47 FILMS: 34. ANGEL HEART

In our continuing series of ’47 Films to see before you’re murdered in your dreams’, we look at Alan Parker’s Voodoo Noir Angel Heart.

The Eighties were fascinated by the Fifties. There were chart-topping reissues of Wonderful World, there were Levi adverts and in movies Stand By Me, Diner and Back to the Future played on an ever hungry nostalgia for the period. Even Billy Joel revived his career with doo-wop ditty Uptown Girl. But for me the best take on the era came from one time British commercials director Alan Parker. His dark noirish fantasy begins in a wonderfully realized 1955 New York, with Mickey Rourke as Harry Angel, a gum shoe with a sleazy commitment to his job, permanent stubble and a thing about chickens. Hired by Louis Cyphre (Robert de Niro) to find dance band crooner Johnny Favorite, Harry finds himself roughed up and bounced from Harlem to the bayous of Louisiana as his quest takes in fortune tellers, evangelicals, good old boys, corrupt cops and practitioners in the dark arts. Haunted by fearsome dreams of an elevator, the Private Eye only just manages to keep on top of things, but when he also falls for Evangeline Proudfoot (Lisa Bonet) you know things are going to get bloody.

Parker consistently made beautiful grim looking films. No one does grit quite as well in commercial cinema. Far less fond of the sheen than compatriot Ridley Scott, Parker also made consistently downbeat films, from the nightmarish view of a Turkish prison in Midnight Express, to the dirty end of fame in … well Fame, even when he made a kids movie, it was a weirdly filthy gangster pic – Bugsy Malone was a musical to boot.

Angel Heart is possibly his best film. The performances are terrific, with great cameos from Charlotte Rampling, Brownie McGhee and Robert de Niro himself, and a towering Mickey Rourke in his disheveled gone to seed perfection. Alongside Rumblefish, the best performance of his tragically curtailed career. With a haunting theme by Trevor Jones, those saxophones played by Courtney Pine, Angel Heart is the cool noir to set aside Blade Runner as the most inventive reinventions of the genre.

For more of our ’47 Films to see Before you are Murdered in your Dreams’ Click Here.

MICKEY ROURKE’S FACE FALLS OFF

MIAMI – The Wrestler and Rumble Fish actor Mickey Rourke was rushed to hospital last night after his face fell off.

The actor was at a Miami Beach restaurant I Love Sushi when fellow diners noticed his face slipping.

An eyewitness told the Studio Exec EXCLUSIVELY:

It was the weirdest thing I ever saw. He had finished his noodle soup with green peppers and was starting on his sushi, when suddenly Steve Guttenberg, who was eating opposite him, said ‘Mickey, Mickey your eyes!’

A shocked Guttenberg spoke on the phone:

 Where his eyes were there were these lumps of skin and his nose had just gone all squishy. At first I didn’t know what was happening and then – like an avalanche of tired old flesh – it just all went schlupp and landed in his sushi platter. Mickey didn’t seem to be in any pain. He just looked at me and smiled that crooked little smile of his and then called for a towel. It was typical Mickey. Only he would choose a sushi restaurant in Miami Beach.

Rourke reportedly toweled off the sticky mixture of gore and fixing paste to reveal his shocking new face, which looks remarkably similar to how he looked in 1988. A spokesperson for Rourke commented:

There is no need for panic this happens about every twenty years to Mickey. He sheds his skin you know. Like a snake. Or xenomorph. Mickey is in no pain and is in fact delighted. He’s sure that now he will get some different roles and won’t have to demean himself with that Whiplash bullshit he had to do in Iron Man 2.

Mickey Rourke will be appearing in Diner 2: McDonald’s in 2019.