Hey, guys! Dice Rollen here with another & probably long overdue Book VS Movie review. This review of the book Falling Angel versus the movie that was based off of it, Angel Heart was requested by Ty L. Burney. So thank you for the review request. And without further ado, this is my Book VS Movie review of Falling Angel VS Angel Heart.
Now the book & the movie are a little out of my usual genre, but still manage to keep a foot in the horror area of things since they could be described as horror/supernatural noirs. The book itself was written by William Hjortsberg & the movie was directed by Alan Parker in 1987. The movie stars a pre-plastic surgery Mickey Rourke as the main character, private investigator Harry Angel. It’s actually kind of ironic since we learn, in the book, that Harry had to have surgery to repair his face after being hit by shrapnel.
I’m really not sure what Mr. Rourke’s excuse was.
“Something that I do like that’s a subtle hint to a part that’s mentioned in the book is how Rourke will occasionally fuss with his nose. That’s because Harry mentions his nose is fake & that he’d spent too long in the sun one day which deformed it a bit.
In the beginning of the book & the movie we see Harry get a phone call from Winesap who works for Louis Cyphre. However, unlike in the book we actually get to see Mr. Winesap. Shortly after that we also get to meet Louis Cyphre himself, played by Robert de Niro. Now for anyone who may not be quick enough to catch on, I’m going to give you a hint about Mr. Cyphre’s character. It rhymes with Lucifer…
There are other important characters that we’re introduced to throughout the book & movie. Like Margaret Krusemark who, in the book, we’re lead to believe is a witch & living in Paris while her twin is still living in New York. But Harry finds out that there never was a twin & the woman he met was indeed Margaret herself, not her twin. However, in the movie all of that is cut out. She was Johnny’s fiance at one point & helped him with some dark practices. On a side note, Margaret’s appearance is different in the movie than in the book. They did get her death right though.
Another character is Epiphany Proudfoot, who is a lovely young woman that Harry comes to realize is important to his finding of Johnny Favorite. But of course, there are some glaring differences between book Epiphany & movie Epiphany. First off, Epiphany was the daughter of the woman who owned the herb shop Harry went to. Second, in the book she never had a child. And third, I believe the book mentioned her having Cuban heritage when in the movie she doesn’t seem to.
And Mr. Krusemark, who is the father of Margaret Krusemark. He’s rather different in the book than in the movie. For starters it’s made very clear in the book that he could whoop anyone’s ass. He works out & looks like a captain of a ship. Compare that to what we get in the movie &…yeah…
Now let’s talk about the plot itself & how the movie handled it in comparison to it’s source material. There were scenes from the book that didn’t make the cut that I felt probably should have. But to be fair I suppose you can’t really include the Satanic baby sacrificing orgy in the movie. Boobs & animal slaughter are fine, but that’s just crossing the line!
There are certain areas in the plot of the movie that fall through when compared to the book. Like Harry never when to Louisiana. Actually he never left New York. Which means that all the other characters he meets in person were in New York too.
Certain death scenes were the same as they were in the book. But here’s where I have to nitpick a bit. Like I said before, I realize there are rather…sensitive details that you can’t put in the movie. A good example of this would be the pianist, Toots Sweet’s, death. With that being said, Mr. Krusemark didn’t die from drowning/being boiled alive in gumbo. In the book Harry catches him after a Satan worshippers anonymous meeting & interrogates him. This results in a fist fight where Mr. Krusemark is electrocuted/run over by a subway train.
The twist of the book & movie are done pretty much in the same way. And that’s a very good thing since everything that’s happened culminates into this one horrifying realization by Harry. And without spoiling too much for anyone who hasn’t but wants to read or watch it, Harry finds out the man he’s looking for is a lot closer than he thought.
Both the book & movie are pretty heavy on the religious symbolism, but I have to say it works. In this particular case it puts the fear of Satan into the viewer.
Naturally the movie has to cut certain things out & add other things in order to make it all work. Overall I have to say that everything ties together as well in the movie as it did in the book, if you’re willing to overlook a few things. The characters themselves hold pretty true to the book characters & were believable. I feel like the movie was a bit rushed though. But since you can only fit so much into about 2 hours worth of screen time, it did a pretty decent job.
But the real question is, which was better? The book or the movie? In the grand scheme of the whole plot & it’s characters I have to say the book did a better job of grabbing your attention & twisting your idea of what would happen around. The movie was interesting to watch & certainly was a fun little trip on it’s own though. I just feel like you would be able to understand the whole idea of it better in the book. There are certain clues & hints for the reader to pick up on so it doesn’t feel like the ending is thrown at you as much as it kind of was in the movie.
So I would recommend that if you like mysteries with macabre themes & voodoo mixed in, read the book then watch the movie.
And that was my Book VS Movie review of Falling Angel VS Angel Heart! I hope you enjoyed this video, if you did give it a like to let me know. And don’t forget to leave a comment down below. If you’ve read this book or seen the movie, what did you think of it? Do you have a book & it’s movie adaptation you’d like me to review? Also don’t forget to share this video to help that channel grow & subscribe for more videos like this.
See ya later!