IMDb > The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953)
The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.
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The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953) More at IMDbPro »

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The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. -- Open-ended Trailer from Sony Pictures

Overview

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Up 14% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Dr. Seuss (screenplay) &
Allan Scott (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
1 July 1953 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The Wonder Musical of the Future!
Plot:
The bane of adolescent Bart Collins' existence is the piano lessons he is forced to take under the tutelage of Dr... See more » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
Nominated for Oscar. See more »
User Reviews:
Surreal, funny, poignant... and there IS a logic to it See more (88 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Peter Lind Hayes ... August Zabladowski
Mary Healy ... Heloise Collins

Hans Conried ... Dr. Terwilliker

Tommy Rettig ... Bartholomew Collins
Jack Heasley ... Uncle Whitney (as John Heasley)
Robert Heasley ... Uncle Judson
Noel Cravat ... Sgt. Lunk
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

George Chakiris ... Dancer (as George Kerris)
Alan Aric ... Elevator Operator (uncredited)
Tony Butala ... Boy Pianist (uncredited)
Kim Charney ... Kim - Boy in Line (uncredited)
Henry Kulky ... Stroogo (uncredited)
Diki Lerner ... Dancer in Dungeon Ballet (uncredited)
Harry Wilson ... Guard / Doorman (uncredited)

Directed by
Roy Rowland 
 
Writing credits
Dr. Seuss (screenplay) &
Allan Scott (screenplay)

Dr. Seuss (story and conception)

Produced by
Stanley Kramer .... producer
 
Original Music by
Friedrich Hollaender  (as Frederick Hollander)
Heinz Roemheld (uncredited)
Hans J. Salter (uncredited)
 
Cinematography by
Franz Planer  (as Frank Planer)
 
Film Editing by
Al Clark 
 
Production Design by
Rudolph Sternad 
 
Art Direction by
Cary Odell 
 
Set Decoration by
William Kiernan 
 
Makeup Department
Clay Campbell .... makeup artist
Helen Hunt .... hair styles
Robert J. Schiffer .... makeup artist (uncredited)
 
Production Management
Clem Beauchamp .... production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Frederick Briskin .... assistant director
 
Sound Department
Russell Malmgren .... sound engineer
 
Stunts
Waldo .... stunt double (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Emil Oster .... camera operator
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Jean Louis .... gowns: Miss Healy
 
Editorial Department
Harry W. Gerstad .... editorial supervisor (as Harry Gerstad)
 
Music Department
Michael J. McDonald .... score remixer
Morris Stoloff .... musical director
Victor Bay .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Gil Grau .... orchestrator (uncredited)
George Greeley .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Samuel Hoffman .... musician: theremin (uncredited)
Fred Karger .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Paul Mertz .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Arthur Morton .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Arthur Morton .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Edward Rebner .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Nelson Riddle .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Mario Silva .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Raymond Turner .... musician: piano (uncredited)
Robert Van Eps .... composer: additional music (uncredited)
Robert Van Eps .... musician: piano (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Francis Cugat .... technicolor color consultant
Eugene Loring .... choreographer
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
89 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Mono (Western Electric Recording)
Certification:
Australia:G | Finland:K-8 | USA:Approved (Certificate No. 15928) | USA:TV-PG (TV rating) | USA:G (1996)

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:
Continuity: When Bart hides in the large vase, he places a bunch of flowers on his head. When the guards lift him from the pot, they are on his head. In the cut-out shot moments later, the flowers have disappeared.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 normally is, uh, 44,000 kratchmuks. But these, they tell me, are not normal times...
[...]
See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in Pineapple Express (2008)See more »
Soundtrack:
Dressing Song: Do-Mi-Do DudsSee more »

FAQ

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32 out of 34 people found the following review useful.
Surreal, funny, poignant... and there IS a logic to it, 9 August 2002
Author: markkufin (mj.saarinen@kolumbus.fi) from Helsinki, Finland

I am a European who hasn't read one single book by Dr. Seuss, but I am magically captivated by this movie. I've seen the DVD four times by now, first having seen it twice at film archive shows.

There's only one way to have the seemingly absurd pieces to fall into place. This film is a highly sensitive depiction of a little boy's hopes and fears--occasionally wildly fluctuating between the two. Just try and find another logic behind "Didn't you know? This makes you my old man." "Yeah, I guess it does, at that."

Yes, Tommy Rettig's singing voice was dubbed by Tony Butala. After all, there's only so much one person can do. Hans Conried probably sang himself. After his double voice role in Disney's "Peter Pan" he went on to play the Magic Mirror in several Disneyland TV shows. "5,000 Fingers" must be the finest showcase of his talents.

Repeating the last words of the previous speaker was not a mannerism of Tommy Rettig's. All that is in the script, and Tommy was simply doing his work. The previous year, he was incredible in the neglected b/w movie "Paula" which is basically a two-person drama with Loretta Young. (If anyone watches "Paula" and does not have a lump in their throat at the end they are beyond all hope.)

The "Hassidics" with the Siamese beard ("Or you will get choked by the beard of the twins With the Siamese beard With a terrible twin on each end" as it says in a deleted song) are simply the boy's two great-uncles--their photos can be seen on top of the family piano.

Originally, Dr. Terwilliker did not appear in the parlor scene at the beginning. Some stills are in circulation--one on the VHS tape box--where Bart Collins darkens the eyebrows on the sheet music portrait with a pencil. The same version includes an alarm clock which Bart attempts to set ahead. In the final movie the clock still remains in one scene, at the high end of the piano keyboard. Late in the production, an immense risk was taken; having anyone speak directly to the camera is problematic, let alone a child. But this worked superbly. Some lines were obvious afterthoughts. I've seen a script with the line "One hundred per cent perfect gold plated fony [sic], double fony" added in Tommy Rettig's hand.

The musical score goes to show what years of experience can do. Friedrich Hollaender--Frederick Hollander in America--composed music for pictures as early as in 1931. The simplistic ditty "Ten Happy Fingers" is developed into many superb variations in the film score. As someone who plays himself, I found Bart's "hundred pianos" rendition under the baton of Dr. Terwilliker a sheer delight. (Characteristically, Dr. T. is not satisfied...)

Films like this also remind us about the ephemeral nature of life. At least Peter Lind Hayes, Hans Conried, and Tom Rettig have passed away. Tom--a highly esteemed computer programmer--later said these words in his dBase language, "IF its_time EXIT ENDIF." But they will live forever on film. And when "Bart and the excited dog run lickety-split down the street" you will want to see it all over again... I did.

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