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The Singing Detective (2003)

5.7
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Ratings: 5.7/10 from 6,577 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.

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(screenplay), (television series)
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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
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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:

 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Keith Gordon and Robert Downey Jr. previously worked together in the 1986 movie Back to School (1986). At the time, Keith Gordon was acting not directing. 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

Second Hood: I'm sick of standing around here like a coupla dummies. Are we feds or aren't we?
First Hood: No. We're just a coupla hoods.
Second Hood: Shaddap!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References The Maltese Falcon (1941) See more »

Soundtracks

Woman Love
Written by Jack Rhodes
Published by Trio Music Company, Inc. (BMI); Fort Knox Music, Inc. (BMI); Beechwood Music Corp. (BMI)
Performed by Gene Vincent
Courtesy of Capitol Records
Under license from EMI Film & Television Music
See more »

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User Reviews

It's an offbeat film with style.
26 November 2003 | by (Columbus, Ohio) – See 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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