Angel Heart
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FAQ Contents

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags are used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

The Hand of Glory is a legendary item from European folklore: a hand cut from a hanged corpse turned into a wax candle that was capable of giving invisibility and opening any lock. The Hand of Glory was an item supposedly wielded by magicians and thieves, lighting the fingers like candles to put people to sleep.

Margaret Krusemark has a Hand of Glory in her possession, which Harold Angel notices when he's searching in her apartment.

Detective Harold Angel, played by Mickey Rourke, is actually Johnny Favorite, the missing person that he was hired to track down in the first place.

Johnny Favorite put his soul up for collateral in a deal with Satan in return for stardom in the music industry, but Favorite wanted to escape his fate of giving Satan his soul upon his death, so he stole Harold Angel's soul and memories and implanted them in himself in an attempt to hide his true self.

Eventually he would get amnesia from an injury suffered in World War II as Johnny Favorite. The injury would allow Harold Angel's memory and soul to take over Johnny Favorite's body, fooling Johnny into believing he was Harold Angel his entire life, having no memories of who he really was and whose body he was really in.

Louis Cyphre (the character played by Robert DeNiro) is the Devil, his name being a play on words (Lucifer).

At the end of the film he asks Harold Angel, "If I had cloven hooves and a pointed tail, would you be more convinced?" before briefly showing him a pair of glowing yellow eyes.

Early in the film, Louis Cyphre introduces his lawyer as half of the legal practice of Winesap and Macintosh. Both names refer to types of apples, suggesting the story of the serpent in the Garden of Eden story from Genesis.

There are four instances of people hiding under a black hood:

The first time is when Harold Angel sees a woman cleaning blood off of a wall inside of the church in Brooklyn. Cyphre's lawyer Winesap tells Angel that "a member of the flock took a gun to himself," to reveal to Angel how the blood came to be on the wall.

The second is when detective Angel is snooping around the church in Brooklyn later in the film and comes across a figure in a black cloak before getting attacked by two members of the church.

The third time someone in a cloak is shown it is a flashback. It is actually Margaret Krusemark under the cloak, during the ritual in which Johnny Favorite murdered Harold Angel. Krusemark, only her back shown in the scene, is wiping blood (from the ritual) off of the wall from the hotel room the ritual occurred in, in the exact same manner as the person behind the cloak during the first incidence.

The fourth time someone in a black cloak is shown, it is Cyphre himself, in the last scene, sitting cleanly shaved outside of Johnny's hotel room in New Orleans.

Cyphre, or Satan, set up several scenarios and images, such as a cloaked figure wiping blood off of a wall, to cause Angel to have flashbacks to the ritual.

Here's a chronological time line of Johnny 'Favorite' Liebling's life:

- Meets Toots Sweet, Spider Simpson, begins playing in their band with them.

- Meets Ethan Krusemark, a fellow devil worshipper and greatly impresses him by conjuring an image of Lucifer right in front of him. Ethan introduces his daughter Margaret to him

- Johnny begins dating Margaret.

- Meets Evangeline Proudfoot, begins an affair with her.

- Offers his soul up to Satan for eventual collateral in exchange for stardom in the music industry.

- Hits it big in the record industry as singer Johnny Favorite.

- Decides to back out of the deal with Satan, finds an ancient ritual and shows it to his black magic friends.

- Goes to Time Square, New Year's Eve, 1943 with Margaret, Toots, and Ethan to find someone his age to steal his soul; they choose a soldier, Harold Angel.

- They take the soldier, Harold Angel, to a nearby hotel room.

- The ritual occurs; he steals Harold Angel's soul and memories after slicing him open and eating his heart.

- Johnny seals the dog tags in a vase without showing them to anyone but himself, completely hiding the identity from everyone involved in the ritual purposefully.

- The four of them dispose of Angel's body.

- Margaret hides the vase without ever opening it, NEVER knowing who Johnny became in his mind and soul, never knowing the soldier's identity.

- 1944, Johnny Liebling gets drafted into service during World War II.

- Johnny goes to Africa to serve as part of the entertainment division, entertaining soldiers.

- Johnny is shell-shocked, BADLY, in an attack overseas.

- He is shipped home in a coma, as a vegetable, to a military hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY.

- During his stay at the hospital, his memories as Harold Angel take over his mind, and he loses all his memories as Johnny due to the coma.

- During his stay, doctors, including Dr. Fowler, operate on his face surgically to repair it from his war injuries, changing his portrait enough that he doesn't resemble Johnny Favorite recognizably anymore.

- While his face is still bandaged, Margaret and Ethan come to Poughkeepsie in disguise, Ethan using the identity of Edward Kelly, Margaret hiding her face under a black cloak, and pay Fowler $25,000 for Johnny.

- They drop him off in Times Square, thinking it's the last place that the soldier that they kidnapped will remember before the ritual, returning to New Orleans without Johnny.

- It works: Johnny is found wandering around Times Square and says he's a soldier named Harold Angel. His face is still bandaged so no one knows it's Johnny, even if they could potentially recognize him.

- He gets treated in a hospital Brooklyn, NYC, for shell-shock.

- Eventually he is discharged, completely rehabilitated, and becomes a detective.

- During his time as a detective, someone either recognizes him or Satan himself discovers that Harold is Johnny with another man's memories.

- Satan greets him as Louis Cyphre and the movie begins....

Due to Britains strict laws with regard to animal violence in movies the cockfight sequence had to be removed for the Theatrical Version, the VHS Versions and the Blu-ray Version. Only the DVD versions offer the uncensored cut of the movie and a detailed comparison between both versions with pictures can be found here.


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