Angel Heart (1987) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: A private investigator is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer named Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.
Runtime: 113 mins Release Date: 06 Mar 1987
"Angel Heart" deserves to be considered Alan Parker's masterpiece. The direction is truly amazing, as Parker drives us deeply through a meticulously prepared dark atmosphere, full of allegories and secret hints.In "Angel Heart", we watch Mickey Rourke in his finest acting hour, who plays Harry Angel, a private investigator hired by the mysterious Louis Cyphre, depicted by the great Robert De Niro. Cyphre assigns Angel the task to find a guy named Johnny Favorite who has disappeared, with whom he has unsettled debts. The task is much harder than it first looks however, <more>
as Angel bumps into several murders in the process; and as if that were not enough, the quest makes him realize some very unpleasant truths about himself and Mr. Cyphre.As noted before, both Rourke and De Niro are excellent in their roles; a high mark goes for the rest of the cast as well, with Lisa Bonnet standing out as charming and apocryphal Epiphany Proudfoot. Yet, the 10/10 mark for this film is definitely credited to Alan Parker's direction: It is his masterpiece.
This film is incredible, but you may have to watch it twice. There are so many convolutions and revelations that it's mind-boggling. Though often graphic, Angel Heart can be subtle as well. It is steeped in mythological and biblical symbolism and imagery, and the recurring themes foreshadowing its shocking conclusion are ingenious. Well worth the time and effort that may be needed to grasp it in its enti
One of the creepiest thrillers ever made (by dee.reid)
Harry Angel Mickey Rourke is a sleazy private detective in 1955 New York. One day, Harry is approached by a mysterious lawyer named Louis Cyphre Robert De Niro . Louis also has unusually long fingernails and needs help in searching for a former client of his who disappeared mysteriously without ever paying him back. So Harry begins his investigation which takes him from the dark alleys and streets of New York to the hot, musty bayous of Louisiana. While there, he meets up with Epiphany Proudfoot Lisa Bonet who is a voodoo priestess and soon enough Harry becomes caught up in voodoo <more>
mysticism.This is the first movie directed by Alan Parker that I've seen and is also the movie that introduced me to Mickey Rourke. The movie has a really dark atmosphere and I really like the heartbeat on the soundtrack that helps to build the tension. "Angel Heart" ranks up there with those really twisted supernatural thrillers like "The Sixth Sense" and "Jacob's Ladder". Why this movie hasn't gotten much attention over the last fourteen years I'll never know. What really makes this movie good is probably its 1950s setting which gives "Angel Heart" some originality. The film's ending just gives me the creeps because it just comes at you from out of no where and there is nothing that hints it. Viewers should also be cautioned when watching "Angel Heart" because it is extremely bloody and then of course there is that love scene between Mickey Rourke and Lisa Bonet which stirred up a little bit of controversy when it was first released back in 1987. 10/10
... when it brings no profit to the wise? On the surface, that seems to be the moral of "Angel Heart." But look a little deeper -- the fact is, Harry Angel knew the truth all along, and here's the true moral:"However cleverly you sneak up on a mirror... your reflection always looks you straight in the eye."Much of the meaning in this dark tale lies in the above line uttered by DeNiro's character, Louis Cyphre. We can pretend to lie to ourselves and bury our heads in the sand, but in the end we know. And it isn't the knowing that hurts us, but all the hiding and <more>
lying that went on before.This film has been summed up many times before, so I won't do it again. It's also been said that the film was ahead of its time in 1987, and IMO this can't be emphasized enough. There's no doubt in my mind that it's been an influence on many a filmmaker and screenwriter. Among films of this type it's easier to follow than, say, "Memento," but more befuddled and confusing than "The Sixth Sense." You may or may not guess the ending, but if you're the type who's bothered by confusing movies -- simply read all the spoilers or the whole screenplay, THEN see the film! I guarantee you won't enjoy it any less for knowing.Cinematography 10/10, screenplay 7/10, acting 9.5/10, overall I'd give it about a 9/10. If anything makes this movie great and qualifies it as a classic it's the cinematography and atmosphere. It really is richly and gorgeously shot, and atmospheric to the nth degree. Watch it on a slow day when you have time to savor these things and aren't overly anxious to figure it out or discover the resolution to the story.
Love it or hate it - it looks stunning - very memorable (by Oggz)
I'm not in the least surprised that other reviewers either love this or hate it to bits - I also bet that it's the younger users to whom the nature of the visual narrative of the film - the way it's all told to us, the viewer - may seem a bit dated. And to a point, they're right - "Angel Heart" is totally an eighties film, a film of the decade in which the movie world was discovering a new visual language in video and playfully indulged in experimenting with its new toy. It was literally speaking to a generation straight out of MTV classrooms and workshops and is in <more>
that sense very similar to stuff like "Betty Blue". And true enough, there is a lot to remark on what can today be seen as a slightly poseur-ish "one too many revolving fans, angularly lit staircases and heartbeat sounds in the soundtrack" kind of thing. However, "Angel Heart" does carry a tremendous amount of energy thanks to its imagery, which will stick to the viewer's mind in exactly the same way a sweaty shirt sticks to the body in sticky weather. Besides, the impeccably drawn cast led by Rourke does a truly remarkable job - that's beyond question - the sets are great, production design and cinematography are very evocative, the soundtrack is memorable and the story is one of the crucial ones. I personally love it.Give it a go by all means.
Entertaining, thought-provoking/smart, well-acted and brilliantly photographed and directed -- what more could you ask for? (by MovieAddict2016)
Angel Heart is a winding psychological thriller that -- in 1987 -- was far ahead of its time. So far that audiences didn't `get it' and the film bombed at the box office. Only now are we beginning to see endings like this one surface in horror movies. Had Angel Heart been made a decade or so later, perhaps it would have succeeded.As it is, the movie which has a strong cult following and was recently re-released on a Special Edition DVD is nothing short of mesmerizing. I wouldn't go so far as to call it great, or a `masterpiece,' but it is scary, disturbing, influential, <more>
thought-provoking, and a lot smarter and more atmospheric than 99% of the rip-off horror movies being made today.It stars Mickey Rourke as Harry Angel, a private eye from Brooklyn in the 1950s who is hired by Louis Cyphere Robert De Niro to locate a mysterious singer named Johnny Favorite, who disappeared in the early 40s and hasn't been seen since.Angel's journey takes him from the streets of New York to jazz clubs in Harlem and, finally, to the sweltering swamps of Louisiana. He meets a variety of characters, all of who have little to say about Favorite. All we seem to know is that he was a singer, entered the war, and was shot, had his face reconstructed, was taken out of hospital care, and apparently vanished from the face of the earth.I guessed the twist of the movie about seven minutes in, as soon as Robert De Niro appeared on screen during an extended cameo. But that's not to say that the movie won't affect you. Notorious when released for some controversial scenes including a sequence involving Rourke and The Cosby Show's Lisa Bonet , the movie's moody atmosphere is its strongest element.The acting, too, is very strong. This is Rourke's finest performance, as Harry Angel, a scumbag detective with nothing to lose. On the new DVD, Rourke claims he wasn't very interested in acting at the time, and as a result `just showed up' and `memorized the lines.' I find that hard to believe Rourke's acting here is Oscar-worthy. His recent descent into self-loathing has caused his career to fall apart he was never enthusiastic about acting and wanted to become a boxer instead ; he shouldn't discredit his earlier work merely because he's upset with his life.The role of Louis Cyphere get it? is also one of De Niro's most ambitious performances; he delves entirely into character and leaves a lasting impact on the viewer.It was directed by Sir Alan Parker, the famous British filmmaker of, among others, Midnight Express . Some say this is his finest film wonderfully crafted, beautifully shot, masterfully edited and I'd have to say that if it isn't his best, it certainly ranks somewhere at the top.
Dark, complex and depressing...an outstanding film!! (by Coventry)
Good supernatural thrillers with the incarnation of Satan himself as a pivot figure .we don't see enough of these films, if you ask me. Alan Parker's `Angel Heart' is one of the chosen few! Complex and confusing at times, but warmly recommended to fans of the occult and mysterious cinema. Mickey Rourke shines as protagonist Harry Angel. An unshaved, chain-smoking private eye with a chicken-phobia! The year is 1955 and the place is Brooklyn when Harry is hired by a malevolent Mr. Louis Cyphre pronounce this name aloud a few times in a row to find a missing crooner, who got <more>
severely traumatized in the war. The money is good and the job doesn't seem that risky, so Harry accepts. Pretty soon, the search takes him to all kinds of poverty, human misery, superstition and alternate religions. Every important figure in the search for Johnny Favorite the crooner finds a violent death after Harry talked to them and, apparently, our private detective is a lot more involved than he initially thought. As mentioned before, Angel Heart is a darn complex and very coherent film. One viewing is enough to understand the entire premise and main storylines, but a second third or fourth viewing sure isn't redundant. It would be a shame if any of the carefully worked out details and character-connections would go unnoticed. `Angel Heart' and especially cinematographer Michael Seresin also receives a huge plus for the dark and depressing portrayal of the film's surrounding. Angel Heart looks unattractive, vile and ominous which creates a superb horrific atmosphere. The supernatural aspects about the story are a bit overly stressed by clichés like silent and staring nuns or foggy New York suburbs. But this small negative element is largely made up by the subtle violence and compelling mystery this film features. The acting is outstanding with Rourke at the absolute top of his career. During the second half of the 80's, Mickey was the unforgettable star of several brilliant films such as `Barfly', `Year of the Dragon', `Nine ½ Weeks' and of course this `Angel Heart'. Robert DeNiro as Louis Cyphre was a downright brilliant casting idea! There isn't that much De Niro content in this film but, when he's on screen, evilness nearly drips from the screen. Bobby De Niro is probably one of the only actors who can make it look eerie to eat an egg! Lisa Bonet, in conclusion, isn't the world's most talented actress but Angel Heart sure is her best film. All in one, Angel Heart is a very good film that'll be appreciated by thriller fans and the admirer of slightly more intelligent horror.
DVD Transfer Enhances This Sordid-But-Intriguing Movie (by ccthemovieman-1)
This is a very sordid film. I usually don't go for that sort of thing, but there are a lot of other good things about this movie that made me add this to my collection.There is very good cinematography and camera-work in here, made even better by the special edition DVD transfer. I liked the old film-noir type atmosphere in the story, which is an interesting one overall.There are no really good-guy characters in this film. Mickey Rourke plays the star of the movie: private eye "Harry Angel." He's somewhat of a low-life but so is everyone else. Lisa Bonet looks spectacular <more>
and has a steamy sex scene in here. Robert De Niro gets big billing but he doesn't have that many lines in this film.The ending of this movie has a very unique twist to it, but it's certainly not a satisfying ending. It is one I should go back over after the next viewing and check for credibility. That's all I can say without using spoilers.Overall, a sleazy but very intriguing story, with great atmosphere, that I enjoy watching every five years or so. Some would call this movie a modern-day "film noir."
Matures with age and grows on audiences and film connoisseurs alike! (by luke-346)
I'm glad I caught this because what was seen by many as a poor film in 1987 can only be seen as great film in 2007. Angel Heart is one of those films that matures with age and grows on audiences and film connoisseurs alike. A psychological horror/thriller is one of the hardest genres for a director to prosper in but if you were to mix in spiritual and religious elements along with a heap of film noir, a touch of romance and a smidgen of jazz then you would set yourself a near impossible task, nevertheless it would be a task in which Alan Parker would succeed.The direction of this film is <more>
masterful as Parker engages us through a meticulous atmosphere littered with mysterious allegories, gut rendering paranoia and an unmatched sense of place. This unmatched sense of place is a symptom of his stark imagery and sombre lighting which is played out through an amalgamation of film noir and the focal iconography of 50s and 60s French New Wave the use of elevators, ceiling fans, staircases etc .For many of these reasons and more Angel Heart is a very influential film and its inspirations can be seen in many of the psychological thrillers/horrors released in the past 20 years, it is thought provoking and at times a lot more disturbing than any of its genre equivalents. The multi-faceted love scene in the film is one such example, it plays very well as it is cleverly interspersed with a host demonic echelons which given its style and narrative position I believe to be unparallelled, even in contemporary cinema.Overall Angel Heart is a very well paced and well acted film although initially I felt that having Mickey Rourke in the lead role was a poor choice based on his more recent work but clearly he was at his acting best in his younger days almost Oscar-worthy, Robert De Niro is also on form as is the young Lisa Bonet but these performances combined with everything else make Angel Heart a film that will stick with you, not as much as Midnight Express or Mississippi Burning dir. Alan Parker , but enough to make you ponder why this film wasn't so successful upon its initial release and enough to curse why he didn't spend more time dabbling in the psychological/horror genre.