Angel Heart 1987 ****

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Alan Parker got a career best performance from Mickey Rourke as shambolic private-eye Harry Angel in this intense thriller from 1987. Favourite is pressed into service for Louis Cyphre (Robert de Niro), a saturnine presence who wants to retrieve a mysterious something from a crooner called Johnny Favourite. Louis is the devil, and that something is a soul, and Parker’s New Orleans’ set metaphysical thriller depicts Angel’s investigation as a one way ticket to hell and back.  Skipping some of the more humorous touches of William Hjortsberg’s novel Falling Angel, Angel Heart is a vicious, beautiful, profound yet pulpy cinema experience, with a underlying gravity that’s deeply untypical of the time when it was made.

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