MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 599 this week

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953)

Approved  |   |  Family, Fantasy, Music  |  1 July 1953 (USA)
7.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 7.0/10 from 2,767 users  
Reviews: 92 user | 34 critic

The bane of adolescent Bart Collins' existence is the piano lessons he is forced to take under the tutelage of Dr. Terwilliker, the only person he admits he detests because of his ... See full summary »

Director:

Writers:

(screenplay), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

ON DISC

IMDb Picks: May

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in May, sponsored by COVERGIRL.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 36 titles
created 20 Mar 2011
 
a list of 25 titles
created 10 Aug 2011
 
a list of 40 titles
created 02 Feb 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 10 months ago
 
a list of 40 titles
created 7 months ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953)

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953) on IMDb 7/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T..
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Action | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Two wannabe heroes and their friends must stop a madman from giving everyone nightmares.

Directors: John Korty, Charles Swenson
Stars: Lorenzo Music, Judith Kahan, Marshall Efron
The Hoober-Bloob Highway (TV Movie 1975)
Animation | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  
Director: Alan Zaslove
Stars: Bob Holt, Hal Smith
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A wily old codger matches wits with the king of the leprechauns and helps play matchmaker for his daughter and the strapping lad who has replaced him as caretaker.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Albert Sharpe, Janet Munro, Sean Connery
Family | Horror | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

When a family moves to a country home, the young girls experience strange happenings that have a link to an occult event years past.

Directors: John Hough, Vincent McEveety
Stars: Bette Davis, Lynn-Holly Johnson, Kyle Richards
Dr. Seuss on the Loose (TV Short 1973)
Animation | Short | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

Three Dr. Seuss stories hosted by the Cat in the Hat.

Director: Hawley Pratt
Stars: Allan Sherman, Hans Conried, Paul Winchell
Certificate: Passed Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The happy tranquility of Buggsville is shattered when the populace learns that a colossal skyscraper is to be built over their tiny town.

Directors: Dave Fleischer, Shamus Culhane
Stars: Kenny Gardner, Gwen Williams, Jack Mercer
Family | Animation | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Horton the elephant agrees to watch over lazy Maisie bird's egg while she vacations. Much later, after standing (and sitting) guard 100-percent faith- fully through rain and snow, Horton ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Clampett
Stars: Sara Berner, Mel Blanc, Robert Clampett
In Search of Dr. Seuss (TV Movie 1994)
Animation | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A nosy reporter wants to find out all she can about Dr. Seuss, aka Ted Geisel, and gets told the real facts by several of his characters, with large snippets of his stories and songs ... See full summary »

Director: Vincent Paterson
Stars: Kathy Najimy, Matt Frewer, Christopher Lloyd
Lassie (1954–1974)
Adventure | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

The ongoing saga of the Martin family and their beloved collie, Lassie.

Stars: Lassie, Jon Provost, June Lockhart
Alice in Wonderland (TV Movie 1966)
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

There have been numerous film adaptations of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland", over the years. This one which was produced, written and directed by Jonathan Miller in 1966 for the BBC, is... See full summary »

Director: Jonathan Miller
Stars: Anne-Marie Mallik, Freda Dowie, Jo Maxwell Muller
Animation | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  
Stars: Anthony Asbury, John Kennedy, Stephanie D'Abruzzo
Adventure | Family | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Johnny Tremain is drawn into the Revolutionary War, and becomes a patriot fighting to free the colonies from England. Along the way he learns about life and about himself.

Director: Robert Stevenson
Stars: Hal Stalmaster, Luana Patten, Jeff York
Edit

Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Lind Hayes ...
Mary Healy ...
Heloise Collins
...
...
Jack Heasley ...
Uncle Whitney (as John Heasley)
Robert Heasley ...
Uncle Judson
Noel Cravat ...
Sgt. Lunk
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Dancer (as George Kerris)
Edit

Storyline

The bane of adolescent Bart Collins' existence is the piano lessons he is forced to take under the tutelage of Dr. Terwilliker, the only person he admits he detests because of his dictatorial nature. Bart feels Dr. Terwilliker has undue influence for these lessons on his widowed mother, Heloise Collins. The one person who sympathizes with Bart, although quietly on the sidelines, is the Collins' plumber, August Zabladowski. Bart hates his life associated with the piano so much he often daydreams when he practices and even during his lessons. His latest dream has him imprisoned in the fantastical Terwilliker Institute in the day before its grand opening. Terwilliker's second in command at the Institute is his mother, although she has been hypnotized into her position, which will also soon be as Mrs. Dr. Terwilliker. Bart tries to convince Mr. Zabladowski, who is there to install the Institute's plumbing, to save his mother and himself from Terwilliker. Bart also hopes that Zabladowski ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The Wonder Musical of the Future!


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 July 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Five-Thousand Fingers of Dr. T.  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

The character of "Sideshow" Bob Terwilliger, from "The Simpsons" (1989-), shares a name with the Dr. Terwilliger from the Dr Seuss created film "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T." (1953). See more »

Goofs

When Bart climbs the huge ladder to escape the guards, when he jumps off of the ladder, you can clearly see a thick wire holding him. See more »

Quotes

Elevator operator: [Dungeon elevator song] First floor dungeon/Assorted simple tortures/Molten lead, chopping blocks and hot boiling oil/Second floor dungeon/Jewelry department/Leg chains, ankle chains, neck chains, wrist chains, thumbscrews and nooses of the very finest rope/Basement dungeon/EVERYBODY OUT!
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Happiness Never Comes Alone (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Ten Happy Fingers
Music by Friedrich Hollaender (as Frederick Hollander)
Lyrics by Dr. Seuss
Performed by Tommy Rettig and Mary Healy
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Happy Fingers
15 April 2005 | by (Forest Ranch, CA) – See all my reviews

A small boy plots to upset the grand performance by THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR. T. to be held in the sinister Terwilliker Institute.

The whimsical world of Dr. Seuss first saw expression in a Hollywood feature film in this fast-paced fantasy which examines a child's musical nightmare. Although it was a financial & critical disappointment when initially released, it has established itself comfortably as a nostalgic favorite for Baby Boomers who first discovered it decades ago.

Dr. Seuss (Theodor Seuss Geisel, 1904-1991) wrote the original story, co-authored the script and penned the lyrics in his own inimitable style. The action plays itself out over vast, curvaceous sets which will immediately seem familiar to readers of his books, while the brightly colored costumes make the players look like characters from the good Doctor's stories come to life.

Completely dominating the movie in the title role is the marvelous character actor Hans Conried (1917-1982), gleefully breathing life into the part of the mad piano teacher who schemes to force 500 little lads into performing his compositions at a gigantic keyboard. Conried is wonderfully funny, striding about, leering, snorting & chortling as he plots his nefarious plans. He attacks the role with relish, nasally enunciating every syllable with his unique diction, softening his villainy with a thin veneer of unctuous civility. This was Conried's finest on-camera performance, but 1953 would also present him in the part for which he is perhaps best remembered, voicing Captain Hook in Disney's animated PETER PAN.

The other three performers in the movie: Tommy Rettig as the much beleaguered boy attempting to thwart the evil Terwilliker; Mary Healy as his lovely, albeit mesmerized, Mom; and Peter Lind Hayes as a friendly, deadpanned plumber, all do very well with their roles, but their ordinariness, like that of Dorothy in Oz, make them pale in comparison beside Conried.

The film, which delivers perhaps an unnecessarily nasty knock to piano teachers, does come across with some fine songs, ranging from Rettig's plaintive 'Because We're Kids' to Conried's hilarious 'Dressing Song.' Also on view is the bizarre Dungeon Dance, in which kidnapped male orchestra members present one of the most unusual terpsichorean displays ever seen in a kiddie film.


32 of 34 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Muscular elevator operator titch-2
Deleted scenes. bpatrick-2
Surprise appearance of future star dc-samurai
I found this movie while under the influence.......... . soundboy1
WAY better than the new movies they make of Dr. Seuss books... oliviakasle
Color? Hot Thom
Discuss The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?