Three actors, one Hannibal Lecter scene

This remarkable edit, by Matthew Morettini, splices together three versions of the same scene. It's the one where Lecter's captor, Will Graham, must beg the good doctor for help in a later case.

It's been filmed three times. First, in 1985's Manhunter, with Brian Cox as Lecter. Then, in 2002's Red Dragon, with Anthony Hopkins. And lately, with Mads Mikkelsen, in the TV series Hannibal.

I'm one of those who used to think that Cox's original performance was better than Hopkins', but I've changed my mind and this really closes the case for me. Cox is too stagey and his Lecter was too smug and superficial. Hopkins', however, is genuinely insinuating and resentful, at least in this movie and in Silence of the Lambs. He's helped out a lot by Dante Spinotti's detailed, dark cinematography.

The revelation for me, though, is Mikkelsen. Put against the others, his performance is so understated and distant that it seems almost not to exist at all. But when you think about what Lecter's ostensible shortcomings and capabilities as a human being are, that's the right way to play him.

They're all good, though. Robert DeNiro, Gene Hackman and Jack Nicholson all apparently turned the part down, and all would have been bad.