- Actor Allusion: Former police officer Dannis Farina as FBI investigator Jack Crawford
- Cast the Expert: The scene where Reba touches a sedated tiger features a real sedated tiger. The veterinarian is played by a real veterinarian.
- Completely Different Title: The translation of the film's French title is The Sixth Sense, which gets it regularly confused with the M. Night Shyamalan movie.
- The Danza: William Petersen as Will Graham.
- Enforced Method Acting: Since Tom Noonan remained segregated from the rest of the cast, the fright on Stephen Lang's face during The Reveal of Dolarhyde was genuine.
- Life Imitates Art: William Peterson found the role of Will Graham mentally exhausting and had trouble shaking Graham's characterisation even when he went on to other roles (he had to radically change his own appearance in order to look in the mirror and see someone else, according to The Other Wiki). Very appropriate, given that he's playing a criminal profiler who was institutionalised because he couldn't shake the thoughts of the serial killers he hunted.
- Non-Indicative Title: Indirectly. Manhunter is actually a decent alternative title and fits well. But immediately after the success of The Silence of the Lambs, this film was broadcast on TV under the title Red Dragon: The Pursuit of Hannibal Lector. The subtitle is the non-indicative part since it's set before Silence of the Lambs, thus Lector is still behind bars where he stays for the entire film.
- Playing Against Type: Chris Elliott, of all people, in a straight role as one of the FBI techs.
- Unintentional Period Piece: The soundtrack and fashions in the film permanently mark it as a product of The '80s.
- What Could Have Been:
- According to Brian Cox, Brian Dennehy was "sort of in the loop" to play Lektor. Dennehy, for whatever reason, recommended that they check out Cox, who was performing in a play at the time. Also considered were Bruce Dern, John Lithgow and Mandy Patinkin.
- The studio wanted Don Johnson for Will Graham. Jeff Bridges, Richard Gere, Mel Gibson and Paul Newman were considered.
- David Lynch was originally considered to direct.
- Working Title: The film was originally going to be entitled Red Dragon, the same name as the novel. However, when Year Of The Dragon became a box office failure, Dino De Laurentiis decided to avoid a "dragon" title. He also did not want audiences to assume that this was a kung-fu movie.
The Video Game:
- What Could Have Been:
- Two more games were planned after San Francisco, though only one had a confirmed setting of London. Some sources indicate that the London game was going to be the finale, with a third set in Chicago, while others claim London was up next and one set on the Orbs' homeworld would be the end.
- Advertisements for the games claimed the player would have to decide whether to remain a loyal servant of the Orbs or join the resistance. There are no opportunities for such decisions in the actual games.