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Angel Heart

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Released 1987

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Director:
Alan Parker
Released:
1987
Rating:
R
Angel Heart is the supernaturally tinged detective story from writer-director famed director Alan Parker (Evita, Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning). Mickey Rourke plays Harry Angel, a private dick in 1955 Brooklyn who is haunted by dreams of a descending elevator, his own blood-soaked visage, and... chickens. He is enlisted by the mysterious Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro) to locate an allegedly-dead-but-not-dead Jazz musician by the name of Johnny Favorite; what ensues is a trip through gritty locales and offbeat characters, with Angel winding up in New Orleans, a steamy land of mystery punctuated by intense jazz numbers, voodoo rituals, and bizarre sexuality. Parker creates a wonderfully involving atmosphere and infuses a sense of dislocation into a period that has been trivialized in other films, with Rourke a capable, engaging leading man (at times looking like a Bruce Willis doppelganger) - his oft-unusual verbal inflections (his pronunciation of Evangeline, for instance) make Angel that much more a stranger in hostile, mysterious land.
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    Crime, Thrillers