Opinionated Comparisons

… compare and contrast

Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter versus Heath Ledger’s the Joker

Posted by MAaP on July 28, 2008

Talk about criminal sociopaths.

The Dark Knight showed the Joker (portrayed by Heath Ledger) as one of the darkest and most insane criminals in the fictional world. And I thought over other fictional sociopaths that gave off — or almost gave off — the same scent as the joker, and one name came to mind: Hannibal Lecter, as portrayed by Sir Anthony Hopkins.

So who’s the calmer but more devious one? Both are definitely genuinely geniuses who unfortunately saw the world differently from us. In their elements, they are both calm and thinking, seeing great beauty in their beliefs. When they act on their beliefs, they create great catastrophe. And they do it gladly.

Sir Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter

Hannibal Lecter was also portrayed by Brian Cox (Manhunter) and Gaspard Ulliel (Hannibal Rising) but the most memorable portrayal of the infamous cannibal was that of Sir Anthony Hopkins. With his chilling performance and those calm but maddening eyes, his performance was very mesmerizing that he won an Oscar for it and got to play it in a total of three Hannibal Lecter movies.

Hannibal Lecter

Hannibal Lecter

Hannibal Lecter was a brilliant psychiatrist. He was also a cannibal serial killer. Creator Thomas Harris never gave a clear explanation as to the inspiration for the character. Harris had been in many investigative cases and court trials of serial murders and brutal killings for us to know for sure the origin of Dr. Lecter.

According to fictional character Special Agent Will Graham, Hannibal Lecter wasn’t as crazy as everybody else thought. Graham is the hero of Red Dragon, and was the one who exposed and captured Hannibal Lecter. Having been favorited by Hannibal Lecter himself because they think alike, we can say that it is Graham who knows Lecter the best. And when he says Lecter’s not crazy, we can really believe it.

Now just how do you add up a cannibal serial killer who’s “not crazy”? He would be intelligent, calm, calculating, and deadly. And this is an understatement when we’re talking of Hannibal Lecter.

Heath Ledger’s the Joker

The Joker

The Joker

Heath Ledger‘s performance was hailed as one of the best ever, garnering him a rumored posthumous award and reaping the top spot in the superhero movies list. And we absolutely understand why. The Dark Knight‘s Joker was definitely one of the most wicked fictional characters ever placed on screen and, with Heath Ledger behind the makeup, it was one of the highest level of wicked.

The Joker‘s past is not clearly defined either. The general story is that he was once a scientist or an engineer who fell into some vat of chemical waste where he emerged with bleached skin and green hair. This wasn’t confirmed as there were other theories as to how Joker came to be who he is. His real name is also unknown.

What is known is his penchant for killing people and creating chaos for his amusement. Heath Ledger made that very clear in The Dark Knight. He’s also a very smart sociopath, also made very clear in the movie. He also has no remorse whatsoever for the things he’s done. Comes with the job description. Heath pulled that off too.

When you’re a sociopath and you like to joke around, I guess there’s no better way to have fun that to kill people and make some explosions.

Who’s the Most Wicked?

I honestly cannot decide. These two have been so scary. They’re both genius human minds with no heart and smile at people’s deaths. Sir Anthony Hopkins and Heath Ledger made us believe it was them, with their eyes, their tone, their voice, and their creepy words. Hats down to both of them.


16 Responses to “Anthony Hopkins’ Hannibal Lecter versus Heath Ledger’s the Joker”

  1. jillybean said

    I would say that Ledger did a great job and brought out the pure evil of the joker. However this batman reboot has taken the batman franchise into alot darker tone that I really like. So you really cannot compare Nicholsons Joker and Ledgers as they were to differnt and the movies being very different. We have seen Jack in other roles play a crazy man and I have no doubt he could do what ledger did with the joker but could Ledger do what Nicholson did as the Joker I think not.

  2. Anthony said

    It’s no contest, really! Heath Ledger blows away Sid Caesar’s Joker and the masterful Jack Nicholson’s as well. Sid was “too flamboyant” and Jack was just plain silly. Those two come off as ass clowns compared to The Late Great Heath Ledger who gives us his heart and soul in this, his final act. Ledger steals the movie just like Sir Anthony Hopkins did in Silence Of The Lambs. And Tony won The Oscar For Best Actor for doing so and chilling our dreams. Now with The Dark Knight Ledger walks away with the movie and leaves us wanting even more! So polish up that golden boy for Heath Ledger! RIP Mr. Ledger and thank you for giving us a truly memorable Joker!

  3. Jason said

    I think these are two of the greatest villians ever. Not only can you like them as a villian, but even in all of their evil you can still like them, to the point where you would want to know them personally. If I was friendly with the joker or hannible I wouldn’t turn either of them in. I would value such a friendship. These people are higher and more intelligent than most of us, not only that they are truly fearless. I don’t care if you are talking about a hero or a villian, if a man is truly fearless you must respect him. If you don’t then you are a waste of a person. Wheather the grand intention be good or evil, true bravery must be respected. To stand up against all authority both legal or illiegal it must be respected. One of the biggest problems with our society is that we don’t understand that. These people did what they felt needed to be done, they were intelligent enough to judge.

  4. Kamran said

    Hopkins wins this easily.

    Hopkins had only 16 minutes on screen in Silence of the Lambs and he portrayed a more profound character than Ledge did in about triple that amount. Joker is also quite a stereotypical villain, his mannerisms deliberately insane, I found him to be predictable to an extent while delivering his dialog. Lecter was always very unpredictable. Lecter also could mess people’s head much more because of his calm nature than Joker.

    Ledger’s performance was great, no doubt, but Hopkins’ was legendary — the greatest.

  5. tupacman said

    I’d have to say Hannibal, although the two of these characters were portrayed perfectly, the thing that gives the edge to Hannibal is that while the Joker runs free spreading mayhem, Hannibal is stuck in a jail cell and still manages to be as sadistic yet calm as the joker

  6. Vincent Rockford said

    I would say Joker would take over Lector in terms of strength and knowledge.Joker is few villan that can withstand hand to hand combat with Batman for quite a while. Lector is no fighter.He would loose to Joker.In terms of twisting person’s mind, I still give credit to Joker. I would rather be stuck with Lector than Joker.Sure, I can take all the pain and torture Lectors got for me. But he wouldn’t video tape me while he tortures me. He wouldn’t laugh at my pleas to stop. At least Lector will be calm and say all horrible stuff, but I don’t think I will be able to stand Joker’s laughing at my pain and pleas.

    • jimmycool said

      Soo did i miss something? I thought it was hannibal lector who bit out a nurses tongue, Cut off an officers face and wore it as his own to escape, fed a guy his own brains with a spoon? Hannibal is on a different level of evil. Listen both performances are great but honestly there isnt a comparison. Heathe ledgers will go down as one of the greatest villains of all time, Anthony hopkins portrayel of hannibal lector will go down as one of the greatest performances ever. No contest

  7. Joey said

    “I would say Joker would take over Lector in terms of strength and knowledge.”

    Oh please. Leave the WHO IS STRONGER arguments for cartoon character rivalries. Joker was great but it was just too typical insane to be at the level of Lector in SotL. Kamran said it perfectly: Lector, in such a small amount of time presented more than just exaggerated madness. He was collected and jabbed at mental weaknesses perfectly.

    • Tony said

      Dude, I know you posted this a over a year ago, but you don’t have to be such a dick b/c you don’t agree with someone’s opinion. YES, Lector was/is more evil & cunning in my eys as well, But The Joker was more daring & had no remorse for the chaos that he delivered what so ever. All Vincent Rockford said was he felt that The Joker was more evil in his eyes as there is no right or wrong answer for this question.. Anyways I respect your opinion as you should also for others, just saying!!!

  8. addicted to NCIS said

    in both capturing the audience and being pure evil i am going with Sir Anthony Hopkins portrayel as Hannibal Lector to be the most entertaining and profound.

    he captures you in his twisted world and all through out the arcs of all the movies you can feel yourself being repulsed but not being able to turn away! the things he does and the brains he eats – its riviting stuff!

    the joker is not a new character – heath just built up on the character that has already been created and played as – sure he put his own look and spin on it – but i feel it was just trying to be too dark – its a kids cartoon series it is supposed to be light and kid friendly – not so dark the actor playing the role od’ing after the movie

    Sir Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lector all the way!!!

  9. Mj said

    Both of theses guys are wonderful villains. Hannibal is much more calm than the joker and one can even say that he is much more decisive. But hannibal has one weakness that the joker doesnt have. He has needs. What I mean by this is that the joker has no morals, code of ethics, or desires. As alfred said to batman “he cant be bought, bullied, reasoned, or negotiated with” and this makes him a lot more dangerous than hannibal. I mean what can you do with someone who doesnt even give a shit about money? The jokers only need is the need for chaos and destruction, which only he can give himself.

  10. Lara said

    totally agree with mj.
    hannibal is calm and cruel, but he still forms emotional attachments with people e.g. his twisted love for starling. the joker doesn’t care about a thing. he is interested in batman, but won’t hesitate to kill him if he needs to. this makes the joker less vulnerable than hannibal.
    hannibal might be able to see through the joker. but the joker can’t be defeated because there’s no way to hurt him.

  11. Adam said

    Lecter is frightening and creepy. He’s the kind of person you don’t want to ever get caught up with at night. He killed two cops in a cell like it was nothing. And he smiled like it was notheing. I bet you if it was Lecter in “Boyz n the hood” being pulled over by the cops, it would have been the cops’ doom.

  12. Joker wins this title

    Since his face itself scary and his body language speaks more than his voice in the movie

    His laughter make the theater scary, he is a strong competition to any villain

    Is super hero movies you have to fight to a super villian. spider man to octavius or sandman or venom. F4 to fight victor vandom or silver surfer, But Joker is normal human being fights batman and make everyone scary

    Finally Heath ledger wins

  13. gia said

    Lecter is more brilliant, but Joker did more damage. Love`em both ))

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