his grandmother abused him, namely in front of the "Great Red Dragon" painting she owned in her home. He developed a split personality, the eponymous Dragon, as a result, who is the epitome of everything his grandmother said he wasn't. The Dragon personality demands that he kill people for his transformation to complete. Essentially he has no control and kills because of his mental illness.

Question: How did Hannibal know about the Tooth Fairy in the first place? He was already locked up and I don't think he is allowed newspapers or magazines.

Answer: I believe it's explained a little more in the book. They've been communicating with each other covertly; the Tooth Fairy has been sending him messages written on toilet paper, a stationery chosen because it dissolves quickly should Hannibal need to destroy it, and he instructs Hannibal to send his replies via the personal ads in the National Tattler. While Hannibal may not have access to a newspaper, he is allowed access to a telephone, in order to speak with his lawyer; he could phone his message to the Tattler and, because he's speaking in a code only the Tooth Fairy knows, no one would be the wiser.

Cubs Fan Premium member

Answer: Hannibal is allowed access to newspapers. Silence of the Lambs directly addresses this, with him being aware of Buffalo Bill's nickname but not the reason why he is named as such, since the "papers won't say." Presumably he is aware of the Tooth Fairy because of the papers.

Question: What happened to Special Agent Starling and why isn't she in Red Dragon? And how come the new agent didn't know who Hannibal Lecter is (recognition), when nearly the whole of America (let alone the FBI) had heard/seen at least a picture of him?

Answer: Red Dragon is a prequel to Silence of the Lambs. The events took place while Clarice Starling was still at the FBI academy. At the very end of the film, Chilton tells Lecter that a woman (Starling) from the FBI wants to meet with him. Also, when Special Agent Will Graham first met Dr. Hanibal Lecter while investigating another case, Lecter had not yet been convicted of any crime. Therefore, no one knew him to be anything other than a noted psychiatrist.

raywest Premium member

Question: When Hannibal is in his exercise cell talking to Will he speaks a few lines in a different accent. Why does he do this?

Answer: It's not unusual for someone to do this to emphasize a particular point, to be sarcastic, or just show off. Lecture was a master manipulator and loved being the center of attention. By slipping into an accent for a few sentences, he jars the listener’s attention.

raywest Premium member

Question: How was Lecter able to send the message "Dear Pilgrim" published in the Tattler if he was in his cell?

Answer: We see him use the phone in the film, claiming he's talking to his lawyer. That's likely how he did it.

Question: What was it that Dolarhyde thought Reba had found at his house? He woke in bed to find her gone, then sort of panicked, going upstairs to his vault where he kept his journal. I never understood what he thought she had found - and how could she? She was blind and couldn't have read his journal, if that is what he thought she had found.

Answer: The fact that Will was at his workplace gives way to at least a general suspicion, so naturally the first thing you investigate is the woman who had been in your house. While it would be unreasonable to think Reba would discover his identity or intentionally give him away, he had to at least be sure she did not frivolously take a souvenir.

Answer: Dollarhyde was insane, so there was nothing rational about his thoughts or actions. In his alter-ego state, he is hallucinating that Reba may have found his journal, regardless of her being blind.

Thanks for your answer. I found it strange that his line of reasoning, even if insane, did not really inform the audience just what he was so specifically upset about. Good movie, but thoroughly disturbing.

Continuity mistake: When we first see Will Graham investigating the Jacobi household it is night time, yet once he is inside and heading up the stairs, the window behind him clearly shows daylight.

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Trivia: During the scene when Dolarhyde takes Reba to the zoo, the tiger she pets is not sedated. Because of the humane society they could not sedate the tiger. Instead the trainer is to the left just out of the shot keeping the tiger calm.

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