Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

Angel Heart (1987)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

Angel Heart (1987)

In Alan Parker's supernatural film noir set in New Orleans, Louisiana with the tagline - "It will scare you to your very soul":

  • the opening sequence in which a dog found a bloody corpse in an alley
  • in the year 1955, seedy Brooklyn private detective Harry Angel's (Mickey Rourke) met in Harlem with mysterious satanic client Louis Cyphre (Robert De Niro in a masterfully-acted devilish role), with long fingernails and a pentagram ring; Cyphre hired Angel to investigate a missing persons case; shortly later during a NYC diner scene, Cyphre remarked: "Some religions believe the egg is a symbol for the soul" -- before meaningfully biting into a hard-boiled egg, and offering Angel $5,000 for his efforts
Egg-Eating Louis Cyphre - Satanic Figure
  • there were many brutal murders that Harry discovered after he was hired by Louis Cyphre to find the whereabouts of a missing person (who owed Cyphre a debt) - disgraced singer/bandleader and WWII draftee Johnny Favourite (nee John Liebling), known as the "guy with the golden tonsils"; he had been neurologically wounded during military action, and was admitted to a Poughkeepsie Nursing Home, but subsequently was secretly transferred out in late 1943 with fake documents
  • the dead included Dr. Albert Fowler (Michael Higgins) from the Poughkeepsie facility - who was shot through the eye (with brain splatter), Johnny's one-time fiancee Margaret Krusemark (aka Madame Zora) (Charlotte Rampling) who had her heart cut out, and Margaret's wealthy husband Ethan Krusemark (Stocker Fontelieu) who was drowned in a large vat of boiling gumbo; it was revealed later that Harry had killed all of them in an attempt to keep his own identity as Johnny Favourite a secret - both a secret from others and a secret from himself
  • the scene of illegitimate, half-Creole, teenaged voodoo practitioner Epiphany Proudfoot (Lisa Bonet in her film debut, who child-starred as Denise Huxtable in the family TV show The Cosby Show), the 17 year-old mixed-race daughter of Evangeline (a now-deceased black voodoo queen), who was fathered by Johnny Favourite; Angel witnessed her participation in a voodoo ritual in which she was scantily-clad as she slit a chicken's throat and let the blood drip down her face, neck and breasts
Incestuous Rape-Murder of Epiphany
  • the notorious, originally NC-17 rated incestuous sex scene (trimmed for an R-rating) between Harry and Epiphany as rain leaked through the hotel roof and was transformed into dripping chicken blood during a rainstorm, while they listened to the radio playing the sultry tune "Soul on Fire" by Laverne Baker; and then Harry 'woke up' and found himself strangling her
  • the well-known plot twist - in which Johnny's identity was revealed; Johnny had sold his soul to the devil (Lu-cifer) for fame and stardom, but then reneged on the contracted bargain, hid out, and took the alias of Harry Angel. Through a satanic black magic ritual, Johnny evaded Satan by stealing the soul of a soldier in Times Square on New Years' Eve in 1943 - the soul of Harry Angel
  • Harry was the murderer of all the people he discovered dead - all magic and voodoo practitioners who were involved in Johnny Favourite's cover-up
  • the film shockingly concluded with Epiphany bloodied and dead on the bed (with a gunshot to the groin), with Harry's military 'dog-tags' (HAROLD ANGEL) around her neck. Harry had killed his own daughter
  • Harry had been 'guided' by Cyphre to commit the numerous murders: ("All killed by your own hand. Guided by me naturally. Frankly, you were doomed from the moment you slit that young boy in half. Johnny - for 12 years, you've been living on borrowed time and another man's memories...The flesh is weak, Johnny. Only the soul is immortal, and yours belongs to ME!")
  • at the crime scene, one of the detectives carried Epiphany's toddler son, Harry's grandson, into the bedroom - the boy had glowing eyes - strongly hinting that the boy was fathered by 'Lucifer' (during a voodoo ceremony) - and he pointed at Harry
  • Harry - who descended down a very lengthy elevator shaft as the film ended (during the entire credits sequence) - was convicted of the murder of Epiphany, and doomed to the electric chair - and afterwards fated to burn in Hell; at the end of his ride, with the final black screen, one could hear a very faint exchange (in voice-over): "Harry?" "Johnny?"

Dr. Fowler

Margaret Krusemark

Ethan Krusemark

Voodoo Ritual with Chicken blood

Epiphany Dead

Murders Were Guided by Cyphre: "Only the Soul is Immortal, and Yours Belongs to Me!"

Epiphany's Toddler Son

Harry Convicted and Doomed


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