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

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

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

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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to producer Stanley Kramer, the film's budget would only allow him to hire 150 boys for the piano sequence, instead of the 500 boys he intended to use. When he threatened them with dismissal after they misbehaved, many of them stood up and cheered. See more »

Goofs

Throughout the whole of the instrumental scene, with the various performers, there are so many continuity, revealing and a/v mismatch goofs that it would be impossible to record them all. See more »

Quotes

Bart Collins: Say, I've gotta get out of here.
Mr. Zabladowski: Relax, don't take these little things so seriously. After all, seeing as how your mother's here...
Bart Collins: My mother's here?
Mr. Zabladowski: That's a silly question. You know perfectly well she's in the Number 2 spot.
Bart Collins: The Number 2 spot?
Mr. Zabladowski: Second in charge of the whole Happy Finger racket.
Bart Collins: My mom couldn't be mixed up in any racket!
Mr. Zabladowski: Look, partner: I hate to speak badly about mothers, after all, motherhood is the noblest institution in our land. But the fact remains that your ma is in the ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

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

Soundtracks

Dream Stuff
Music by Friedrich Hollaender (as Frederick Hollander)
Lyrics by Dr. Seuss
Performed by Peter Lind Hayes Tommy Rettig
See more »

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User Reviews

? Very Atomic!!!
19 March 2001 | by (Huntington, NY) – See all my reviews

It's sad that this enormously entertaining children's fantasy film goes almost unseen today. It is the only live action feature film that the late great Dr. Suess was involved in. The story involves young Bart, a free spirited little boy who is forced into piano lessons dictated by the pretentious, snobby Dr. Terwilliker (Hans Conried at his nasally best!) In his dreams, he imagines this horrible teacher runs a prison like institute where prisoners are forced to play a silly, large piano meant for 500 piano players all at once. The film has wonderful dialog, crazy musical numbers with great lyrics. Two of my favorite songs in this film is the baratone executioner, and Dr. T's gleeful song about dressing up. Oh, and there's a reference to the atomic bomb that is just too gosh-darned funny! This loopy classic has a nice message, mostly aimed at adults- take children more seriously, and let them be children. The last shot of the film has Bart running off to play sports. A perfect happy ending.


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