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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 2,797 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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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Lind Hayes ...
...
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 »
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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

When the boys are checking into Dr. T's piano prison, the kid immediately behind Bart identifies himself as Kim Charney, same name he used during brief career as child/teen actor. 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: How much are you being paid overtime?
Mr. Zabladowski: Two thousand pastoolas.
Bart Collins: Two thousand WHAT?
Mr. Zabladowski: Two thousand pastoolas. Dr. Terwilliker doesn't pay me in American money - he keeps that for himself. He pays me in pastoolas.
Bart Collins: What are pastoolas?
Mr. Zabladowski: If you must know, the currency here is a little strange. First of all, in the small money comes the drakmids. At the regular, normal rate of exchange, there are 59 drakmids to one silver zlobeck.
Bart Collins: "Zlobeck"?
Mr. Zabladowski: Three silver zlobecks make one golden kratchmuk. A pastoola ...
[...]
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Masters of Sex: The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Terwilliker Academy
Music by Friedrich Hollaender (as Frederick Hollander)
Lyrics by Dr. Seuss
Performed by Noel Cravat and cast
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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