MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 21,412 this week

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

 -  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 2,667 users  
Reviews: 88 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

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 26 titles
created 05 Feb 2013
 
a list of 23 titles
created 11 Jun 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 07 Sep 2013
 
a list of 35 titles
created 4 months ago
 
a list of 21 images
created 3 weeks 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... 

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
Return to Oz (1985)
Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

Dorothy, saved from a psychiatric experiment by a mysterious girl, is somehow called back to Oz when a vain witch and the Nome King destroy everything that makes the magical land beautiful.

Director: Walter Murch
Stars: Fairuza Balk, Nicol Williamson, Jean Marsh
Action | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A starship crew goes to investigate the silence of a planet's colony only to find two survivors and a deadly secret that one of them has.

Director: Fred M. Wilcox
Stars: Walter Pidgeon, Anne Francis, Leslie Nielsen
The Hoober-Bloob Highway (TV Movie 1975)
Animation | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Director: Alan Zaslove
Stars: Bob Holt, Hal Smith
Daisy-Head Mayzie (TV Short 1995)
Animation | Short | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The Cat in the Hat (the most famous Dr. Seuss character) narrates a story about a girl named Mayzie McGrew, who mysteriously has a daisy growing from her head! This happens during the ... See full summary »

Director: Tony Collingwood
Stars: Francesca Smith, Henry Gibson, Tim Curry
Holes (2003)
Adventure | Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A wrongfully convicted boy is sent to a brutal desert detention camp where he joins the job of digging holes for some mysterious reason.

Director: Andrew Davis
Stars: Shia LaBeouf, Sigourney Weaver, Jon Voight
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

When eccentric man-child Pee-Wee Herman gets his beloved bike stolen in broad daylight, he sets out across the U.S. on the adventure of his life.

Director: Tim Burton
Stars: Paul Reubens, Elizabeth Daily, Mark Holton
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

The story of a little boy who would only talk in sound effects. With story by Dr. Seuss (and Bill Scott of Rocky and Bullwinkle fame) this cartoon won the Oscar for best short subject (animated) for 1950.

Director: Robert Cannon
Stars: Marvin Miller
Animation | Short | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Dejected klutz Pontoffel Pock gets fired from his job at a pickle factory. Pock wishes to get away from it all and receives a magical piano from jolly fairy McGillicuddy. Pock embarks on a ... See full summary »

Director: Gerard Baldwin
Stars: Ken Lundie, Joe Raposo, Wayne Morton
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

When Bart and Mr. Zadlabowski are taken to the dungeon via elevator, there is no reference to a third floor dungeon by the Elevator Operator. The third stanza of the Elevator Operator's song was cut due to increasingly horrific lyrics referring to "household appliances". The complete deleted stanza went as follows: "Third floor dungeon/Household appliances/Spiked beds/Electric chairs/Gas chambers/ /Roasting pots/And scalping devices." (The reference to "gas chambers" was probably regarded as in bad taste since the film was made so soon after World War II and the Holocaust.) See more »

Goofs

It is clear in some scenes that Bart is not really playing the piano: sometimes he misplaces his fingers, sometimes he does not move his fingers correctly, sometimes he even fails to press down the keys. See more »

Quotes

Bart Collins: See? Now do you believe me?
Mr. Zabladowski: We should always believe children. We should even believe their lies.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Psych: Cog Blocked (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Because We're Kids
Music by Friedrich Hollaender (as Frederick Hollander)
Lyrics by Dr. Seuss
Performed by Tommy Rettig
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
Deleted scenes. bpatrick-2
Muscular elevator operator titch-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:
?