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THE SINGING DETECTIVE
USA: Paramount Classics
UK: Icon Distribution
Cast: Robert Downey Jr, Robin Wright Penn, Mel Gibson, Jeremy Northam, Katie Holmes, Adrien Brody, Jon Polito, Carla Gugino, Saul Rubinek, Alfre Woodard, Amy Aquino, David Dorfman, Eddie Jones, Lily Knight, Clyde Kusatsu, Earl C Poitier, Don Fischer, Andy Umberger, David Denman, Bryan Law, Carla Anderson, Sandahl Bergman, Rita Bland, Sergio Carbajal, Leonard Crofoot, Kiva Dawson, Richard Dorton, Brenda Mae Hamilton, Gordon Hart, Suzi Lonergan, Regan Patno, Randi Pareira, Sandra Plazinic, Sheldon Robins, DeAnna Steele, Jessica Vallot, Dee Dee Weathers, Spice Williams, Darrel W Wright
Director: Keith Gordon
USA & UK: 109 mins
USA Rated: R for strong sexual content, language and some violence
UK Certificate: 15 contains strong language and moderate sex
USA Release Date: 24 October 2003
UK Release Date: 14 November 2003
Dan Dark (Robert Downey Jr) a writer of pulp detective novels languishes in hospital incapacitated both physically and mentally by a rare skin disease. More or less unable to move, Dark occupies his time by mapping out a screenplay in his head based on his first novel 'The Singing Detective'. Strongly influenced by the style of Raymond Chandler, it is about a hard-boiled and cynical private investigator who doubles as a singer in a dance band. The character is slowly drawn into a web of intrigue during the murder investigation in 1950's Los Angeles.
The plot of the novel is woven together with his own painful childhood memories and soon he is living in a fevered film-noir hell constructed by his own twisted psyche, where everyone is his enemy and no-one can be trusted.
Mel Gibson co-stars as the enigmatic Dr Gibbon, the hospital psychiatrist who dares to take on Dark's tortured mind. Robin Wright Penn stars as Dark's long suffering wife and subject of his worst fears and vitriolic outbursts.
THE SINGING DETECTIVE, based on the classic 1986 BBC TV series by Dennis Potter, is a masterpiece of style and intrigue and is finally given free rein as a feature length movie.