Hannibal (Hannibal Lecter, #3) Hannibal discussion


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The movie version ending, or movie vs. book

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message 1: by Midori (new)

Midori HELL I WAS SO PISSED WHEN I FINALLY SAW THE ENDING OF THAT BLASTED FILM!!! Starling was suppose to seduce Lecter(in her own way) and be whisked of to Argentina or wherever. *sigh* This saddens me. Lecter was also to call her Mischa, named after his dead sister.

Is it true that Thomas Harris was also the screenwriter for the film? Or was it just Hannibal Rising? Correct anything you want on this.


message 2: by Adornable (new)

Adornable  Midori, I totally agree with you that the movie took the ending on a left turn. I loved the idea of Starling ending up with him. I was totally disappointed that the director decided to appeal to the masses instead.



Rebecca Cira I totally agree with the both of you, I think the movie, which did well anyway, would have done ALOT better if the kept the original book ending in there.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

this book is so far superior to the movie. i hate when they feel they have to "hollywood" out the movie version, and soften it up, as if people couldn't handle what harris reallly wanted to portray.
anyway, this book is just great! we'll just forget they even made the film!


message 5: by Cassie (new) - added it

Cassie Shafer How can I forget they made the movie.I have Hannibal and Red Dragon.I never seen Hannibal the movie,but I'v seen Red Dragon the movie.Red Dragon SUCKED!!!!!


message 6: by Madeline (new)

Madeline I was totally weirded out by the ending of the book. I was expexting most of the book to run more a long the lines of the movie but the ending took a total one-eighty from what I expected. It almost doesn't seem true to Clarice's character to give into Lecter, and something about them together seems so wrong, twisted. But it was, on a certain level, very satisfying ;)


Jessie I had heard that the ending was suppose to be as it was in the book, but Jodie Foster either didn't agree that it should end that way because of moral standing, or it was a scheduling issue.

The ending of the movie was changed more ther Foster's liking, then she decided not to do the movie. They hired Julianne Moore to play the part of Clarice, and kept the changed ending.

Sad I agree, it should have been the way it was in the book, but we all know movies are never as good as the book.


•Erin• (Paperback Stash) I love the books ending - one of the most dramatic, surreal endings I've read. It would be difficult to do right on screen.


message 9: by Tad (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tad I thought the ending of the book was awful. I think it was Thomas Harris giving the finger to either his fans or Hollywood or both because he was tired of writing about the character and this was his way of making sure he could stop. I thought the ending in the movie was slightly better, but not great. The ending of the book was a complete betrayal of Starling's character and still makes me angry.


Erick I enjoyed the ending of the book because it was not at all what I expected, yet it made sense in a kind of Brothers Grimm/fairy tale way, where monster seeks out monster to exact revenge and the damsel (who is no weakling) caught in the middle accepts her fated love. Definitely a better ending than that of the movie.


message 11: by Judy (new) - rated it 3 stars

Judy I didn't care for the ending of the book when I first read it, but I have to admit that it did make sense in a twisted sort of way. It was possible Clarice, always such a straight arrow, could be seduced to the dark side. And it's not often you read a book where the ending totally throws you.

I wish the people making the film version would have had the guts to go with the ending as Harris wrote it. The film had a sort of "OK, we've cut open Ray Liotta's skull, now let's wrap it all up with the police arriving for some shooting and chasing." All together expected.


message 12: by Booseh (new)

Booseh I read this book in jail, having seen the movie and.. Wow, the ending was so sexy and just... perfect. My jaw dropped. As different as they are they really aren't so different, and it's as if Clarice accepted that Hannibal was the only man who would ever understand her and treat her like the classy lady she was.

It's too bad, really... about the movie ending. Why they did that is beyond me. The movie really would have been a classic had it just stayed true to the book. how hard is that, really? Sigh.


message 13: by Kimberly (last edited Jun 06, 2011 12:39PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kimberly Hicks As I always tell anyone, if you want the best adaptation of the story, READ THE BOOK! Hollywood waters the story down and screws it up, leaving out major details and flow of the story, and I never get that because the author had the RIGHT IDEA when he wrote it, so why change perfection. I hated this damn movie, as I did with the Red Dragon and Silence of the Lamb. THE BOOK IS ALWAYS BETTER! READ FIRST AND THEN COMPARE WHEN THE MOVIE COMES OUT! TRUST ME, THE BOOK IS ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS, BETTER! Hollywood has not been able to produce a movie that my mind can envision yet! What do they know? My hubby gets mad when we see movies of books I've read cause I sit and critique the entire film. READ, it's better for you!


Nancy Boone I preferred the book ending. It was a major surprise.


Alondra Book ending, definitely; just because of how twisted it was. I mean, really?? She becomes what she hates... or does she? Movies always end up appealing to the masses


message 16: by Graham (last edited Sep 05, 2011 09:36PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Graham I dont think the book ending would've worked on film, due to the Silence of the Lambs film. Even though both were great, the film didnt focus as much on Lecter's and Starling's 'relationship' as the book did, obviously some parts had to be cut out. In the Silence film, it was almost just professional. Sure Lecter wanted her, but I cant believe Foster would fall for him.
Therefore, the book ending of Hannibal would've felt tacked on. Hannibal saying '"Not in a thousand years"... That's my girl', I think that bit fit the film version of the series perfect.

Basically I liked both


message 17: by Meli (new) - rated it 5 stars

Meli Correct me if I'm wrong, it has been a while since I read this book, but wasn't he drugging her at the end so she would stay with him? So it wasn't exactly like she fell for him at the end.

But, yes the book ending is much better!!


Graham From memory he was drugging her for psych treatment. He dug up her dad (at least a skeleton), and helped her accept he was gone and forgive herself etc.

Also the FBI was turning their back on her, so he helped Starling deal with that too.


•Erin• (Paperback Stash) Also he used hypnosis and all sorts of brainwashing, wasn't as simple as just drugs. Pretty complex mind-twisting there.


message 20: by Dick (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dick Peterson So, what if Harris decides to do a sequel to Hannibal, and what if a movie is made? How can they reconcile the Hannibal movie to Clarice Changes Teams Again or whatever the case may be?


Scott Wickstrum Totally agree. They ruined the whole story with that cheesy ending.


Geoffrey Brainwashing is a bunch of poppycock. It was a false excuse for those susceptible to Communist propaganda a la MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE.


message 23: by Krystal (new)

Krystal i must admit.. i read all the books, watched all the movies..
when i saw Hannibal after reading the book.. i anticipated the fact that they would have to cut out a good deal in order to fit it into at least a 3 hour slot or less.. but i can quite honestly say that i was completely horrified by the ending of the film, and i dont mean by the theme of the movie, but how they had successfully found the best way to Butcher what was such a good story, from the most warped twisted romatic ending that i really enjoyed and did not expect first reading the ending of this series went to a watered down typical expected ending of the bad guy getting away and the good cop gets away with her life as if it were even in question of her being in danger.

a supreme disappointment indeed, and Anthony hopkins is so incredible as Hannibal, so i could never see anyone else reprising this character if they ever decided to remake this film... i will just stick with the book, the movie-in my opinion, i pretend it doesnt exist. it was bad enough that they replaced Jodie foster. terrible.


Carina I think I am in the minority on this thread as I like both endings. I do think the book one is better as I love the idea that they end up together (even if Clarice is rather drugged up) - it is so dark and twisted and perfect considering the way the books are written.

However, I also like the movie ending. There is no way Hollywood would show the book ending (too many people would have complained and I somehow doubt test audiences would have reacted positively unless they had read the book first!) - the conversation between Hannibal and Clarice at the end ("Would you ever say stop, if you love me you'll stop?", "Not in a thousand years", "Not in a thousand years... that's my girl") is true to the movie versions of the characters.

When books/graphic novels etc are adapted I often try and consider them as two seperate entitites because one is the authors and my view and the other is an actors, producers, directors etc view.


Scott This is my personal view obviously but I can't help but think that both the movie and the book were unnecessary. Silence of the Lambs was perfect in both forms (film and novel)and didn't need a tacked on ending in my humble opinion. The entire project just screams 'Hollywood franchise' to me. The more we find out about Hannibal the less interesting and scary he becomes and the fact he has feelings enough to run off with Starling at the end sort of Hannibal destroyed the character for me. His mystique disappeared and that such a monster can find love sort of grated on me. I know it makes the character seem more human but the fact Starling could find him at all attractive despite her past family issues, where she is in her life when she meets Lecter and knowing what he's done is just laughably unrealistic to me. I mean what if the in flight meal is rubbish when they fly off somewhere and he gets hungry? I definitely have a least one seat seperating me it's got to be said.

I hate criticising other people's work because it is their creation, they should know where the character should go in terms of direction and what arc they should have. I just can't help having strong feelings towards these characters because Harris' books are so good and the characters he has created are so much part of the furniture of crime fiction they are hard to ignore if you love the genre.

Hannibal Lecter finding a happy ending feels just so so wrong. To turn the story of one of the best bad guys ever created into basically a love story come the end was awful and a terrible idea. Again I can't help but think that Harris did that ending thinking that Hollywood would leave the character alone and laughed when writing it whilst thinking 'Well they won't do that' but even he misunderstood the Hollywood money machine.

And now there is a TV series coming...oh dear...Mads Mikkelson is a great actor though...


message 26: by Bean (new) - rated it 1 star

Bean At least the movie attempted to preserve SOME integrity in two of the most powerful characters ever written. I suppose that in retrospect, the author must have found consistency in point of view to be unnecessary.
When I finished the book, I was so angry that I slammed it down. Then i felt bad because it was a library book.


message 27: by Carina (last edited Aug 18, 2012 10:41AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Carina Bean wrote: "At least the movie attempted to preserve SOME integrity in two of the most powerful characters ever written. I suppose that in retrospect, the author must have found consistency in point of view to..."

I am curious, did you dislike the hints of romance/lust between Clarice and Hannibal in Silence? I always thought that the ending of Hannibal just continued in the vein of what began in the first book.


message 28: by Tad (new) - rated it 3 stars

Tad did you dislike the hints of romance/lust between Clarice and Hannibal in Silence?

I never really read it as romance/lust between them, and to the extent it was there, it was certainly not on Clarice's part. There was a mutual intellectual respect and also a mutual attempt by each to manipulate the other. In order for the ending in the book to even be possible, Lector would have either had to give up killing or Starling would have had to ignored his killing. Either way is a fundamental betrayal of the characters up til that point. Hannibal's escape at the end of the previous book, and particularly as shot in the movie, still gives me chills. The thought of him out there, somewhere, not knowing what he is doing is terrifying. Thinking of him living happily somewhere cheapens that.


Geoffrey They did not choose to replace Jodie Foster. She saw the story for what it was, a cheap sensationalist pulp fiction that was below her dignity. She refused the role when offered, the most sensible step considering the circumstances.


message 30: by Matt (new) - rated it 3 stars

Matt Darst The ending does provide an entry point for the reintroduction of Will Graham in a way. I'd love to see him hunting down Clarice and Lecter.


Lemontr33 I'm not sure how I feel about the endings.

I've recently become obsessed with Harris' novels, and finished Hannibal yesterday. I hated the ending. I felt like it was entirely unrealistic and not true to either of the characters.

And then last night I watched the film. And I hated it even more because it was different to the book.

So now I've been thinking. I have a bit of a crush on Hannibal (don't judge me), and so I want him to be happy. But I can't help feeling like what would have made him happiest would be to eat her.

I don't think that the film made enough of their relationship, because, although that wasn't the angle they were taking, it was a major part of the storyline.

I felt like the movie kind of kept more to the kind of characters I'd imagined them to be; Hannibal cutting off his hand was a nice touch. But at the same time, I think that they could have found a compromise between the two; the book was, as Hopkins said, very overreaching. There is a way of having them end up together without the weird extremities that they go to, and I think that that would have been the best option.

That, or eating her.


message 32: by Ross (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ross Drew The ending was the best. It shows Lecters power, what he wants, he gets. Even Starling. He spotted her weaknesses early and played with her for an entire book first. Loved it. The movie was just Hollywood rubbish.


Christine When i first read the book i couldn't believe the ending. can people really do a 180 like that? but it makes sense. living "right" was getting her no where. so why not try living with hannibal? does anyone else find significance in her age. Harrison says something about her being the same age as Jesus when he died. talk about a metamorphasis metaphor! not only that, but that's a prime time in one's life to reassess and sometimes just say f#ck it. as for the movie, what do you expect. i think they did an excellent job, but you can't have a hollywood ending where the bad guys wins that big!


~ Emily ~ I loved the ending of the book, and at first I was disappointed that the movie didn't do the same thing. But then again, the movie ending is beautiful in its own way. I think that even though they didn't end up together, it still showed how much he cared for her. I think the movie ending is sweet.
But the way Clarice shows that she'll never stop trying to put him in jail is kinda irritating.


Nicolette I thought the book ending was the best out of the two. Throughout both books it only seemed like a matter of time before Clarice succumbed to Lecter. The characters understood each other and had a connection that they could never have with another individual. Lecter would never have eaten Clarice, he only killed people who he found rude and offensive (don't tell me you didn't feel a sense of satisfaction with what he did to Mason Verger and why?).


Svetlana When choosing between a movie and a book, I will always pick the book no doubt about it. The only thing that troubled me here is the sudden turn in Starlings character. I don't think this change was explained very well, or at least I don't understand how can she go from doing whats right all the time despite the damage it does to her career and life, to suddenly running off with a serial killer she's been trying to catch 5 minutes ago. I just think that the way of Starling getting from point A to point B needs a better explanation then drugs and hypnosis. The movie was okay for me as well, I think Sir Anthony Hopkins did an excellent job in playing Hannibal, but you learn so much more from a book and I love the idea of them ending up together, so in the end I like the book more.


Benjamin Kerstein I agree with everyone here. The ending of the book was beautifully perverse and somehow absolutely right. The movie killed itself by changing it. That Starling is as damaged as Lecter is in some ways the entire point of the series. It's a constant theme in Harris's work: The thin line between the psychopath and the man or woman who pursues him. It's central to Red Dragon as well.


Gemma I loved the book ending, it was disturbing and so perfect. The movie audience and the book audience are completely different and if you check out the Amazon reviews, many people HATED the book's ending. I can understand why they changed it, and I see the value of the film's ending too.

I always found Dr. Lecter pretty sexy, I have to admit, so I liked that they got together in the end.


message 39: by Jordan (new)

Jordan Leonard Watched movie before i read the book. So when i got to the end of the book, i was surprised. I love the ending of the book. To me, it makes more sense, seeing as lecter got into her mind. Add to that the drugs he slipped her for a while, it makes sense she would stay after he stopped giving the drug. I am disappointed the movie ending was changed so drastically


Victoria Robinson I was bitterly disappointed by the end of the movie however the ending to the book did strike me as a fairly unlikely event. I just couldn't quite see Clarice running off this Dr Lecter. It certainly made for a more compelling story though!


message 41: by Karl (new)

Karl I despise the ending of the novel Hannibal. Foul, misogynist, BS - stripping a powerful female character of all her dignity and allowing her to be outsmarted and abused by Lector. The resolution could have worked, narratively, if it wasn't for the intimation that Starling accepts and even enjoys the subjugation.

The film version is by no means Hollywood - it is still uncomfortable, but truer to both characters. It preserves Lector's admiration of Starling, and her admiration of him.


Craig No pun intended, but both were a little hard to swallow. I just can't imagine in reality Starling choosing the course of action she took in the book. Unless the "therapy" he took her through was some form of hypnosis. As for the movie, well, that was real Hollywood. I.E., silly, very artificial and histrionic.


message 43: by Payton (new) - added it

Payton I like the book ending better I think that should be together. I say in movies wene you want the bad guy to win he loses and when you want the bad guy to lose he wins


Kirby I definitely prefer the book's ending over the movie's ending. I felt satisfied after finishing the book, but the movie ending was lacking for me. I like the movie. However, I wasn't happy about Jodie Foster not playing Clarice in "Hannibal." In general, I don't like it when actors change in the middle of a series. It's not that I think Julianne Moore did it poorly. She just wasn't Jodie Foster.


Geoffrey I thought Starling´s relationship with Hannibal totally unrealistic. I put this book in the category, PULP FICTION, at its worst. I don´t believe her to have been so weak as to become his protege. Stupid story.


JDK1962 Cassie wrote: "How can I forget they made the movie.I have Hannibal and Red Dragon.I never seen Hannibal the movie,but I'v seen Red Dragon the movie.Red Dragon SUCKED!!!!!"

Yes, the movie named "Red Dragon" sucked, but...the book Red Dragon was made into the movie "Manhunter" back in the 80's, with Michael Mann directing. It was soooooo much better than Brent Ratner's piece of crap. Plus, that movie's Hannibal Lecter (Brian Cox) was perfect, with none of Anthony Hopkins' scenery chewing.


message 47: by Heather (last edited Jul 05, 2013 01:04AM) (new)

Heather I feel exactly the same way about the story that Jodie Foster felt about it; the point of the parallel theme of damaged goods was that while Lecter gave in to his demons, Clarice rose above them and refused to give in, refused to give up her ideals. She fought her past and the status quo to do what was right, and in "Hannibal", Harris destroyed that character. This novel was fanservice. Any "hints of romance" seen in Silence Of The Lambs is purely in the imaginations of those who saw two characters that appealed to them equally and felt compelled to 'ship them, rather than appreciating them for their separate roles. Harris responded to this and ruined what had been a wonderful, strong heroine. Foster loved Clarice in Silence, she did such a good job because that character resonated with her. She refused to do Hannibal because it is a shocking desecration. I will not be reading any other works by Harris.


Stephen Lillis When i read that Hannibal sucked Starling's tit i said wtf but after that i thought that it was the perfect ending for a psychologist like Lecter


Geoffrey Right on Heather. Couldn`t have said it as well.


Debaparna I think the book version is better. As a matter of fact, I didn't like the movie at all. It was sort of playing on the impact of Silence of the Lambs, or so I thought.

About the ending: I prefer the book ending, where Clarice and Lecter fall in love and run away. But does anyone have an idea how it would look on film, especially with Julianne Moore playing such a cold Clarice? C'mon! Clarice was much more passionate than that.

And it's not impossible that Clarice should fall in love with Lecter. Opposites do attract, and sometimes they fit quite nicely, too. Clarice always had a dark side to her, only it was repressed, not manifest like Lecter's. Clarice never 'gave in' to Lecter, because in the end, she successfully retained her personality, and Lecter wasn't quite too sure about her, either. She just saw that the system and the ideals she served were flawed and no one cared about her. Also, her motivations were based on an unresolved Electra complex.

As for Lecter, I don't think that needs an explanation.


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