The Singing Detective (1986)

TV Mini-Series  |   |  Drama, Musical, Mystery
8.8
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.8/10 from 3,361 users  
Reviews: 47 user | 10 critic

Tormented and bedridden by a debilitating disease, a mystery writer relives his detective stories through his imagination and hallucinations.

0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 34 titles
created 01 Feb 2011
 
a list of 21 titles
created 26 Nov 2012
 
a list of 40 titles
created 31 Jan 2014
 
a list of 25 titles
created 10 Apr 2014
 
a list of 45 titles
created 20 Apr 2014
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Singing Detective (1986)

The Singing Detective (1986) on IMDb 8.8/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Singing Detective.

Episodes

Seasons


Years



1  
1986  
6 wins & 8 nominations. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Pennies from Heaven (TV Mini-Series 1978)
Drama | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 X  

Arthur, a sheet music salesman, has an ear for the hit tunes, but nobody will trust it. And his imagination often bursts into full song, building musical numbers around the greatest ... See full summary »

Stars: Cheryl Campbell, Bob Hoskins, Gemma Craven
Boys from the Blackstuff (TV Mini-Series 1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

Five unemployed men would do anything just to have a job in Thatchers era Britain.

Stars: Michael Angelis, Bernard Hill, Alan Igbon
Edge of Darkness (TV Mini-Series 1985)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.6/10 X  

The mysterious murder of an environmental activist leads her straight-laced father, an Inspector of the local police force, through a haunting revelation of the murkiness of the British ... See full summary »

Stars: Bob Peck, Joe Don Baker, Charles Kay
Brimstone and Treacle (TV Movie 1987)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

The Bates sadly care for their severely disabled daughter Pattie. Martin arrives at their door claiming to be her college friend. He charms them into accepting him as a lodger and carer for Pattie. But Martin is not all he seems.

Director: Barry Davis
Stars: Denholm Elliott, Michael Kitchen, Patricia Lawrence
Drama | Musical | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

During the Great Depression, a sheet music salesman seeks to escape his dreary life through popular music and a love affair with an innocent school teacher.

Director: Herbert Ross
Stars: Steve Martin, Bernadette Peters, Jessica Harper
Blade on the Feather (TV Movie 1980)
Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A reclusive, elderly author is visited by a young admirer...but both men are more than they claim to be.

Director: Richard Loncraine
Stars: Kika Markham, Phoebe Nicholls, Donald Pleasence
Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy (TV Mini-Series 1979)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced out of semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6's echelons.

Stars: Alec Guinness, Michael Jayston, Anthony Bate
Lipstick on Your Collar (TV Mini-Series 1993)
Drama | Musical | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

During the Suez Crisis of 1956, two young clerks at the stuffy Foreign Office in Whitehall display little interest in the decline of the British Empire. To their eyes, it can hardly compete... See full summary »

Stars: Giles Thomas, Ewan McGregor, Louise Germaine
Blackeyes (TV Mini-Series 1989)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Blackeyes is an attempt to explore "what does go on between men and women in their heads, to show the possibilities of the ways that they see each other." Complex and multi-layered, the ... See full summary »

Stars: Michael Gough, Carol Royle, Nigel Planer
Cold Lazarus (TV Mini-Series 1996)
Drama | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Dr. Emma Porlock and her colleagues, attempting to unlock the secrets of human memory for the Masdon drug empire, get a cryogenically stored 400-year-old human head to project its memories ... See full summary »

Stars: Albert Finney, Ciarán Hinds, Frances de la Tour
Karaoke (TV Mini-Series 1996)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Daniel Feeld is a screenwriter with pains in his gut and a new screenplay called "Karaoke", about a girl named Sandra who works in a seedy Karaoke bar and is murdered by a lowlife named ... See full summary »

Stars: Albert Finney, Roy Hudd, Richard E. Grant
Midnight Movie (TV Movie 1994)
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

American producer James Boyce and his airhead wife Amber rent an English country mansion where the British horror flick "Smoke Rings" was filmed twenty years previous. Amber's mother was ... See full summary »

Director: Renny Rye
Stars: Jim Carter, Louise Germaine, Brian Dennehy
Edit

Cast

Complete series cast summary:
...
 Philip Marlow (6 episodes, 1986)
...
 Mark Binney / ... (6 episodes, 1986)
...
 Nurse Mills (6 episodes, 1986)
...
 Mr. Hall (6 episodes, 1986)
Gerard Horan ...
 Reginald (6 episodes, 1986)
Leslie French ...
 Mr. Tomkey / ... (6 episodes, 1986)
...
 First Mysterious Man (6 episodes, 1986)
George Rossi ...
 Second Mysterious Man (6 episodes, 1986)
Sharon D. Clarke ...
 Night Nurse (6 episodes, 1986)
Lyndon Davies ...
 Philip (aged 10) (6 episodes, 1986)
Geff Francis ...
 Porter (6 episodes, 1986)
...
 Nicola (5 episodes, 1986)
...
 Mrs. Marlow / ... (5 episodes, 1986)
...
 Mr. Marlow (5 episodes, 1986)
...
 Staff Nurse White (5 episodes, 1986)
Janet Henfrey ...
 Schoolteacher (5 episodes, 1986)
...
 Dr. Gibbon (4 episodes, 1986)
William Speakman ...
 Mark Binney (aged 10) / ... (4 episodes, 1986)
...
 Dr. Finlay (4 episodes, 1986)
Charles Simon ...
 George Adams (4 episodes, 1986)
Wally Thomas ...
 Grandad Baxter (3 episodes, 1986)
Kate McKenzie ...
 Sonia (3 episodes, 1986)
Trevor Cooper ...
 Cloth Cap / ... (3 episodes, 1986)
Charon Bourke ...
 Amanda (2 episodes, 1986)
Mary MacLeod ...
 Sister Malone (2 episodes, 1986)
Thomas Wheatley ...
 Registrar (2 episodes, 1986)
...
 Uncle John (2 episodes, 1986)
...
 Aunt Emily (2 episodes, 1986)
Niven Boyd ...
 First Soldier (2 episodes, 1986)
Angela Curran ...
 Mary (2 episodes, 1986)
...
 Second Soldier (2 episodes, 1986)
Edit

Storyline

Reworking material from his first novel, "Hide and Seek" (1973), and folding this into a prismatic blend of autobiographical details, popular music and 1940s film noir, Dennis Potter delivered a drama now regarded as a 20th-century masterwork. Detective novelist Philip Marlow (Michael Gambon) suffers from the crippling disease of psoriatic arthritis. Confined to a hospital bed, Marlow mentally rewrites his early Chandleresque thriller, "The Singing Detective," with himself in the title role, drifting into a surreal 1945 fantasy of spies and criminals, along with vivid memories of a childhood in the Forest of Dean. As past events and 1940s songs surface in his subconscious, Marlow's voyage of self-discovery provides a key to conquering his illness, while his noir-styled hallucinations evoke the Philip Marlowe of Chandler's "Murder, My Sweet" (1944), starring Dick Powell, who later became a "singing detective" on radio's "Richard Diamond, Private Detective" (1949), crooning to ... Written by Bhob Stewart <bhob2@aol.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

16 November 1986 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Az éneklő detektív  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Prepping and filming took almost exactly 11 months. See more »

Quotes

Philip Marlow: Forget the cops. If they'd got enough they'd've nabbed you already: they're not broody hens, they don't sit on their eggs. You know what they do?
Mark Binney: What?
Philip Marlow: They break the shells straightaway and *fry* what's inside.
See more »

Connections

Remade as The Singing Detective (2003) See more »

Soundtracks

Peg o' My Heart
(uncredited)
Music by Fred Fisher
Performed by Max Harris & His Novelty Trio during the credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Dennis Potter's masterpiece
15 June 2002 | by (cherry hill, nj) – See all my reviews

The picture opens with a rather "Casablanca" like WW2 waterfront dive, where everyone looks like they're auditioning to become Nazi spies, or British Intelligence. So far okay. Then we see a man clad only in a diaperlike wrap around, ninety per cent nude. He is covered from head to toe with horrible sores. I knew something different was about to happen, because even in standard TV disease movies they don't shock the viewers with scenes this repulsive. The man turns out to be a mystery writer, afflicted with a fiedish type of psoriasis, and the opening spy scene is a chapter from a book he is writing. This is autobiographical, as Dennis Potter suffered, and died from this disease. There are so many plots and subplots going on that I'm not sure I could map it out. It's about Potter's childhood, the every day day nitty gritty of writing, a husband/wife can't live with, can't live without'em (Gambon/Suzman) infidelity(Malahide/ Suzman) and something I will not forgive Potter for, the hackneyed scene that never happens in therapy, where the psychiatrist says, "That's it! You've been suppressing it for years." And the paralyzed patient gets up and walks. Balderdash. Never has happened, never will. Okay. Except for the standard shrink nonsense, I'm compelled to call this the greatest production of this kind I have ever seen. To me, it's only rivals are Ken Finkleman's "Newsroom", and "More Tears". The entire production is woven with Potter's trademark. At certain intervals the characters break out and lip sync to the hit records of the forties. I'm not ashamed to say I found myself sobbing over the pop tunes of my childhood.(Crying for my lost youth?) The performances? Can you have bad performnces with Michael Gabon, Janet Suzman, Patrick Malahide, Jim Carter, Joanne Whalley, Allison Steadman, and Bill Paterson? No. They are the elite of the British stage. When not doing a movie, they're acting every night in the theatre. Miss this masterpiece at your own peril.


20 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
better rating then godfather???? chutzpah210
Americans... hoistmypatard
Removing Vincent Schiavelli's photo pusterummet
What was BAFTA thinking?! melj
Soundtrack on CD? lironba
For those who have been wondering about a DVD release wordcraft
Discuss The Singing Detective (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?