I'm hesitant to call this a musical, though that's precisely what it is. Dennis Potter wrote several musicals over the years, using different eras of music. This one is, by far, the best! The music here is from the 1940s. The drama, however, is actually a contemporary one. A (failed?) mystery writer named Philip Marlowe is hospitalized with a severe case of psoriasis...more corrrectly, psoriatic arthropathy (which Potter also suffered from). He has this one great novel in his past, though..."The Singing Detective." Marlowe's illness is terribly severe, and throughout the film we join his delirium as he relives events from his childhood, falls into a fascinating fantasy based on his novel, and comes back (from time to time) to the events currently happening in the hospital. These three streams are brilliantly intertwined, and the resulting story is absolutely THE BEST THING *EVER* TO HIT TELEVISION! This is *not* hype or exaggeration! The other reviewers are completely correct in making this same claim. If you've never seen this one...well, it's your loss....
Dennis Potter died a few years ago from pancreatic cancer. He was simply a GREAT writer. He wrote *many* screenplays...dramas for both TV and film, as well as the "musicals" noted above. He also wrote novels. His best, I think, are brilliantly detailed studies of a mind either gradually breaking down, or gradually coming back from some kind of breakdown. "The Singing Detective" falls into the latter category. That alone would be enough to recommend this video...but the fact that it's *also* a "musical" is what makes it utterly remarkable! I honestly don't think I have the words to be able to say just how it transcends to the level of something almost divinely inspired. At the risk of saying it one too many times, folks, this one is TRULY GREAT!
If you're able to find it, there's an interview with Dennis Potter that was originally broadcast on the Bravo channel shortly before his death. He was quite sick at the time, and he took occasional sips from his flask of pain medication during the interview. He talks some therein of "The Singing Detective." Yes, Marlowe shares the diagnosis of psoriatic arthropathy...but, he's an entirely different personality than Potter himself. Based on truth...expanding into the realm of the literary. It's an interesting insight into the brilliance of Potter as a writer.
Meanwhile, "The Singing Detective" is something you really *must* see! *VERY* HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!