The Singing Detective

( 2 )

Overview

From director Keith Gordon Mother Night, A Midnight Clear comes this American feature adaptation of the 1986 BBC miniseries, The Singing Detective. Robert Downey Jr. returns to the big-screen for the first time since 2000's Wonder Boys as Dan Dark, a novelist who is hospitalized with a severe case of psoriasis. As he lays in bed, Dark hallucinates that he is actually a World War II-era private dick embroiled in an oddball web of mystery, intrigue, and musical numbers. Written by the late Dennis Potter Pennies ...
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Overview

From director Keith Gordon Mother Night, A Midnight Clear comes this American feature adaptation of the 1986 BBC miniseries, The Singing Detective. Robert Downey Jr. returns to the big-screen for the first time since 2000's Wonder Boys as Dan Dark, a novelist who is hospitalized with a severe case of psoriasis. As he lays in bed, Dark hallucinates that he is actually a World War II-era private dick embroiled in an oddball web of mystery, intrigue, and musical numbers. Written by the late Dennis Potter Pennies From Heaven, Gorky Park and co-starring Mel Gibson, Robin Wright Penn, Katie Holmes, and Adrien Brody, The Singing Detective premiered at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival.
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
A pulp-fiction writer seeks temporary escape from a painful skin condition by retreating to the more appealing world he inhabits in his mind: So went Dennis Potter’s celebrated 1986 miniseries, and so goes this feature-length adaptation of the material, penned by Potter himself. And while it is not a transforming work in the manner of the original, the theatrical Singing Detective stands on its own as a fascinating piece of cinema. Suffering intensely from an extreme, body-covering case of psoriasis, Dan Dark Robert Downey Jr. roams an imaginary, film noir landscape, running into colorful characters adapted from people he has known -- and resented -- in real life, among them his cheating wife Robin Wright Penn and domineering mother Carla Gugino. Dark is, of course, the hard-boiled hero of this fantasy world, which is also apt to erupt at any given moment into a colorful, choreographed musical number populated by members of the hospital staff or the visitors venturing into his room. Short-tempered and abusive, he endures painful treatments that offer no relief and little chance for improvement. Downey is a marvel as Dark; his own life experience has perhaps given him special insight into a character whose all-consuming anger and constant suffering has forced him to abandon reality in favor of a dreamlike existence with which he feels more comfortable. The Singing Detective isn't an easily classifiable movie: it's not a musical, it's not a drama, it's not a crime story, and it's certainly not a comedy. And yet it contains elements of all these, and more. Actor-turned-director Keith Gordon has always eschewed escapist film fare, and his passion for offbeat subjects and stories is plainly evident in his innovative handling of this bizarre material. He has assembled an all-star cast that also includes Mel Gibson, Jeremy Northam, Adrien Brody, and Katie Holmes -- and all of them are superb. Sadly, Potter died before the project reached completion, yet his legacy proudly lives on in this curiously satisfying movie.
Entertainment Weekly - Lisa Schwarzbaum
Robert Downey Jr. is great in a role no one less magnetically reckless would dare approach.
Variety
Potter's genius for wrapping black humor, poignancy and fantasy in utterly original story concepts lends this Detective an immediate fascination that doesn't begin wearing off for some time. Dennis Harvey
New York Post - Jonathan Foreman
It is worth catching The Singing Detective to see the brilliant Robert Downey Jr. in another extraordinary performance.

Potter's genius for wrapping black humor, poignancy and fantasy in utterly original story concepts lends this Detective an immediate fascination that doesn't begin wearing off for some time. Dennis Harvey
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 3/23/2004
  • UPC: 097363409038
  • Original Release: 2003
  • Rating:

  • Source: Paramount
  • Format: VHS

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Robert Downey Jr. Dan Dark
Robin Wright Nicola, Nina, Blonde
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
David Dorfman
Ed Jones
Lily Knight
Clyde Kusatsu
Earl C. Poitier
Don Fischer
Andy Umberger
David Denman
Technical Credits
Keith Gordon Director
Jan K. Bergstrom Set Decoration/Design
Denise Chamian Casting
Bruce Davey Producer
Mel Gibson Producer
Steven Haft Producer
Eric Heffron Asst. Director
Marc Jacquier Choreography
Kevin Lake Associate Producer
Bill Landrum Choreography
James LeBrecht Sound/Sound Designer
Pat Norris Costumes/Costume Designer, Production Designer
John Nutt Sound/Sound Designer
Dennis Potter Screenwriter
Jane Potter Co-producer
Sarah Potter Co-producer
Robert Potter Co-producer
Tom Richmond Cinematographer
Ken Weiss Musical Direction/Supervision
Jeff Wishengrad Editor
Stan Wlodkowski Executive Producer
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 2 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    Riveting

    I was intrigued with this movie. I don't know how to describe it, but it was a good movie with a different twist to it. Mel Gibson's part was quiet different from what you are used to seeing him play and Downey was great.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 9, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews