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Angel Heart (1987)

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Harry Angel is a private investigator. He is hired by a man who calls himself Louis Cyphre to track down a singer called Johnny Favorite. But the investigation takes an unexpected and somber turn.



(novel), (screenplay)
2,854 ( 277)
2 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Stocker Fontelieu ...
Brownie McGhee ...
Michael Higgins ...
Elizabeth Whitcraft ...
Eliott Keener ...
Charles Gordone ...
Izzy's Wife
Gerald Orange ...
Pastor John (as Gerald L. Orange)


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. Written by David Carroll <davidc@atom.ansto.gov.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Harry Angel is searching for the truth... Pray he doesn't find it. See more »


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:


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Release Date:

6 March 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Corazón satánico  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$17,000,000 (estimated)


$17,185,632 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Jazz musician Deacon John Moore. See more »


The red sparkle Premier drums are too modern to have been around in 1955. See more »


[first lines]
Louis Cyphre: Johnny. Johnny. Johnny.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the end credits roll, you hear the whisper on a black screen, "Harry? Johnny?" See more »


Referenced in The Making of 'Enemy of the State' (2006) See more »


Sunny Land
Performed by John Lee Hooker
Courtesy of Everest Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

How terrible is wisdom...
5 February 2005 | by (Seattle, WA. USA) – See all my reviews

... 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.

149 of 163 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

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Meaning of the egg when Johnny and Louis meet in the restaurant billythewizard
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Best movie of the 1980's? pcgrind2001
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