Sorry, this item is not available in
Image not available for
Image not available

To view this video download Flash Player

Buy New

Sign in to turn on 1-Click ordering.
Buy Used
Used - Very Good See details
$1.99 + $3.99 shipping
Sold by goHastings.

More Buying Choices
jstore1 Add to Cart
$13.99  & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
Have one to sell? Sell yours here

The Singing Detective (2004)

Robert Downey Jr. , Robin Wright , Keith Gordon  |  R |  DVD
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)

List Price: $14.98
Price: $13.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
You Save: $0.99 (7%)
o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o
Only 1 left in stock.
Sold by ACE MEDIA DIRECT and Fulfilled by Amazon. Gift-wrap available.
Want it Monday, Oct. 27? Choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
Watch Instantly with Prime Members Rent Buy
The Singing Detective
$2.99 $9.99

Other Formats & Versions

Amazon Price New from Used from
DVD 1-Disc Version $7.50  
  1-Disc Version $13.99  

Special Offers and Product Promotions

Frequently Bought Together

The Singing Detective + Kiss Kiss, Bang Bang (Widescreen Edition)
Price for both: $24.48

Buy the selected items together

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?

Videos Related to This Product

Product Details

  • Actors: Robert Downey Jr., Robin Wright, Mel Gibson, Jeremy Northam, Katie Holmes
  • Directors: Keith Gordon
  • Writers: Dennis Potter
  • Producers: Mel Gibson, Bruce Davey, Jane Potter, Kevin Lake, Robert Potter
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), English (Dolby Digital 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Paramount
  • DVD Release Date: March 23, 2004
  • Run Time: 109 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0001AW04I
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #342,206 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Singing Detective" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

From his hospital bed, a writer suffering from a skin disease hallucinates musical numbers and paranoid plots.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Seen on its own merits . . . May 20, 2006
Few if any reviewers here indicate having watched Keith Gordon's director's commentary on this DVD. I think it would alter some of their judgements. As Gordon explains, the film script was in fact written by Dennis Potter, whose original "Singing Detective" ran as a much longer miniseries on British TV 20 years ago, and the changes to an American setting with 1950s American pop music were really Potter's own ideas. If the transition to feature film format loses something in the translation, it is in part due to his reconceptualization of his original creation.

As the commentary reveals, much of the inventiveness in this new version is not apparent in a single viewing. While it may seem to truncate and over-simplify the lengthier TV version, there is still complexity and ambiguity enough to entertain and engage a thoughtful viewer appreciative of good screenwriting and wonderful performances. Robert Downey's dual role as the embittered writer and the Bogart-style detective of the title reveal the mercurial range of this amazing actor, and his scenes with Robin Wright Penn, who plays his wife, are a brilliant portrayal of two people equally matched in their struggle to preserve a relationship and, at the same time, the integrity of themselves as individuals.

Strong cast. Interesting contrast of visual styles. Rated R for a wide range of disturbingly graphic and lurid visual imagery, including the main character's horrific skin condition. Granted, this "Singing Detective" is no substitute for the original, but seen on its own merits, it still stands up well on its own.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Lively Nightmare September 2, 2008
By Cilly
This movie didn't seem to get very good reviews. After seeing it myself, I'm stumped. It's malevolent and weird, but it certainly isn't dull; it's surreal, but not to the point that you can't tell what's going on. Plus, the acting is great and the concept disturbing. As unpleasant as parts of it were, I'm going to watch it again.
Part of the problem is, this movie is a remake of a much better TV series. The TV series ran 7 1/2 hours, and this movie has *somehow* been cut down to 2. Okay. You can guess what happened. In an attempt to trim off fat, they whittled the plot down to an incomplete skeleton. But it all still makes sense, and I enjoyed doing my own job of guessing and reconstruction.
I think the other problem is that people see the title, and expect a fun, flashy crime story. This movie is not what you'd call "fun", unless you love a good Lynch or Cronenberg marathon.
Also, if you want to ogle Robert Downey Jr.--and that's a good and admirable pastime, I applaud it--this movie will bother you. He spends most of it looking like he's in the last stages of radiation poisoning. His dreamworld alter-ego is handsome, but played as a flat-voiced, shiny-eyed Invasion Of The Body Snatchers doppelganger. I had to remind myself that it was only an actor in makeup; the illness portrayed here is horrible seems very real. Downey is ferociously good, filled with rage and scorching the paint off the walls, and it's disturbing.

Yeah, Downey is great in this; he goes from a sick, vicious, venomous invalid in the first half to a slightly-less sick, more charming, more frightening nut case in the second half. More frightening, as he becomes less insane? Absolutely.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This needs more than one viewing June 13, 2008
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
What can I say? I was a Singing Detective virgin, being ignorant of the British TV show or the story line. I bought it for Robert Downey, Jr. It is weird, disturbing and pulls you in like a moth to a flame. I have watched it several times now, getting a little more understanding every time I do. My favorite scene is the Mr. Sandman number. How funny!

The acting is supurb; why this didn't get any critical acclaim is beyond me. Robert Downey Jr proves, yet again, that professionally no one can touch him. He is a rare class of actor that can deliver any range be it humor or tragedy. This role had to be a challenge though with the total body make up needed for Dan Dark's horrible skin condition; not to mention the emotional roller coaster the character is on. The man appears to cry real tears at one point! Kudos RDJ!! I wish The People could vote for Oscar winners and not "The Academy". There would be a lot of different winners. RDJ would have several of the gold guys on his mantelpiece if I had anything to do with it.

I don't care for the ending at all; I probably don't totally understand it yet. For a SD newbie, trying to figure out which scene is in Dan Dark's tortured mind or is for real is part of the fun of this film. I intend to see the British series as soon as I can. Maybe I can understand the ending better. Hummm......

It's not for everyone but for those willing to take a risk and actually have to think about a story rather than just watch it, oh, do try this film.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Touched by Genius August 16, 2006
The film is a strange animal, all right, a work sans genre, and at times Gordon seems to have overreached himself, grasping for effects he isn't quite able to achieve. The various styles, moods, and genres give the film a slightly garish, amateurish feel, yet in the end (perhaps consciously on Gordon's part) this very awkwardness works in the film's favor. The Singing Detective is a remarkably ingenuous work, fresh and daring, almost childlike in its lack of pretension, and easily one of the most original American movies of the last twenty years. Above all, it showcases Robert Downey Jr.'s raging, embittered psoriasis-afflicted pulp writer, inside whose head the whole movie (more or less) takes place, and Downey gives an inventive, powerful performance, what may be the apotheosis of his enormous talent. Praise for Downey notwithstanding, on its release Gordon's film met with a wall of critical resistance, a veritable consensus of contempt. This may have been due in part (in the UK at least) to a fondness for Potter's original TV series; but it was perhaps due even more to the basic incompatibility of Potter's idiosyncratic, scathing vision with mainstream (critical) tastes. Whatever the case, the movie once again tragically failed to find its audience.

As with his previous adaptations, Gordon respected the source material without revering it, and as a director, he has a rare gift: the ability to fuse his own sensibility and talents with his subject at a fundamental level. In the case of The Singing Detective, it was a somewhat less seamless fusion; Potter's vision (his bizarre blend of musical fantasy with bleak psychological realism) was so startlingly original it required another sensibility at least as strong and eccentric to fuse with.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Odd movie, but entertaining.
Published 3 days ago by Donna Dioses
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Film
I loved this film. I wasn't sure what to expect with singing and all, but it was great. Extremely witty, funny, and terribly sad all in this. I'm mad I didn't watch it years ago. Read more
Published 11 days ago by Clem
1.0 out of 5 stars I personally was disappointed with this movie - too dark and vulgar...
I personally was disappointed with this movie - too dark and vulgar for me and didn't really make much sense.
Published 20 days ago by Petrina Lance
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the movie it was a good one that the ...
I enjoyed the movie it was a good one that the whole family could watch. I would recommend it to anyone who likes this kind of movie.
Published 23 days ago by Walt
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Great performances from Robert Downey Jr
Published 1 month ago by Ramon L Ferral
1.0 out of 5 stars Sucked
Story did not hold my interest, Downy was his usual outstanding in portrayal. Lost interest in watching it about 20 minutes in to the movie.
Published 7 months ago by Rita E. Mullins
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time!!
I couldn't even get through the first 20 minutes of this movie. Wanted to watch it because of Katie Holmes but even though it was free with prime it wasn't worth my time.
Published 8 months ago by Elaine
1.0 out of 5 stars Repulsive
It's funny. I watched the original Brit version of this starring Michael Gambon and was entranced. This version may be great,but the first 10 minutes were so sickening I had to... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Moishe Yidbaum
5.0 out of 5 stars Singing detective
Downey is a genius. Really. This had to be an extremely difficult role to carry off. It's not your run of the mill movie and I like bizarre; I like surprises. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Phoenix
4.0 out of 5 stars Downey-what's not to love
Maybe not the skin disease. The movie is campy and a bit weird, but still good. Loved Mel Gibson, too.
Published 9 months ago by mysterytx
Search Customer Reviews
Search these reviews only


There are no discussions about this product yet.
Be the first to discuss this product with the community.
Start a new discussion
First post:
Prompts for sign-in

Look for Similar Items by Category

ACE MEDIA DIRECT Privacy Statement ACE MEDIA DIRECT Shipping Information ACE MEDIA DIRECT Returns & Exchanges