Angel Heart

March 6th, 1987


Angel Heart

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Harry Angel has a new case, to find a man called Johnny Favourite. Except things aren't quite that simple...

Release Year: 1987

Rating: 7.3/10 (33,487 voted)

Director: Alan Parker

Stars: Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet

Harry Angel has a new case, to find a man called Johnny Favourite. Except things aren't quite that simple, and Johnny doesn't want to be found. Let's just say that, amongst the period detail and beautiful scenery, it all gets really, really nasty.

Writers: Alan Parker, William Hjortsberg

Mickey Rourke - Harry Angel
Robert De Niro - Louis Cyphre
Lisa Bonet - Epiphany Proudfoot
Charlotte Rampling - Margaret Krusemark
Stocker Fontelieu - Ethan Krusemark
Brownie McGhee - Toots Sweet
Michael Higgins - Dr. Albert Fowler
Elizabeth Whitcraft - Connie
Eliott Keener - Det. Sterne
Charles Gordone - Spider Simpson
Dann Florek - Herman Winesap
Kathleen Wilhoite - Nurse
George Buck - Izzy
Judith Drake - Izzy's Wife
Gerald Orange - Pastor John (as Gerald L. Orange)

Taglines: Harry Angel has been hired to search for the truth... Pray he doesn't find it.


Official Website: William Hjortsberg |

Release Date: 6 March 1987

Filming Locations: Albany, New York, USA

Box Office Details

Budget: $17,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend: $3,688,721 (USA) (8 March 1987) (815 Screens)

Gross: $17,185,632 (USA)

Technical Specs


Did You Know?

When Harry Angel visits Margaret Krusemark for the first time, Margaret orders her maid to bring them tea; she and the maid speak briefly in French, which Angel obviously doesn't understand. The maid is asking "Should I bring out the best cups?" and Margaret responds "No."

Anachronisms: In New Orleans, there is a daybill ad for a drive-in movie theater posted on a mailbox, which advertises a showing of Cast a Giant Shadow, released 11 years after the setting.

[first lines]
Louis Cyphre: Johnny. Johnny. Johnny.

User Review

How terrible is wisdom...

Rating: 9/10

... 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 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.


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