5.5/10
8,095
80 user 64 critic

The Singing Detective (2003)

Trailer
2:25 | Trailer
From his hospital bed, a writer suffering from a skin disease hallucinates musical numbers and paranoid plots.

Director:

Keith Gordon

Writers:

Dennis Potter (screenplay), Dennis Potter (television series)
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robert Downey Jr. ... Dan Dark
Robin Wright ... Nicola / Nina / Blonde (as Robin Wright Penn)
Mel Gibson ... Dr. Gibbon
Jeremy Northam ... Mark Binney
Katie Holmes ... Nurse Mills
Adrien Brody ... First Hood
Jon Polito ... Second Hood
Carla Gugino ... Betty Dark / Hooker
Saul Rubinek ... Skin Specialist
Alfre Woodard ... Chief of Staff
Amy Aquino ... Nurse Nozhki
David Dorfman ... Young Dan Dark
Eddie Jones ... Moonglow Bartender
Lily Knight Lily Knight ... Woman Physiotherapist
Clyde Kusatsu ... Visiting Japanese Doctor
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Storyline

"While hospitalized with an extreme case of psoriasis, novelist Dan Dark reworks his first book in his head. Feverish, paranoid and prone to musical outbreaks, he confuses himself with his protagonist, a detective investigating the murder of a prostitute in 1950s Los Angeles." Written by Mag-Helder Thélot

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When it comes to murder, seduction and betrayal he wrote the book. Now he's living it!


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong sexual content, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Keith Gordon and Robert Downey, Jr. appeared in Back to School (1986). See more »

Goofs

The position of Dark's gun hand when he chases the goons into the street after they try to kill him in the nightclub. See more »

Quotes

Nicola: ...the plants are all dead.
Dan Dark: Good. I hope they suffered.
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits we see Robert Downey Jr. perform the song "In My Dreams" See more »

Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic: Dolittle (2020) See more »

Soundtracks

Mr. Sandman
Written by Pat Ballard
Published by Edwin H. Morris & Company (ASCAP), a Division of MPL Communications, Inc.
Performed by The Chordettes
Courtesy of Barnaby Records Inc.
By Arrangement with Celebrity Licensing Inc.
See more »

User Reviews

It's an offbeat film with style.
26 November 2003 | by jdesandoSee all my reviews

The 1984 'Singing Detective' miniseries had Michael Gambon as a misanthropic novelist confusing himself with his pulp-fiction noir detective. Although no one could approach Gambon's startling portrayal, no actor I see can match Robert Downey Jr.'s ability to bring back this character with his own demons to recreate hallucinations and '50's musicals in dreams lurid, colorful, and downright Freudian.

His debilitating skin and bone infection of extreme psoriasis have landed him in the hospital but provide him with the opportunity to dream about his choleric mother and tramp wife as well as place the hospital staff in cheesy '50's musicals.

In Keith Gordon's 'Singing Detective,' Downey brings his own life of addictions, which have truncated his career and left him dangerous to hire. He seems at home here as Dan Dark, emerging into the light of sanity by exorcizing his demons and dealing with the unreality of seductive nurse Katie Holmes attending to his skin and bone in reality and dream only as a writer could envision.

It's an offbeat film with style, similar to Woody Allen's lyrical 'Everyone Says I Love You' and Bjork's depressed 'Dancer in the Dark.' It's not quite as good as either but a charmer nonetheless.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 November 2003 (Brazil) See more »

Also Known As:

The Singing Detective See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$28,324, 26 October 2003

Gross USA:

$337,174

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$435,625
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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