Down 12,856 this week

In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)

Unrated  |   |  Documentary, Biography  |  29 March 2008 (Japan)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.4/10 from 1,720 users   Metascore: 74/100
Reviews: 36 user | 52 critic | 20 from

A documentary on Henry Darger, visionary artist, janitor, and novelist.



Watch Trailer
0Check in

On Disc

at Amazon

TV Spotlight: The Top 10 Episodes of "The Walking Dead"

We've curated a list of the top 10 episodes of "The Walking Dead" according to the IMDb user ratings.

Read More

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 29 Jul 2012
a list of 43 titles
created 03 Dec 2012
a list of 33 titles
created 23 Dec 2013
a list of 23 titles
created 31 Mar 2014
a list of 21 titles
created 27 May 2014

Related Items

Connect with IMDb

Share this Rating

Title: In the Realms of the Unreal (2004)

In the Realms of the Unreal (2004) on IMDb 7.4/10

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

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of In the Realms of the Unreal.

User Polls

Nominated for 1 Primetime Emmy. Another 2 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Alan Moore writer, artist and performer is the world's most critically acclaimed and widely admired creator of comic books and graphic novels.

Directors: Dez Vylenz, Moritz Winkler
Stars: Glenn Doherty, Florian Fischer, Alan Moore
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A documentary on the Z Channel, one of the first pay cable stations in the US, and its programming chief, Jerry Harvey. Debuting in 1974, the LA-based channel's eclectic slate of movies ... See full summary »

Director: Xan Cassavetes
Stars: Robert Altman, Vera Carlisle Anderson, C.L. Batten
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

This documentary follows the lives and careers of a collective group of Do-it-yourself artists and designers who inadvertently affected the art world.

Directors: Aaron Rose, Joshua Leonard
Stars: Thomas Campbell, Shepard Fairey, Jo Jackson
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Daniel Johnston, manic-depressive genius singer/songwriter/artist is revealed in this portrait of madness, creativity and love.

Director: Jeff Feuerzeig
Stars: Daniel Johnston, Mabel Johnston, Bill Johnston
Documentary | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

When two friends tape-recorded the fights of their violently noisy neighbors, they accidentally created one of the world's first 'viral' pop-culture sensations.

Director: Matthew Bate
Stars: Eddie Lee Sausage, Mitch Deprey, Daniel Clowes
Crumb (1994)
Documentary | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

An intimate portrait of the controversial cartoonist and his traumatized family.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Robert Crumb, Aline Kominsky, Charles Crumb
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A portrait of New York artist Keith Haring.

Director: Christina Clausen
Stars: Fab 5 Freddy, Jeffrey Deitch, Julia Gruen
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A documentary on the influential musician Scott Walker.

Director: Stephen Kijak
Stars: Damon Albarn, Dot Allison, Marc Almond
The Nomi Song (2004)
Documentary | Biography | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Having failed to break into professional opera in his native Germany (where, as an usher in West Berlin's Deutsche Oper, he would serenade the staff after the 'real' performances were over)... See full summary »

Director: Andrew Horn
Stars: Klaus Nomi, Ann Magnuson, David Bowie
Louie Bluie (1985)
Documentary | Music
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

About the obscure country-blues musician and idiosyncratic visual artist Howard "Louie Bluie" Armstrong, member of the last known black string band in America.

Director: Terry Zwigoff
Stars: Howard Armstrong, Ted Bogan, Jay Lynch
Documentary | Biography
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Herb and Dorothy Vogel redefine what it means to be an art collector.

Director: Megumi Sasaki
Stars: Paula Antebi, Will Barnet, Robert Barry
Rewind This! (2013)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Home video changed the world. The cultural and historical impact of the VHS tape was enormous. This film traces the ripples of that impact by examining the myriad aspects of society that were altered by the creation of videotape.

Director: Josh Johnson
Stars: Ben Jousan, David Gregory, Micah Matthews


Credited cast:
Henry Darger (voice)
Narrator / Vivian Girls (voice)
Frier McCollister ...
Additional Voice (voice)
Additional Voice (voice)
Janice Hong ...
Additional Voice (voice)
Ruby McCollister ...
Additional Voice (voice)
Paul Robert Langdon ...
Additional Voice (voice)
Mary O'Donnell ...
Herself - Neighbor
Kiyoko Lerner ...
Herself - Landlady
Mary Rooney ...
Herself - Parish Bookkeeper
David Berglund ...
Himself - Neighbor
Regina Waters ...
Herself - Neighbor
Mark Waters ...
Himself - Neighbor
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Henry Darger ...
Himself (photos)


Henry Darger worked all his life in menial jobs in Chicago. Living alone and in poverty, he had no friends or close family. Spending all his off hours alone, he whiled away the hours working on a 15,000 page illustrated novel called The Realms of the Unreal. A stunning amalgam of religious imagery, fantasy, and heroic drama, the work was only discovered after Darger was moved to a hospital during the last days of his life. Darger also wrote journals and an autobiography. The documentary uses interviews with Darger's neighbors and narration of passages from his works, along with his illustrations, to explore the mind and work of Henry Darger. Written by Ken Miller <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Unrated | See all certifications »




Release Date:

29 March 2008 (Japan)  »

Also Known As:

In the Realms of the Unreal: The Mystery of Henry Darger  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$15,477 (USA) (24 December 2004)


$413,708 (USA) (10 June 2005)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs



See  »

Did You Know?


[last lines]
[end title cards]
Title Card: After Darger's death in 1973, the Lerners decided to share their discovery of his work, preserving his room and its contents.
Title Card: Since then, Henry Darger's work has been exhibited and collected worldwide. His art has inspired the creation of paintings, poetry, music, and works in theatre, dance, and opera.
Title Card: The room was dismantled in 2000.
See more »


Flash Pan Hunter (Intro)
Written by Tom Waits
Used by permission of Jalma Music (ASCAP)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Enter the realms of the unreal!!
22 January 2005 | by (Elmwood Park, IL) – See all my reviews

This was a very impressive documentary. Although it was different from the films I generally go to see, I remained interested in Henry Darger's life throughout the whole movie. He was portrayed as quite an interesting person. As a child, he is taken to an asylum and thought to be insane. When he finally escapes this life, he becomes a janitor and later, a part of the army. His neighbors play an important role in the movie because they describe his personality and what they knew about him. It was interesting to hear each perspective. Much of what they had to say about him was the same, but some of it varied at least through word choice which I felt was significant because it revealed each of their attitudes toward who they thought he was. Henry Darger's artwork was amazing. The illustrations of the Vivian sisters provided insight into his eyes. The most impressive thing was how the lives of these girls seemed to represent his life and feelings toward it. If you are interested in learning something, I encourage you to see, "In the Realms of the Unreal."

9 of 15 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Pornography? sixgingus
It occurs to me... Muleke
Fascinating! bama1111
where can i buy this? ronnybobbins
tom waits song pbarrrgh
UK release scott-porter99
Discuss In the Realms of the Unreal (2004) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: