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The Singing Detective (2003)

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ON DISC
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 ... 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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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

14 November 2003 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

El detective cantante 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, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$336,456, 1 February 2004
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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Did You Know?

Trivia

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


Soundtracks

Harlem Nocturne
Written by Earle Hagen
Published by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc. (ASCAP)
Performed by The Viscounts
Courtesy of Arista Records, Inc.
Under license from BMG Special Products, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The Passion
2 February 2005 | by tedgSee all my reviews

Ten years ago Ang Lee made a terrific little movie. It had depth and resonance. Eight years later, some hack remade the movie in English, changing the Chinese family to a Mexican one. Using almost precisely the same script, it turned into a horrible, horrible little film. Soulless.

Now turn to this. The original "detective" was one of the best film projects in history. I have it on my list of films every living person should see. It is the only thing I have ever seen from TeeVee that is worth watching. Its construction is ineffable and deep: three realities, each of which co- creates the others.

Now shift to the mind of Mel Gibson, the fellow behind this project. He is incapable of understanding or even seeing depth, surely in projects like this. What he has done is take a story about stories and storytelling, about parallel interwoven realities, about the nature of creation, about the origin of invention in sex and pain...

... and replaced it with something that looks the same and has the same events, but which has all the nuance and life bleached out of it. Now, we have a completely understandable narrative about a man who imagines and remembers things. All is clear, all is simple.

This is the same man who at this same time was doing the same thing to a similarly rich and deep and inscrutable story, the one about Jesus.

This is a travesty, a pure travesty. I recommend the original, but not this.

Just as a side matter, the threads that tied the realities together in the original were the women. The redness of their hair mattered. A lot. There's a little tinkering here with red, not-red, but it is done clumsily, without intent.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.


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