Skip to main content

Angel Heart photo: angel heart poster angel_heart.jpg

            What if we made a movie with a run-down private eye hired by a mysterious stranger?  What if we placed the body of the mystery in a location that is totally familiar, yet feels utterly exotic?  What if the case included gruesome murders involving bluesmen, junkies, and voodoo priestesses?  If these basic elements are great enough, what if the execution of the film is near perfection?  What if we assembled a top notch cast and a visionary director?  What if we throw in a production and post-production crew that is at the top of their game?  You’d get as close to a perfect Horror movie as you can get and what other film could this be but Alan Parker’s triumphant Horror opus ANGEL HEART?  

Head south, under the squiggle...

            Mickey Rourke turns in one of his greatest performances as Harry Angel.  A two-bit private eye based in New York who takes on a missing-persons case from a mysterious client, played by Robert De Niro.  The case takes Harry from New York to the Voodoo underbelly of New Orleans, where the case takes increasingly bizarre and frightening turns.  Although De Niro, Lisa Bonet (Epiphany Proudfoot) and Charlotte Rampling (Margret Krusemark) are all exceptional in their roles, the film belongs to Mickey Rourke who is at all times real and likeable as the tenacious investigator - at once rough around the edges and charming.  He starts the film with a bit of swagger.  Harry is a working stiff, but he is also very good at his job and popular with the ladies.  By the end of his journey, he is broken and devastated - and Rourke brings us to that point so gradually and expertly that we are right there with him, feeling every ounce of the weight on his shoulders.

Angel Heart Mickey photo: Mickey Rourke angel-heart-1987-06-g.jpg

    On equal footing with Rourke as the star of this film is the city of New Orleans itself.  Alan Parker shot the city in all its beauty and grit - giving us a palpable flavor for the place.  You can feel the history, mysticism, and heat of the city all around you as Harry Angel conducts his investigations through stately manors, blues bars, and shantytowns.  Even the brief shots of a child’s feet tap-dancing in a rain puddle feel completely “New Orleans”.  Alan Parker’s locations become characters themselves, as memorable as any of the living characters on the screen.  Even the murders are organic to New Orleans, most taking on a ritualistic, Voodoo character.  One even involves gumbo!

    Gritty locations, inspired direction, great performances, haunting music, and a genuinely intriguing and dangerous mystery - ANGEL HEART is American Gothic Horror at its best.

angel heart movie photo: Louis Cyphre Robert-DeNiro_main.jpg

ANGEL HEART fun facts - Robert De Niro based his performance on Martin Scorsese.

Lisa Bonet's position on "The Cosby Show" was threatened after her blood splattered sex scene with Mickey Rourke. Bill Cosby felt her involvement compromised his show's squeaky-clean image.

Mickey Rourke was cast after Al Pacino, Jack Nicholson, and Robert De Niro declined.  De Niro declined because he preferred the role of Louis Cyphre.

Angel Heart photo: angel angel.jpg

Louis Cyphre - “Alas… ‘How terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the wise’, Johnny…”

Harry Angel - “Hey, you ever watch Mickey Mouse Club?  Cuz you know what today is?  Today’s Wednesday.  It’s anything can happen day.”

Louis Cyphre - “No matter how cleverly you sneak up on a mirror, your reflection always looks you straight in the eye.”



80%20 votes
20%5 votes

| 25 votes | Vote | Results

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site