Angel (1982 Irish film)

Angel is a 1982 Ireland film directed by Neil Jordan and starring Stephen Rea.[2] The film was Neil Jordan's directorial debut, and the executive producer was John Boorman.

DVD cover
Directed byNeil Jordan
Produced byJohn Boorman
Written byNeil Jordan
Music byPaddy Meegan
CinematographyChris Menges
Release date
  • 1982 (1982)
Running time
90 minutes


Danny, 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).[3] However, there is little specific reference to the Northern Ireland Troubles.

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 St. Brendans Hospital, Grangegorman.

The dance and crowd scenes from the Mosney ballroom had to be re-shot due to a problem with the film processing.


  1. BRITISH PRODUCTION 1981 Moses, Antoinette. Sight and Sound; London Vol. 51, Iss. 4, (Fall 1982): 258.
  2. Allon, Yoram; Cullen, Del; Patterson, Hannah (8 March 2018). "Contemporary North American Film Directors: A Wallflower Critical Guide". Wallflower Press via Google Books.
  3. Kearney, Richard (1982). "Avenging Angel: An Analysis of Neil Jordan's First Irish Feature Film". Studies: An Irish Quarterly Review. 71 (283): 296–303. JSTOR 30090449.

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