Question about a scene in MANHUNTER

Kevin Leonard

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I was recently watching Manhunter again and one scene brought up a couple of questions for me. The scene in question is when Hannibal Lecter (or should I say Lecktor?) uses the phone to dial the University of Chicago (I believe that's what it was) and obtains Will Graham's home address.
1) The phone Lecter/Lecktor uses has no number pad on it; the number is dialed through the hospital's switchboard. Lecter removes the front panel and--pulling a MacGyver--uses a stick of gum to fool around with the inside of the phone, getting a ahold of an operator who then dials the university number for him (the original person called was apparently just a ruse).
Can you seriously take an old-school phone and manipulate it with a piece of gum? Lecter's smart, but is this something one can do with proper know-how or just a flight of fancy?
2) Through means of the university, Lecter gets ahold of Will Graham's home address.
What exactly was that scene all about? Unless I'm missing something, Lecter never sent anything to Will, nor did he ever give an indication that he was going to use the address to terrorize Will in the future. The same scene happens in the book (hell, it has its own chapter!), but again, nothing ever happens.
The whole scene is creepy (because it shows how easily Lecter can obtain private information), but it also seems kinda pointless. Can anybody shed some light on this for me?
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[Edited last by Kevin Leonard on August 15, 2001 at 04:35 PM]
 

Doug R

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I believe its implied (?) that Lector gives Will's address to the Red Dragon. Which is why Will has the police rescue his wife and child from the home.
Doug
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Larry Schneider

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When the police decode the message from Lecter to the Red Dragon, doesn't it give Graham's home address and state "save yourself, kill them all?"
And yes, jail inmates have hacked telephones for years, assuming they're of the non-armored variety.
 

Joe D

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As mentioned earlier, he wrote to Red Dragon stating where Will's home is. That's why the cops show up at Will's house.
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Bill McA

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Can you seriously take an old-school phone and manipulate it with a piece of gum? Lecter's smart, but is this something one can do with proper know-how or just a flight of fancy?
Reminds me of the scene in WarGames in which Matthew Broderick shows us how to get free phone calls on a pay phone.
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Kevin Leonard

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OK, thanks for the answers.
However, this brings up another question: Lecter obtains Will's address before the Red Dragon's letter arrives. I'm thinking Lecter had an ulterior motive with the address. (In the book, Lecter gets the address a good 50 pages before the Red Dragon even writes the letter.) Just a theory.
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Ken Seeber

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However, this brings up another question: Lecter obtains Will's address before the Red Dragon's letter arrives. I'm thinking Lecter had an ulterior motive with the address. (In the book, Lecter gets the address a good 50 pages before the Red Dragon even writes the letter.) Just a theory.
That's what we're saying... Lecter's ulterior motive was to write the Red Dragon (the Tooth Fairy actually) a message giving him Graham's address and telling the Tooth Fairy to kill Graham's family.
 

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