Angel Heart (1987)

USA, UK, 1987
35mm film, 70mm film (blow-up), Technicolor, 1.85:1
Dolby, 70mm 6-Track (on 70mm prints), English

An American/British horror film directed by Alan Parker.

Plot Summary

Harry Angel is a down at heel private detective hired by the enigmatic and sinister Louis Cyphre to track down AWOL crooner Johnny Favourite, who owes him an unspecified debt. Incarcerated in a psychiatric hospital during the war suffering shell shock and extensive facial injuries, Johnny was transferred and promptly vanished, his new identity known to no one but himself. The trail leads Angel into the voodoo haunted Deep South, leaving in his turbulent wake a whole string of dead bodies – every one he visits in connection with the case winds up nastily murdered. In Louisiana, he falls in with teenage voodoo priestess Epiphany Proudfoot, a relationship which ultimately seals his fate.


Director: Alan Parker
Carolco Entertainment, Union, Winkast
Executive Producer: Mario Kassar, Andrew Vajna
Producers: Alan Marshall, Elliott Kastner
Associate Producer: Robert Dattila
Script: Alan Parker
Novel: Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg
Director of Photography: Michael Seresin
Editor: Gerry Hambling
Music: Trevor Jones
Sound Recordist: Danny Michael
Costume Designer: Aude Bronson-Howard
Key Make Up: David Forrest
Hair Designer: Paul LeBlanc
Special Make Up Effects: Robert Laden
Special Effects Supervisor: J.C. Brotherhood
Production Designer: Brian Morris

Mickey Rourke (Harry Angel)
Robert De Niro (Louis Cyphre)
Lisa Bonet (Epiphany Proudfoot)
Charlotte Rampling (Margaret Krusemark/Madame Zorah)
Stocker Fontelieu (Ethan Krusemark/Edward Kelly)
Brownie McGhee (Toots Sweet)
Michael Higgins (Dr Albert Fowler)
Elizabeth Whitcraft (Connie)
Eliott Keener (Sterne)
Charles Gordone (Spider Simpson)
Dann Florek (Herman Winesap)
Kathleen Wilhoite (nurse
George Buck (Izzy)
Judith Drake (Izzy’s wife)
Gerald L. Orange (Pastor John)
Peggy Severe (Mammy Carter)
Pruitt Taylor Vince (Delmos)
David Petitjean (baptism preacher)
Rick Washburn (Cajun heavy)
Neil Newlon (2nd Cajun heavy)

Alternative Titles

Angel Heart – Aux portes de l’enfer – French title
Angel Heart – ascensore per l’inferno – Italian title
Coração Satânico – Brazilian title
El corazón del ángel – Spanish title
Corazón diabólico – Mexican title
Noiduttu sydän – Finnish title
As Portas do Inferno – Portugese title

Extracts included in
Woodlands Dark and Days Bewitched: A History of Folk Horror (2021)

Production Notes

Although all of the sex and violence was left intact, a 4 second shot of a cockfight was removed from all theatrical and video releases, though the US television version (missing some of the sex and violence but with the cockfight left intact) has been screened on UK television


Fangoria no.63 (May 1987) pp.26 – 29 – illustrated interview
Is It Uncut? no.5 p.35 (UK) – note
New Musical Express 23 April 1988 p.27 – illustrated review
Première April 1987 p.9 – review (by Jean-Philippe Guerand)
Samhain no.5 (September – October 1987) p.30 – illustrated review
Starburst no.105 pp.19, 21 – illustrated review
Vogue May 1987 p.72 – article (Private ID by Molly Haskell)

Elliot’s Guide to Films on Video by John Elliot p.28 – credits, review
The Films of the Eighties by Robert A. Nowlan and Gwendolyn Wright Nowlan p.19 – credits, synopsis
Ghosts and Angels in Hollywood Films by James Robert Parish p.12 – credits
Horror and Science Fiction Films IV by Donald C. Willis p.19 – credits
Horror Films of the 1980s by John Kenneth Muir pp.557-558 – credits, synopsis, review

Other Sources
BFI Southbank Guide March 2018 p.40 – illustrated listing
Sex, Shocks and Sadism p.11 – credits, review