Adapted from William Hjortsberg‘s novel Falling Angel, it is a dark thriller set during the 1950s about a Brooklyn private eye (Mickey Rourke) hired by a mysterious man (Robert De Niro) to locate a singer.
At the time it divided critics and a rough sex scene ruffled feathers at the MPAA, but over time it has become something of a cult favourite with directors such as Christopher Nolan singing its praises (he has admitted it was an influence on Memento).
- Robert Redford originally owned the rights to the novel
- Why he loves switching genres
- How Carolco funded it after making lots of money on the Rambo series
- Working with Mickey Rourke (who is ‘very much his own man’ – diplomatic words?)
- The appeals process with the MPAA over the sex scene
- How the greatest crime is just to make ‘another movie’
- The importance of shooting on location rather than a studio sound stage
- How he got his break writing and filming in the ‘egalitarian’ world of advertising
- The pragmatism of choosing Bugsy Malone (1976) as a film project
- Working with David Puttnam and Oliver Stone on Midnight Express (1978)
- Why he thinks The Wall (1982) is almost ‘too angry’ despite being proud of it
- The state of the British film industry at the time (very perceptive comments on this)