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

 -  Family | Fantasy | Music  -  1 July 1953 (USA)
7.0
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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 »

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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)
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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 »
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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  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Dr. Seuss, the film's creator and co-writer, one of the 150 boys vomited on the piano while filming. This caused a chain reaction and they were left with 150 vomiting boys. Dr. Seuss said that the film's reviews were similar. See more »

Goofs

When Dr. T catches Bart, his mother and Mr. Zabladowski trying to escape (after the fight with the twins), he is wearing a lavender coat with black trim when he first appears and says, "I, on the other hand, am inclined to doubt that." For the rest of the sequence, he wears a black coat with a pink treble clef and white stripes representing the five-line staff. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Terwilliker: [after hearing Bart practice] That's not bad. But not good! You're still not loud enough, still not fast enough! Rhythm still off, still misses the beats!
Bart Collins: What?
Dr. Terwilliker: Well, it takes time. It takes years!
[smiles]
Dr. Terwilliker: Sometimes it actually does take forever.
Bart Collins: What?
Dr. Terwilliker: Well, my little watch tells me that's all we can hope to do today. Tomorrow however, oh tomorrow, what a day! At 6 AM sharp, all the others will arrive!
Bart Collins: What others?
Dr. Terwilliker: Well, I say, you don't think I built this great piano just for you! Have you no ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Monkees: Captain Crocodile (1967) 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 »

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User Reviews

It will leave you feeling rather uncomfortable
3 January 2005 | by (Nashotah, Wisconsin) – See all my reviews

This movie is one of the most bizarre and random films I have ever seen. It combines a mind-boggling storyline (a kid dreams he's trapped in a castle ruled by his satanic piano teacher who is setting up a piano camp for 500 players), intriguing characters (the heroic, down-to-earth plumber, the helpless, beautiful, damsel/mother in distress, the all-American kid on the block, and the disturbing, foppish, freak of a villain, Dr. Terwilliker) weird costumes and sets, and the most outrageous songs ever conceived. Among my favorites are the "Doe-me-doe" dress up song, "The Dungeon Song," and "We are Victorious!" Any orchestra geek will get a kick out of the dungeon ballet. This is a terrific film to scare your friends or corrupt your children. I highly recommend it to anyone with an unbalanced imagination.

Also recommended: The Brave Little Toaster, Time Bandits, Happily Ever After: a Snow White Tale, The Never Ending Story, Nightmare Before Christmas and Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.


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