The Singing Detective (1986)
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The Singing Detective 1986

The Singing Detective: Reworking material from his first novel, Hide and Seek (1973), and folding this into a prismatic blend of autobiographical details, popular music and 1940s film noir, Dennis Potter delivered a drama now regarded as a 20th-century masterwork. Detective novelist Philip Marlow (Michael Gambon) suffers from the crippling disease of psoriatic arthropathy. Confined to a hospital bed, Marlow mentally rewrites his early Chandleresque thriller, The Singing Detective, with himself in the title role, drifting into a surreal 1945 fantasy of spies and criminals, along with vivid memories of a childhood in the Forest of Dean. As past events and 1940s songs surface in his subconscious, Marlows voyage of self-discovery provides a key to conquering his illness, while his noir-styled hallucinations evoke the Philip Marlowe of Chandlers Murder, My Sweet (1944), starring Dick Powell, who later became a singing detective on radios Richard Diamond, Private Detective (1949), crooning to girlfriend Helen Asher at the end of each episode.

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