Cinema’s most famous psychiatrist is a cannibalistic serial-killer with a weakness for liver served with fava beans and a nice Chianti. Dr. Hannibal Lecter is prominently featured in four novels by Thomas Harris and is the protagonist in the last two. In Silence of the Lambs, he is serving a life sentence for his crimes when he is visited by FBI agent-in-training Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster), who has been sent to get his help in tracking down a fellow serial murderer. Anthony Hopkins, with a long and distinguished body of work in film and stage already behind him, found in Lecter a career-defining role. His claim that he drew inspiration from Katharine Hepburn and HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey rings true — what makes Lecter truly frightening isn’t merely his monstrous behavior, but how its cloaked behind a disorienting veneer of courtliness and civility.
The Doctor Is In
- Dr. Hannibal Lecter, The Silence of the Lambs
- Sean Maguire, Good Will Hunting
- Dr. Caligari, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari
- Dr. Malcolm Crowe, The Sixth Sense
- Dr. Tyrone Berger, Ordinary People
- Dr. Ben Sobel, Analyze This
- Dr. Sam Loomis, Halloween
- Dr. Eudora Fletcher, Zelig
- Dr. Constance Peterson, Spellbound
- Dr. Leo Marvin, What About Bob?