Hannibal poster
Directed by Ridley Scott
Produced by Ridley Scott
Dino De Laurentiis

Anthony Hopkins
Julianne Moore

Music by Hans Zimmer
Cinematography John Mathieson
Editing by Pietro Scalia
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release February 9, 2001
Running time 131 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $87 million
Gross revenue $351,692,268
Preceded by The Silence of the Lambs
Followed by Red Dragon

Hannibal is a 2001 American thriller film directed by Ridley Scott, adapted from Thomas Harris' novel of the same name. It is a sequel to the 1991 Academy Award-winning film The Silence of the Lambs that returns Anthony Hopkins to his iconic role as serial killer Hannibal Lecter. Julianne Moore co-stars, taking over for Jodie Foster in the role of U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation Agent Clarice Starling.

Set ten years after The Silence of the Lambs, the film revolves around Starling's attempts to apprehend Lecter before his surviving victim, Mason Verger (an unbilled Gary Oldman), captures and kills him. The film's locations alternate between Italy and the United States. The film's development drew a large amount of attention, with The Silence of the Lambs director Jonathan Demme, screenwriter Ted Tally and actress Jodie Foster all eventually declining involvement. Upon release, Hannibal broke box office records in the United States, Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom in February 2001.


Ten years after tracking down serial killer Jame Gumb, FBI Special Agent Clarice Starling (Moore) is unjustly blamed for a bungled drug raid. Starling and her connection to Hannibal Lecter (Hopkins) come to the attention of Lecter's only surviving victim, Mason Verger (Oldman), a wealthy child molester whom Lecter left horribly disfigured and paralyzed after having been assigned as Verger's court-appointed therapist.

Verger uses his immense wealth and political influence to have Starling reassigned to Lecter's case and meets with her in his mansion. Verger is pursuing an elaborate scheme to capture, torture, and kill Lecter, and hopes Starling's involvement will draw him out. Indeed, Lecter sends her a taunting letter after learning of her public disgrace. Though the letter contains no clue to Lecter's whereabouts, Starling detects a strange fragrance that a perfume expert later identifies as a skin cream whose ingredients are only available to a few shops in the world. She contacts the police departments of the cities where the shops are located, requesting surveillance tapes. One of the cities is Florence, where Chief Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi (Giannini) is investigating the disappearance of a library curator. Pazzi questions Lecter, who is masquerading as Dr. Fell, the assistant curator and now caretaker of the library.

Upon recognizing Dr. Fell in the surveillance tape, Pazzi accesses the ViCAP database of wanted fugitives. He learns of Verger's US$3 million reward to anyone turning Lecter over to him rather than to the FBI. Lured by Verger's bounty, Pazzi ignores Starling's warnings against trying to capture Lecter alone. He recruits a pickpocket to obtain a fingerprint of Lecter to show as proof of Lecter's whereabouts and thus collect the reward. Lecter mortally wounds the pickpocket, who nonetheless manages to get the print and provide it to Pazzi, who in turn contacts Verger. Lecter then baits Pazzi into an isolated room of the library, ties him up with electrical cords, and hangs and disembowels him, before escaping back to the United States.

Verger bribes Justice Department official Paul Krendler (Liotta) to accuse Starling of withholding a note from Lecter, leading to her suspension. Lecter lures Starling to Union Station but Verger's men, who have followed Starling, capture Lecter and transport him to Verger. When her superiors refuse to act, Starling, on her own initiative, infiltrates Verger's estate. Verger means to have Lecter eaten alive by a herd of wild boars bred specifically for this purpose. Starling intervenes to free Lecter but is herself wounded, and Lecter rescues her. Verger orders his private physician Cordell (Ivanek) to shoot Lecter, but Lecter persuades Cordell to throw his employer into the pen, where he is killed by the boars.

Lecter takes Starling to Krendler's secluded lake house and treats her wounds. When Krendler arrives for the Fourth of July, Lecter subdues and drugs him. Starling, disoriented by morphine and dressed in a black velvet cocktail dress, awakens to find Lecter cooking and Krendler in a wheelchair seated at the table set for an elegant dinner. Weakened by the drugs, she looks on in horror as Lecter removes the top of Krendler's skull, cuts out part of his prefrontal cortex, sautées it, and feeds Krendler his own brain.

After the meal, Starling tries to attack Lecter but he overpowers her. She manages to handcuff his wrist to hers, and with police incoming to the residence, Lecter brandishes a meat cleaver and severs his left hand to escape. Lecter is later seen on a flight with a boxed lunch on his pull-down table. As he prepares to eat his meal, including a small cooked portion of what is assumed to be Krendler's brain, a young boy seated next to him asks to try some of his food. Lecter lets the boy eat some of his lunch, telling him "it is important... to always try new things."


  • Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter
  • Julianne Moore as Clarice Starling
  • Gary Oldman as Mason Verger
  • Ray Liotta as Paul Krendler
  • Frankie Faison as Barney Matthews
  • Giancarlo Giannini as Chief Inspector Rinaldo Pazzi
  • Francesca Neri as Allegra Pazzi
  • Željko Ivanek as Dr. Cordell Doemling
  • Hazelle Goodman as Evelda Drumgo
  • David Andrews as FBI Agent Pearsall
  • Francis Guinan as FBI Asst. Director Noonan
  • James Opher as DEA Agent John Eldridge
  • Enrico Lo Verso as Gnocco
  • Ivano Marescotti as Carlo Deogracias
  • Danielle de Niese as Beatrice

External links

  • Hannibal at the Internet Movie Database

Hannibal Lecter Films vte
Films ManhunterThe Silence of the LambsHannibalRed DragonHannibal Rising
Characters Hannibal LecterWill GrahamClarice StarlingFrancis DolarhydeBuffalo BillFrederick ChiltonJack CrawfordFreddy LoundsMason Verger
Anthony Hopkins films

The Silence of the Lambs (1991)  · Thor (2011)  · Thor: The Dark World (2013)  ·

Gary Oldman films

Hannibal (2001)  ·

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