7.3/10
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Angel Heart (1987)

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.

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

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Cast

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

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

Taglines:

It will scare you to your very soul. See more »


Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Details

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Release Date:

6 March 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Corazón satánico  »

Filming Locations:

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Box Office

Budget:

$17,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$17,185,632 (USA)
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Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The line "How terrible is wisdom when it brings no profit to the wise" is drawn from Sophocles' "Oedipus The King". See more »

Goofs

Harry direct dials a seven-digit phone number from a payphone. This wouldn't have been possible in the 1950s. See more »

Quotes

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

Crazy Credits

Scene during credits shows Mickey Rourke's character descending to 'Hell' inside of an elevator. See more »

Connections

References Rosemary's Baby (1968) See more »

Soundtracks

Zu Zu Mamou
Performed by Dr. John
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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.


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