Angel (1982 Irish film)
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|Directed by||Neil Jordan|
|Produced by||John Boorman|
|Written by||Neil Jordan|
|Music by||Paddy Meegan|
|Running time||90 minutes|
Danny (played by Rea), a saxophonist with a travelling band, witnesses the gangland murder of the band's manager (involved in extortion payoffs) and that of a deaf and mute girl witness at a dancehall in South Armagh. Danny tries to hunt down the murderers and in doing so his relationship with Deirdre, the singer in his band, falls apart and he becomes a murderer himself.
The film is set in Northern Ireland and it is implied that the extortionists/murderers are loyalist paramilitaries (one is described as "a Prod" by his Catholic girlfriend; another is a policeman). However, there is little specific reference to the Northern Ireland Troubles and it would not make much differences to the plot if they were apolitical gangsters.
The film was made in and around inner-city Dublin (standing in for Belfast) and Jordan's native Bray. In the sequences where the band play in a seaside resort (probably supposed to be Portstewart, since Danny is shown asking older bandsmen about their memories of his late uncle, whom we are earlier told played in a band at Portstewart) Bray Head is visible in some background shots. Other locations include the former Butlin's holiday camp in Mosney, County Meath, and the former Mental Hospital, Grangegorman.
- Richard Kearney, "Avenging Angel: An Analysis of Neil Jordan's First Irish Feature Film", in Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review, Vol. 71, No. 283 (Autumn, 1982), pp. 296-303.
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