Saturday, November 21, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 46: Molly is deceiving Will

CATEGORY: MOVIES     [Hidden plot related]

In part 43 of the analysis, the possibility was raised that Molly is not Kevin's natural mother, the reasoning being that if her hair is naturally curly, then she cannot have a straight-haired child (Kevin has straight hair). However, note that she and Kevin have a fairly strong facial resemblance (see above screencaps). What must be the case is that Molly's hair is not naturally curly, and that she is Kevin's natural mother. The reason she's been keeping her hair curly is because she doesn't want Will to know that she is Kevin's natural mom. It is when she is around Will that her hair is more curly; during time periods that Will is away, she 'let's her hair go', i.e., she does not keep curling it. The reason there's a pin holding her hair in back when she and Kevin have first been relocated, is because she has been rushed to the new location from the Graham home in Captiva, and thus, she did not have time to re-curl all of her hair. Recall that we already determined she was hoping to see Bloom when she answered her door in Captiva; he knows that she doesn't have naturally curly hair.

Above left and right: These two screencaps from the scene in Captiva at the beginning of the movie, show that when Will is around, Molly keeps her hair quite curly (click to enlarge).

Above left and right: Later in the movie, Molly has been expecting Sidney Bloom to arrive in Captiva, and since Will has been away, she hasn't been keeping her hair curled.

Above left and right: Not much later than the above, upon being relocated from Captiva, Molly is still trying to lead Will to believe that her hair is naturally curly. However, she has only had short notice prior to the relocation, so she has only had time to re-curl the front part of her hair, which is why she has it pinned in back and tied in a makeshift ponytail.

Above left and right: Later, while conversing with Will on a dock at the new location, Molly has now let her hair go in the presence of Will. She is no longer trying to fool him - she has admitted to him that she is Kevin's natural mother. The reason this is an important admission is bound up with another fact that Molly admitted to Will at the new residence - a fact which Will already knew prior to her admission; this fact and how Will came to know it, is soon to be discussed.


Friday, November 20, 2009

Table of Contents to the Manhunter analysis


There is a button that links to this table of contents, at the bottom of each post in the analysis. The parts of the analysis having to do with the hidden plot, are denoted below by use of '(HP)' next to the part number.

part 1 (HP) - Introduction to the analysis; suggestions that Graham is 'like' the killer, Dollarhyde
part 2 (HP) - There is a killer within Graham
part 3 - Speech peculiarities of some of the characters
part 4 (HP) - Problems with the FBI analysis on the tissue note hair sample
part 5 (HP) - Problems with the teeth cast and the bite marks
part 6 - A sign of Graham's wounded psyche
part 7 (HP) - Graham's visit with Hannibal Lecktor, and the events surrounding it
part 8 (HP) - Lecktor wrote the top portion of the tissue note; details on the preparation of the note
part 9 (HP) - Dr. Dominick Princi is involved in a deception
part 10 (HP) - A detailed discussion of the contents of the toilet tissue note

part 11 (HP) - Continuation of the discussion about the tissue note
part 12 (HP) - Graham is manipulated into going to Florida
part 13 - Discussion of the book code; reference is made to the biblical book of Revelation
part 14 - General discussion of the biblical book of Revelation
part 15 - William Blake's Great Red Dragon paintings; the biblical book of Revelation, chapter 12
part 16 - Contrapasso in the movie
part 17 - The Whore of Babylon and the Beast of Revelation
part 18 (HP) - Graham's family is relocated; Reba sleeps with Dollarhyde
part 19 - Using St. Augustine's City of God to interpret Manhunter; Augustine on Babylon
part 20 - General discussion of St. Augustine's City of God

part 21 (HP) - Graham's phone conversation with Lecktor; Lecktor's mention of bodily organs
part 22 - Man as a microcosm of the universe
part 23 - St. John of Patmos, author of the book of Revelation
part 24 (HP) - John the Baptist, 'forerunner' of Jesus
part 25 - Augustine on the Platonists; relationship to John the Baptist
part 26 (HP) - More on Lecktor's manipulation of Graham: Will is to desire to have the power of God
part 27 - References to randomness and games of chance in the movie
part 28 - More on speech in the movie
part 29(HP) - Lecktor's call to Dr. Bloom's office
part 30 (HP) - Lecktor and Dr. Bloom are working together, against Will

part 31 (HP) - Molly and Dr. Bloom are having an affair; Bloom is being set up by Lecktor
part 32 - St. Augustine on friends and family as foes
part 33 - Another reference to games of chance in the movie
part 34 - The Tower of Babel
part 35 - The biblical book of Jeremiah
part 36 - A couple of miscellaneous observations about the film - references to water
part 37 (HP) - Graham's revelation on how Dollarhyde selects his victims
part 38 (HP) - The reason no one bothered to match the tissue bite marks with the teeth cast
part 39 (HP) - Molly's name is a reference to the character 'Molly Bloom' in James Joyce's Ulysses
part 40 (HP) - How Lecktor's manipulation of Graham is to prevent the second coming of Christ

part 41 (HP) - The underlying connection between Graham and Dollarhyde
part 42 - Francis comes to despise Reba after sleeping with her
part 43 (HP) - Attempting to determine Kevin's true parentage
part 44 (HP) - Molly was previously married to Dr. Bloom, and she is trying to get him to come back to her
part 45 - More references to water in the movie; all of the references to water in the film, are references to the three days and nights the biblical prophet Jonah spent inside the belly of a whale.
part 46 (HP) - Molly is Kevin's natural mother, and she is hiding this fact from Will
part 47 (HP) - The Ulysses reference is a hint that there is incest occurring in Manhunter
part 48 (HP) - Beverly Katz, the woman who did the hair analysis, is involved in the deception of Graham
part 49 (HP) - Molly has committed incest with her own son
part 50 - More miscellaneous observations about the movie

part 51 - Jonah and Ninevah
part 52 - Uses of the number three (3) in the movie, are references to the three days and nights Jonah spent inside the whale's belly
part 53 - Augustine explains to us why Dollarhyde has a good, or at least a sensitive, side to him
part 54 (HP) - The source of the tissue note hair is determined
part 55 - Various lampshades in the movie suggest the idea of an 'alien presence'
part 56 (HP) - Graham and Dollarhyde are both trying to become 'the light'
part 57 (HP) - Dr. Bloom and Molly are half-siblings; the doctor represents Dionysus, and Molly represents Aphrodite
part 58 (HP) - Will finds out about the incest taking place between Molly and Kevin
part 59 - More on planets and bodily organs; Dollarhyde represents the Greek god Ares, and Lecktor represents Hermes
part 60 (HP) - Etymology of the name 'Jack' - Crawford represents John the Baptist

part 61 - Augustine on Jonah
part 62 - Mentions of the number six (6) in the movie are references to the six ages of the world
part 63 - The Leeds murders were committed during the 'harvest moon'; the 'blood moon' occurs one month later
part 64 (HP) - The metaphorical relationship between Graham, Katz, and Lecktor (the Melchizedek allegory)
part 65 (HP) - Lecktor as a 'false doctor'
part 66 - Augustine on the idea of cyclically reoccurring events
part 67 - Psychopomps; 'mediation' between Graham's unconscious and conscious
part 68 (HP) - Washington, D.C. represents the ancient Egyptian city of Heliopolis
part 69 - Reba represents Rhea Sylvia; confirmation of the fact that Reba has been impregnated by Dollarhyde
part 70 (HP) - The relationship between Beverly Katz and Brian Zeller

part 71 - Augustine: Of the genealogy of Shem, in whose line the city of God is preserved until the time of Abraham
part 72 - Augustine on Shem and Japheth
part 73 - Will Graham represents the Greek god Adonis
part 74 (HP) - Jimmy Price is involved in the deception of Graham; Dollarhyde represents the Freemasons
part 75 (HP) - Lloyd Bowman is involved in the deception of Graham
part 76 (HP) - Apprehending Dollarhyde; summary of the hidden plot
part 77 - Dollarhyde represents the biblical giant, Nimrod; the clash between Nimrod and Abraham
part 78 (HP) - Francis Dollarhyde also represents a marionette, being controlled by a Satanic force
part 79 (HP) - The ultimate underlying message of Manhunter
part 80 (HP) - The film's ultimate underlying message (cont'd)
part 81 - Comparison with the Red Dragon film; more on the Blake paintings

UPDATE: The 'unified analysis' of the Lecter series of movies contains some more posts for Manhunter

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 45: More references to water in the movie


In part 36 of the analysis, two references to water in Manhunter were mentioned. Below are listed some additional references to water in the film.

The Graham home in Captiva, Florida is situated on the beach.

Will has a dream of working on a boat, while he is on the flight to Birmingham.

Mrs. Sherman of the Sherman family, Dollarhyde's intended third victim family, is sitting next to a pool (in the home video Dollarhyde is watching).

It is sprinkling and foggy outside while the authorities are driving to Dollarhyde's house.

The aquarium in the Graham home, is another reference to water.

All of these references to water are references to the three days and nights the biblical prophet Jonah spent, in the belly of a whale. The significance of Jonah for our movie, will be gone into in more detail later in the analysis.


Monday, November 16, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 44: Molly was once married to Dr. Bloom

CATEGORY: MOVIES     [Hidden plot related]

There is a passage in the biblical book of Jeremiah, which ties together the recent posts on the 'love triangle' consisting of Will, Molly, and Dr. Bloom. The passage falls under the heading, "Unfaithful Israel":

1. "If a man divorces his wife and she goes from him and becomes another man's wife, will he return to her? Would not that land be greatly polluted? You have played the whore with many lovers; and would you return to me? declares the LORD. [Jeremiah 3:1, English Standard Version]

Here, God is speaking to Israel, who has committed whoredom by committing idolatry. If we take Dr. Bloom to be the "man" and Will to be the 'other man' ("another man's..."), and "you" to be Molly, then this verse is in line with her having previously been married to Bloom, an idea which was suggested in part 39 of the analysis. Ultimately, Bloom does not return to Molly, as signified by the fact that he doesn't show up to protect her at her home on the night Will heads there (after hearing the translated book code). As we've said, the doctor suspects he may be being set up by Lecktor, to be killed should he go to Captiva; the point here is that he betrays Molly, and once he does this, the implication is that he will never return to her.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 43: Attempting to determine Kevin's true parentage

CATEGORY: MOVIES     [Hidden plot related]

In part 39 of the analysis, uncertainty over who Kevin's biological father is arose. In the audio commentary on the "Director's Cut" version of the Manhunter DVD, director and screenwriter Michael Mann states that he departed from the source novel for his movie, Thomas Harris's Red Dragon, in that he made Kevin Will's natural son. Let's see if we can determine more about what's actually happening with regard to Molly's infidelity, Kevin's upbringing, etc.

Note that Molly has curly hair, Will has wavy hair, and Kevin's hair is straight. One question that arises with regard to this, is whether a curly-haired parent (Molly) can have a child with straight hair (i.e, Kevin). To answer this, let us look at some genetics regarding hair type: [a] If we let the letter 'C' represent a gene for curliness, then Molly must have 'CC' - a curly gene from each of her parents - in order to have curly hair. If we let 's' stand for a straight hair gene, then Will has 'Cs' in order to have his wavy hair, and Kevin has 'ss' for straight hair. For Kevin to have 'ss', he must inherit an 's' from each parent, but this is not possible, because Molly is a 'CC'. If Kevin was the biological son of both Molly and Will, he would have either curly (CC) or wavy (Cs) hair, but he has neither. Therefore, we see that either Molly cannot be Kevin's biological mother, or that her hair is not naturally curly (i.e., she curls it herself).

The larger picture here is that prior to the point in time being depicted at the film's beginning, there has been a situation, a 'chain' of events and relationships, involving Kevin, Will, Molly, and Dr. Bloom, and possibly other persons, and that right from the movie's beginning, the audience is being 'dropped into' these ongoing events. It is incumbent upon the audience to figure out what prior situation existed, in order to fully understand what is going on in the movie.

a. Stanford University, The Tech Museum of Innovation, "Understanding Genetics". 1994. URL =


Friday, November 13, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 42: Francis comes to despise Reba


It is not difficult to see how Reba is portrayed as both a virgin and a 'whore' in the movie. When Dollarhyde offers to give her a ride home from work, with a "surprise" on the way (this turns out to be the tiger visit), she refuses several times, then relents. This can be interpreted as a promiscuous woman 'playing hard to get', but not being afraid to ride with a strange man, as if she has done so before (i.e., with other men besides Dollarhyde); or, it can be interpreted as the 'innocence' of a virgin, of someone not experienced in dating - she naively fails to consider that riding with a stranger could be dangerous.

Above left and right: Once Reba has been in Dollarhyde's house for a while, the 'whore' within her may seem to take over, but even her initiation of the sexual interaction between them could be seen as part of the first love-making experience of an innocent woman - she does not consider it improper to seduce him.

Dollarhyde later comes to see Reba as a whore, due to the fact that he misinterprets her interaction with another man (Ralph Mandy) as having sexual overtones, as shown in the below screencaps.

Top left: Francis, who has been waiting outside Reba's house without her knowing it, is initially excited upon seeing her arrive home. He begins to get out of his van to greet her, but then notices that she is with Ralph Mandy. Top right: Mandy removes a piece of something from Reba's cheek. Above left: This is how Francis interprets the interaction between Mandy and Reba. Above right: Francis's anguished reaction at what he thinks he has seen.

Dollarhyde's reaction to seeing Reba with Mandy, is to kidnap her and hold her in his house, where, as shown in the below screencap, he stands over her menacingly as if about to kill her.

Francis standing over Reba near the movie's ending.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 41: Graham and Dollarhyde are both 'becoming'

CATEGORY: MOVIES     [Hidden plot related]

It has already been observed that Jesus is to come through Will - due to Lecktor's encouragement to do as God does (kill), Will is to believe that he can become Christ. Dollarhyde himself is also trying to become something - he tells Lounds that he (Lounds) is "privy to a great becoming": what he believes he is becoming is the biblical book of Revelation's red dragon, whom as we've said, represents Satan. Basically, Dollarhyde is trying to 'out-Lecktor' Hannibal Lecktor, who is a personification of Satan.

The idea of becoming, is the underlying connection between Will Graham and Francis Dollarhyde. The toilet tissue note is directed at Graham, but the audience initially sees it as having applicability to Dollarhyde. It says, "I know that you [Dr. Lecktor] alone can understand what I am becoming. You alone know the people I use to help me in these things are only elements undergoing change to fuel the radiance of what I am becoming, just as the source of light is burning." Will "knows" that the note really expresses his own thoughts; "radiance" and "source of light" are references to Jesus, i.e., God through Jesus. Thus we see that when Graham confronts and defeats Dollarhyde, not only has he defeated the killer within himself, but his own becoming has been defeated, a fact which is indicative of the defeat of the second coming of Christ.


Manhunter analysis - part 40: Lecktor is to prevent Christ's second coming

CATEGORY: MOVIES     [Hidden plot related]

We already know that one reason Lecktor wants to do away with Will Graham is to get revenge for the fact that Will was responsible for his capture and imprisonment. However, there is also an 'allegorical' reason Lecktor wants to defeat Will, which is much more important than just getting some form of revenge. Recall from part 26 that Lecktor has not only set up things up within Will's unconscious so that Will is to believe he can acquire the power of God, i.e., so that he can become the Light, Jesus, but that Will is also to associate this power with the ability to kill. By doing all of this, Lecktor is attempting to prevent Christ's second coming.

The biblical book of 2 Thessalonians tells us that the second coming of the Lord (Jesus) will be preceded by the rising up of a "man of lawlessness." 2 Thessalonians 2 reads,[a]

[The day of the Lord] will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God...the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming. The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan...

Hannibal Lecktor is a personification of Satan. St. Augustine, in City of God Book 20, chapter 19, identifies this "lawless one" as the Antichrist:

No one can doubt that [this was written of] Antichrist and of the day of judgment, which he here calls the day of the Lord, nor that he declared that this day should not come unless he first came who is called the apostate - apostate, to wit, from the Lord God. And if this may justly be said of all the ungodly, how much more of him? But it is uncertain in what temple he shall sit, whether in that ruin of the temple that was built by Solomon, or in the Church; for the apostle [St. Paul] would not call the temple of any idol or demon the temple of God.

What Lecktor has done is not only manipulated Graham's unconscious, but 'set up' a situation within it: If Will loses the final confrontation with Dollarhyde, then he will not be around for Jesus to come through him. But Dollarhyde represents the killer within Will, and if Will defeats him, he will have defeated the killer within himself, and thus can no longer do as God does (i.e., he cannot kill), so he cannot become the Light. Either way, Lecktor wins. Once Hannibal's plan to have Will murder his own family fails to be realized, he hopes that Dollarhyde will defeat Will, but even failing that, Will will still not be able to become Jesus, or more correctly, Jesus will not have come through Will. Hannibal Lecktor will have defeated the second coming of Christ, and will therefore not have to worry about Christ being an impediment to whatever future plans he has in mind as a personification of Satan.

a. 2 Thessalonians is St. Paul's second letter to the people of Thessalonica.

City of God (Dods)


Monday, November 9, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 39: Reference to James Joyce's 'Ulysses'

CATEGORY: MOVIES     [Hidden plot related]

Kevin and Will shop for groceries. Kevin isn't sure what kind of coffee his dad likes, but he is certain as to what kind his mother drinks (it turns out Will and Molly like the same brand).

Let us consider the grocery store scene in Captiva, in which Will and Kevin are conversing. Going by the contents of the conversation, this is the first time Will has ever told Kevin very much, if anything at all, about his having been a patient in the mental ward of a hospital (due to his confrontation with Lecktor). Also, it is evident in this scene that Kevin knows what kind of coffee his mother drinks, but he is not sure what Will's preferred brand is (as indicated above). We would expect that Kevin, whose physical appearance places him at about 13 years old, would have a greater knowledge of Will than he seems to, if he had known and lived with Will for a very lengthy period of time. The point is that Will must not have been Kevin's only father figure during his lifetime - at some earlier point in Kevin's life, he was being raised by a different man.

Concerning the name Molly, this name was used by James Joyce in his 1920 novel Ulysses , where it belongs to Molly Bloom. The wife of main character Leopold Bloom, she roughly corresponds to Penelope in the Odyssey. The major difference between Molly and Penelope is that while Penelope is eternally faithful, Molly is not, having an affair with Hugh 'Blazes' Boylan after ten years of her celibacy within the marriage. [a]

Application of Ulysses' Molly Bloom character (i.e., of the Bloom surname itself, and her infidelity) to our film, would indicate that Molly had previously been married to Dr. Bloom, and that during this marriage, she cheated on the doctor with Will. Dr. Bloom himself is the man who raised Kevin earlier in his life, before Will began raising him. The issue as to which man is Kevin's biological father, will be discussed later.

a. Wikipedia, 'Molly Bloom'. Web, n.d. URL =


Saturday, November 7, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 38: More on the teeth cast and bite marks

CATEGORY: MOVIES     [Hidden plot related]

This post will serve as an explanation on the issue of why the FBI never got around to trying to match the bite marks in the toilet tissue note found in Lecktor's cell, with the cast of the Tooth Fairy's teeth.

During the Atlanta police meeting, while Princi is lecturing on the teeth cast (above left) obtained from impressions of the bite marks found on Mrs. Leeds and Mrs. Jacobi, Crawford and Graham are at the back of the room (above right), at a distance from the lecturer (and so cannot see the individual teeth in the cast), and Will is looking down, indicating that he's not paying attention to the lecture.

Crawford was paying attention at the lecture, but he never comes to know about the bite marks: While Chilton is reading the note to Graham and Crawford over the phone, at the exact moment when he mentions the marks, Crawford has already started to rise from his desk and has moved the receiver away from his ear, so he doesn't hear this part of Chilton's description of the note.

Jack Crawford has moved the phone away from his ear and started to rise from his desk, before Dr. Chilton, who is on the other end of the phone, mentions that there are teeth marks pressed into the bottom portion of the tissue note found in Lecktor's cell. Thus, Crawford does not hear this part of what Chilton says.

At the time the note is received for analysis in Washington, our situation is this: Graham knows there are teeth marks in the note, but he doesn't know anything about the cast; and Crawford knows about the cast, but he does not know about the marks in the note. While each of the lab personnel is doing his or her own special analysis on the note, such as for fingerprints, etc., the bite marks appear to be just part of the texture of the paper: recall that while the fingerprint man, Jimmy Price, is studying the note, he at one point says, "Those aren't ridges, it's just the texture of the paper." What he is ostensibly referring to is the lack of fingerprint ridges, although he does find one smudge on the note which appears to be a fingerprint, while viewing the note through his magnifying glass; but the point here is that he makes his statement about ridges on the paper to try and make things appear such that the teeth marks appear to be part of the texture of the tissue. The implication of what he says about the texture is that the tissue is a little 'rough', i.e., it has random high and low spots on it. Therefore, Crawford still doesn't pick up on the fact that there are teeth marks in the note, even though he's looking over Price's shoulder during Price's analysis of the note. Later in the analysis, we will explore in greater detail the fingerprint analysis done on the note.

Crawford and Graham look on while Jimmy Price, the fingerprint man, begins to look at the tissue note.

After the note has undergone extensive lab analyses, a meeting takes place among the investigators and other FBI personnel during which there is discussion about the lab results. Also, an attempt is made to decipher Lecktor's coded 'response' to the Tooth Fairy, which has come through during the meeting and is read to the investigators. Then after this group discussion scene, we are shown Graham and Doctor Bloom talking to each other (shown in the screencap at left), while standing in a corridor along one wall of which are mounted enlarged copies of portions of the tissue note. In one of these portions, we see the part of the note that has the bite marks in it (the portion between Graham and Bloom in the screencap). Graham and Bloom are standing by this portion of the enlarged note, talking, and after a short time, Crawford walks up and joins the discussion. Crawford had been paying attention during the Atlanta lecture (though as stated above, he was seated at a distance from the lecturer and the cast), but unfortunately, at the moment he walks up, Graham moves his own body in such a way as to block Crawford from seeing the portion of the note that has the teeth marks in it.

Above left: Graham conversing with Dr. Bloom near enlarged displays of portions of the Tooth Fairy's note. Note that Jack Crawford is approaching (at far right - click image to enlarge). Above right: By the time Crawford has walked up, Graham has pivoted his body in such a way so that Crawford's view of the enlarged portion of the note containing the teeth marks, is blocked. Crawford tells Bloom and Graham that the book code was found not to be a match for any of the books in Lecktor's cell, and that the investigators are not going to be able to identify the Tooth Fairy based on the fingerprint from Mrs. Leeds' body, because there is no matching print in the FBI fingerprint index.

Ultimately, it is effectively the case that neither Graham nor Crawford knows about both the cast and the marks, so no one has any reason to believe that any kind of test for a match between cast and note need be performed.


Friday, November 6, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 37: Graham's revelation

CATEGORY: MOVIES     [Hidden plot related]

Top left: Graham is at a standstill in trying to figure out how the Tooth Fairy selects his victims. Top right: He and Crawford have an argument. Above left: The argument gets Will wound up, and then he has an important insight: the Jacobis' home movies show that a door in their house uses a padlock (click image to enlarge). This leads Will to gradually realize that the killer has seen these same home movies. Above right: Crawford looks over at Will in amazement at Will's ability to experience flashes of deep insight.

Let us discuss the Graham 'revelation' scene. Graham is viewing the victim families' home videos once again in a final attempt to find out how the Tooth Fairy selects his victims, before the killer strikes again (there is only a very short amount of time remaining until the next full moon occurs; the Tooth Fairy has been operating on a lunar cycle). Graham tells Crawford that the killer dreams about being wanted and desired, so he changes people into beings who want and desire him. Will mentions that Lecktor had told him that "If one does what God does enough times, one will become as God is." Graham then says to Crawford, "You put it together, you get: If our boy imitates being wanted and desired enough times, he believes he will become one who is wanted and desired and accepted. It'll all come true."

Graham tells Crawford that the Tooth Fairy did not pick his victims randomly: "Jack, all the women have a bloom on them. He didn't win them in a lottery - he picked these women! There's selection and design in his choices."

Next, after having a heated argument with Crawford, Will goes back to watching the Jacobi home movies, and he spots padlock fixtures on a door in the family's house. Will then realizes that since the Tooth Fairy had brought a bolt cutter with him on the night he murdered the Jacobis, he had expected there to be a padlock on the door, whereas there was a deadbolt on the same door on the night of the murders. A few moments later, after looking over some case papers, Graham switches to watching the Leeds home movies, and realizes the killer knew to bring a glass cutter to break into the Leeds house on the night of the murders, even though he couldn't have seen the glass in the Leeds' kitchen door from the street, while casing out the house prior to the murders, because the Leeds' house had a tall fence that would have blocked Dollarhyde's view of the glass. Will makes a quick phone call to the FBI, then he goes back to watching the home movies again, and gradually has a series of realizations that the Tooth Fairy has seen the very home movies that he (Will) is currently watching. A few moments later, while Crawford is on the phone relaying information about the home movie film can labels to Will (the cans have been kept in FBI storage), Will goes into a mode whereby he knows what each next step in the checking of the cans will reveal: he 'knows' that photo stores send out cans for development; he 'knows' the label on one of the cans, under the label that says "Bob's Photo Store, Birmingham" will say, "Gateway Labs, St. Louis, Missouri." It becomes evident that the killer works at Gateway Labs.


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 36: Miscellaneous observations


This post consists of a list of a couple of miscellaneous observations on the film.

1. The Graham home is in Captiva, Florida - the city's name is similar to the word 'captive'. This name thus symbolizes the idea that Molly and Kevin are, in a sense, 'captives' of the killer within Will.

2. There are references to water in the movie: during the scene in the Jacobis' back yard, the music playing is the song Evaporation (by the band Shriekback); later, another song by the same band, Coelocanth, plays during the tiger scene. A coelocanth is a prehistoric fish. Later in the analysis, we will see that there are references to water in the film in addition to the two mentioned here.

Above left: Graham in the Jacobis' back yard. Above right: The tiger scene.


Manhunter analysis - part 35: The biblical book of Jeremiah


We will soon be using the biblical book of Jeremiah to help analyze Manhunter. The topic of the book of Jeremiah is the siege of Jerusalem by the nation of Babylon, and the prophesying of Israel's 're-creation'.

The prophet Jeremiah tried to convince the people of Israel to give up their idolatry; he warned them that if they did not do so, they would face invasion by Babylon. Jeremiah prophesied that subsequent to invasion and defeat by the Babylonians, after a period of time had passed, God would have those Israelites who were in exile in Babylon return to their homeland and rebuild it: "Again I will build you, and you shall be built, O virgin Israel!" [31:4]. Individual retribution [31:27-30] and a new covenant [31:31-37] are prophesied in the book of Jeremiah; the verses on individual retribution are quoted below:

Individual Retribution
The days are surely coming, says the Lord, when I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of humans and the seed of animals. And just as I have watched over them to pluck up and break down, to overthrow, destroy, and bring evil, so I will watch over them to build and to plant, says the Lord. In those days they shall no longer say, "The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children's teeth have been set on edge." But all shall die for their own sins; the teeth of everyone who eats sour grapes shall be set on edge.


Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 34: The Tower of Babel


Above: Tower of Babel, by Lucas van Valckenborch, 1594, Louvre Museum. [Image from the Wikipedia 'Tower of Babel' page, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons.]

In part 19 of the analysis, in which was discussed the topic of Saint Augustine on Babylon, we quoted from Book 16, chapter 4 of City of God ("Of the diversity of languages, and of the founding of Babylon"). In the part of the passage in which Augustine quotes from Genesis 11, it is said that Noah's descendants planned to build a certain tower. This tower is called the Tower of Babel, and in the below, we expound on the information given regarding it in part 19.

According to the book of Genesis, the Tower of Babel was an enormous structure built at the city of Babylon (Hebrew: Babel), a cosmopolitan city typified by a confusion of languages, also called the 'beginning' of Nimrod's kingdom. According to the biblical account, a united humanity of the generations following the Great Flood, speaking a single language and migrating from the east, participated in the building. The people decided their city should have a tower so immense that it would have 'its top in the heavens.'

However, the Tower of Babel was not built for the worship and praise of God, but was instead dedicated to the glory of man, to 'make a name' for the builders: "Then they said, 'Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.'" (Genesis 11:4). Some believe that a vengeful God, seeing what the people were doing, came down and confused their languages and scattered the people throughout the Earth.[a]

a. Wikipedia, 'Tower of Babel'. Web, n.d. URL =


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 33: Another reference to games of chance


Above left: The images on Dollarhyde's TV set are 'rolling over', due to the vertical hold being out of adjustment. Above right: A slot machine in action. [Image: Slot Machine, by Jeff Kubina from the milky way galaxy, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0 via Wikimedia Commons.]

In part 27 of the analysis, we went into a fair amount of detail on references to randomness and games of chance in Manhunter. Yet another reference to games of chance is made in a scene in Dollarhyde's house, in which the image showing on his TV set's screen looks like it's composed of several identical columns consisting of smaller images, and the entire screen image is 'flipping over' rapidly in the upward (vertical) direction, presumably due to the 'vertical hold' adjustment of the TV not being set properly; all these columns 'rolling over' continuously are reminiscent of a slot machine in action, as shown in the above screencaps.


Monday, November 2, 2009

Manhunter analysis - part 32: St. Augustine on friends and family as foes


In recent parts of the analysis, we have been discussing the traitorous behavior of some of the characters toward Will Graham, for example Molly, as his wife, and Sidney Bloom, as a supposed friend. Saint Augustine has something to say about unfaithfulness in his City of God.

First, from Book 19, chapter 5:

Who ought to be, or who are more friendly than those who live in the same family? And yet who can rely even upon this friendship, seeing that secret treachery has often broken it up, and produced enmity as bitter as the amity was sweet, or seemed sweet by the most perfect dissimulation? It is on this account that the words of Cicero so move the heart of every one, and provoke a sigh: “There are no snares more dangerous than those which lurk under the guise of duty or the name of relationship. For the man who is your declared foe you can easily baffle by precaution; but this hidden, intestine, and domestic danger not merely exists, but overwhelms you before you can foresee and examine it.” [In Verrem, 2.1.15]

It is also to this that allusion is made by the divine saying, “A man’s foes are those of his own household,”[Matt. 10:36] —words which one cannot hear without pain; for though a man have sufficient fortitude to endure it with equanimity, and sufficient sagacity to baffle the malice of a pretended friend, yet if he himself is a good man, he cannot but be greatly pained at the discovery of the perfidy of wicked men, whether they have always been wicked and merely feigned goodness, or have fallen from a better to a malicious disposition. (Cicero and bible citations inside square brackets in original).

Then, from Book 19, chapter 8:

In our present wretched condition we frequently mistake a friend for an enemy, and an enemy for a friend. And if we escape this pitiable blindness, is not the unfeigned confidence and mutual love of true and good friends our one solace in human society, filled as it is with misunderstandings and calamities? And yet the more friends we have, and the more widely they are scattered, the more numerous are our fears that some portion of the vast masses of the disasters of life may light upon them.

For we are not only anxious lest they suffer from famine, war, disease, captivity, or the inconceivable horrors of slavery, but we are also affected with the much more painful dread that their friendship may be changed into perfidy, malice, and injustice. And when these contingencies actually occur,—as they do the more frequently the more friends we have, and the more widely they are scattered,—and when they come to our knowledge, who but the man who has experienced it can tell with what pangs the heart is torn?

City of God (Dods)


Manhunter analysis - part 31: Dr. Bloom and Molly's affair; Bloom is being set up

CATEGORY: MOVIES     [Hidden plot related]

In part 30 of the analysis, we discussed the fact that Dr. Bloom is really not Will's friend, but is instead working with Lecktor to drive him 'over the edge' psychologically. Lecktor and Bloom, however, appear not to have the same ultimate goal in mind: while Lecktor is trying to manipulate Will into killing his own family (and then, presumably, be captured and imprisoned), Bloom simply wants Will out of the way. He doesn't know exactly what Lecktor has in mind, but he is willing to go along so long as he thinks it will serve his purpose. But then we must ask, why has Bloom turned on Graham - why would he want Will 'out of the picture'?

Here is what is actually happening: Molly and Bloom start having an affair while Will is in the hospital, recovering from his previous encounter with Lecktor. As the affair progresses, they decide they want Will out of the way.

In the beginning of the movie, after Crawford has approached Will asking for help with the Tooth Fairy case, Molly and Crawford are seen talking with each other in the Graham house (above left). At some point while they are conversing, Molly realizes that this might be an opportunity to have Will done away with, so she decides she wants him to take the assignment. Next, in the bedroom scene (above right), when Will asks her whether she would rather he take the assignment or not, she says, "I think you've already decided, and you're not really asking." She is actually saying this as a suggestion to Will - she is effectively suggesting to his unconscious that he go ahead take the assignment, which is what he wants to do anyway. (It is true that she next says she wants him to stay in Captiva with her, but this is only feigned concern).

Molly next tells Bloom that the opportunity has arisen to get rid of Will. When Bloom finds out from Lecktor about his plan for Will, Bloom realizes this is an opportunity to get some help getting Will out of the way. But, Bloom does not realize that Lecktor is ultimately to betray him: The part of the decoded book code message that says "kill them all" is a reference to Molly, Kevin, and...Bloom.

As stated in part 29, Lecktor intentionally made the call from his cell to Bloom's office, while Bloom was out of the office. But, Lecktor knew that Bloom would find out about the call anyway, the next time he came into work. The woman Lecktor talked to, the woman standing in for Bloom's secretary, mentioned the call to her, then she (Martha) mentioned it to Bloom. Therefore, Bloom knows that Lecktor has obtained Will's address.

One reason Bloom (shown at left) is so worried when Lecktor's 'ad' to the Tattler is read, during the investigators' meeting, is that he thinks Graham's address might be contained in the coded message (the one composed by Lecktor using the 'book code'). He wonders why Lecktor would want Will to hear his own address when the message is decoded, that is, he must wonder what type of response Lecktor is seeking from Will.

It turns out that what Lecktor really wants is for Bloom to conclude that the message does, in fact, contain Will's address, and to then conclude that Lecktor is manipulating Will to get him to go to his own home. And, as already described, this is precisely what Lecktor is doing.

Lecktor knows that Bloom will figure out that Molly may be in danger, if Will responds to the decoded ad by going to his own home. Lecktor is hoping that Bloom will respond by going there ahead of time to protect Molly. During the meeting, Bloom knows he must make a quick decision - that is why he looks so worried. He ultimately decides not to go to Florida and protect Molly - he betrays her.

Above left: We note that when Molly answers her door in Captiva, after being informed by Kevin of a noise outside, she looks around as if she is expecting someone in particular to be there. It is, in fact, Dr. Bloom that Molly is expecting to see, when she opens the door. Above right: Later, on the dock at the new location (the Grahams have now been relocated from Captiva), Molly seems very interested in what the status of the Tooth Fairy investigation is. She asks Will questions about it, because she's worried about what will happen next and what she should do, for she has been 'left hanging' by the doctor.


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Marcus Aurelius's Meditations - from Wikisource (except where otherwise noted); portions from Wikisource used on this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Saint Augustine's Confessions and City of God from Wikisource (except where otherwise noted); portions from Wikisource used on this blog are released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.

Saint Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologica from the 'Logos Virtual Library' website (except where otherwise noted), compiled and edited by Darren L. Slider; believed to be in public domain.