The Singing Detective


Dennis Potter's 1986 BBC TV series The Singing Detective is a masterpiece of the small screen. Controversial and coruscating, it's a magnificent riff on childhood, memory and the power of fantasy. Sadly, this Hollywood version doesn't come close.

Pulp author Dan Dark (Robert Downey Jr) is hospitalised with a crippling skin condition. Feverish, his thoughts become tangled, visions of his sluttish mother entwining with characters from his noir novel. What's a dream and what's real?

With source material like this, it's difficult to see how any director could drop the ball. But fumble it Keith Gordon does, filling his film with pancake-flat characters and shallow song'n'dancers that do little to illuminate Dark's internal torment. Downey Jr works hard... But stick with Auntie Beeb's original.

Film Details

  • 15
  • UK Theatrical Release Date: August 1st 2004

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