MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Up 424 this week

The Singing Detective (2003)

5.7
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 5.7/10 from 6,467 users   Metascore: 45/100
Reviews: 76 user | 65 critic | 33 from Metacritic.com

From his hospital bed, a writer suffering from a skin disease hallucinates musical numbers and paranoid plots.

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (television series)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 42 titles
created 09 May 2011
 
a list of 49 titles
created 12 May 2011
 
a list of 23 titles
created 03 Aug 2011
 
a list of 46 titles
created 04 Jun 2012
 
a list of 39 titles
created 23 Feb 2013
 

Related Items


Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Singing Detective (2003)

The Singing Detective (2003) on IMDb 5.7/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Singing Detective.
1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Paparazzi (2004)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.8/10 X  

A rising Hollywood actor decides to take personal revenge against a group of four persistent photographers to make them pay for almost causing a personal tragedy involving his wife and son.

Director: Paul Abascal
Stars: Cole Hauser, Robin Tunney, Dennis Farina
8 Women (2002)
Musical | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

One murdered man, eight women, each seeming to be more eager than the others to know the truth. Gimme, gimme, gimme some clues to make up my mind. And eventually enter the truth. Oh, thou cruel woman!

Director: François Ozon
Stars: Fanny Ardant, Emmanuelle Béart, Danielle Darrieux
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

"Dude" Lebowski, mistaken for a millionaire Lebowski, seeks restitution for his ruined rug and enlists his bowling buddies to help get it.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An insurance investigator and an efficency expert who hate each other are both hypnotized by a crooked hypnotist with a jade scorpion into stealing jewels.

Director: Woody Allen
Stars: Greg Stebner, Woody Allen, John Tormey
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Five Vermont state troopers, avid pranksters with a knack for screwing up, try to save their jobs and out-do the local police department by solving a crime.

Director: Jay Chandrasekhar
Stars: Jay Chandrasekhar, Kevin Heffernan, André Vippolis
Chicago (2002)
Comedy | Crime | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Murderesses Velma Kelly and Roxie Hart find themselves on death row together and fight for the fame that will keep them from the gallows in 1920s Chicago.

Director: Rob Marshall
Stars: Renée Zellweger, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Richard Gere
Volver I (2006)
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

After her death, a mother returns to her home town in order to fix the situations she couldn't resolve during her life.

Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Stars: Penélope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Lola Dueñas
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Kids show host Rainbow Randolph is fired in disgrace while his replacement, Sheldon Mopes, aka Smoochy the Rhino, finds himself a rising star. Unfortunately for Sheldon, the kid's TV business isn't all child's play.

Director: Danny DeVito
Stars: Robin Williams, Edward Norton, Catherine Keener
Action | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A murder mystery brings together a private eye, a struggling actress, and a thief masquerading as an actor.

Director: Shane Black
Stars: Robert Downey Jr., Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family's quintupelets, their lives get more complicated than they anticipated.

Directors: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen
Stars: Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, Trey Wilson
Adventure | Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Bumbling Inspector Clouseau must solve the murder of a famous soccer coach and find out who stole the infamous Pink Panther diamond.

Director: Shawn Levy
Stars: Steve Martin, Kevin Kline, Jean Reno
The Hangover (2009)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Three buddies wake up from a bachelor party in Las Vegas, with no memory of the previous night and the bachelor missing. They make their way around the city in order to find their friend before his wedding.

Director: Todd Phillips
Stars: Zach Galifianakis, Bradley Cooper, Justin Bartha
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Nicola / Nina / Blonde (as Robin Wright Penn)
...
...
...
...
First Hood
...
Second Hood
...
Betty Dark / Hooker
...
Skin Specialist
...
Chief of Staff
...
...
...
Moonglow Bartender
Lily Knight ...
Woman Physiotherapist
...
Visiting Japanese Doctor
Edit

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

Plot Keywords:

murder | detective | book | 1950s | disease | See more »

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:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 November 2003 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El detective cantante  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$8,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$28,324 (USA) (24 October 2003)

Gross:

$336,456 (USA) (30 January 2004)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

While Dan Dark is in Binney's office, he picks up a statue of a Maltese Falcon. See more »

Goofs

When the First Hood and Second Hood are driving away in their vintage car in the 1940s, you can clearly see the reflection of a lit, modern, Los Angeles skyscraper in the window of the backseat. See more »

Quotes

Dan Dark: Are you pretending to be an oddball or are you actually nuts?
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in At the Movies: Episode #1.2 (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Only Make Believe
Written by Conway Twitty and Jack Nance
Published by Sony / ATV Songs LLC (BMI)
Performed by Conway Twitty
Courtesy of Universal Records
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
An Outsider's View
7 June 2005 | by (Vulcan) – See all my reviews

I have neither read the novel nor seen the original mini-series. A relative was enthralled with both, so seeing this listed on my cable guide I decided to give it a shot. I knew only the basic premise - that the film would be centered around a writer of pulp detective fiction who fantasizes about the lives of his characters as a way to escape his debilitating chronic skin disease. This was a good impression to enter this movie with, though far from complete. The 'singing detective' is the main character in Dan Dark's first novel, and an imaginary alter-ego existing in a seedy film-noir world of pulp fiction, in which Dark has encoded all of the traumas of his emotionally disturbing life. Meanwhile, Dark himself lies in a hospital bed incapacitated by some form of chronic leprosy and spreading a message of hate to everybody who dares to try to help him. The film focuses - though rather impressionistically - on Dan Dark's psychological journey during a prolonged hospital stay.

Without the background most viewers of this film might approach it with, I can only view it as an outsider, judging it only on its own merits. There are a few major problems which immediately come to mind. First - The Singing Detective is slated as a comedy. While I suppose some people might see it as a dark comedy, I am afraid that I found none of it funny whatsoever. Obnoxious, mean-spirited verbal violence does not amuse me. Second - though I do not have the insider perspective needed to support this idea (I haven't even read any IMDb reviews of this film), I suspect that the film leaves a lot of the development of its basic theme - of healing - out. Paradoxically, this problem seems to develop because of the nearly exclusive focus on Downey's deeply disturbed and paranoid character Dark, and his hospital antics. Yes, he's a very difficult patient - we get that right away - but is it necessary to drive it home scene after scene after scene? Downey's Dark is a blend of Woody Allen and Dustin Hoffman's Rainman, while his "Singing Detective" is a cold-fish hybrid of Humphrey Bogart, Bob Mitchum and all of the other noir detectives ever seen on the big screen. And he sings (this is a fact which is neither explained nor well-developed, but I am sure that the silly 1950s RnR tunes are the only venue for positive emotions the character allows himself). Downey's performances are, as usual, good, but they fail to sustain the entire film (which they are, unfortunately, asked to do). Mel Gibson, playing the hospital psychoanalyst, steals the show, despite his decidedly minor though important role. The rest - the pretty young nurse, the ambiguous wife, and the characters inhabiting Dark's fantasies and later his hallucinations are all well written and performed, but fail to compensate for the somewhat dull development of the central theme.

Good films based on unfamiliar literary works always make me want to read the original material (Master and Commander, The World According to Garp, and Bladerunner are some examples). When I see a good film based on a book I am familiar with (LOTR, Cider House Rules, Minority Report, The Shining, Solaris, for example) I approach it with a head full of expectations. With this film, I had only a palm full of expectations, and, though my review may sound negative, I was pleasantly surprised. The film dove unexpectedly deep, but in the end, came up a little empty-handed for me. Nor did I expect the film to be as breezily entertaining as it was. Balancing breezy entertainment and deep psychological drama (not to mention literary comedy and plenty of music) is a difficult task. Though The Singing Detective ultimately fails in this ambitious goal, it is still worth seeing, if nothing else, as an appetizer for the mini-series - which I will borrow from my relative post-haste.


20 of 30 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
This film is terrible! netservice22
KATIE HOLMES fishnuts45
This better be good mj-31
Exactly what was Dan Dark hospitalized for? alexliu_1999
Katie Holmes questions splaj109
Connection To Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang? fotikatsny
Discuss The Singing Detective (2003) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?