6.8/10
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The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953)

Trailer
2:05 | Trailer
A young boy travels to an imaginary world where, assisted by his family's plumber, he must save other piano playing kids like himself from the dungeons of his dictatorial piano teacher who also mind-controls his mother.

Director:

Roy Rowland

Writers:

Dr. Seuss (screenplay), Allan Scott (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Peter Lind Hayes ... August Zabladowski
Mary Healy ... Heloise Collins
Hans Conried ... Dr. Terwilliker
Tommy Rettig ... Bartholomew Collins
Jack Heasley Jack Heasley ... Uncle Whitney (as John Heasley)
Robert Heasley Robert Heasley ... Uncle Judson
Noel Cravat Noel Cravat ... Sgt. Lunk
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
George Chakiris ... Dancer (as George Kerris)
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Storyline

The bane of young Bart Collins' existence are the piano lessons he's forced to take under the tutelage of Dr. Terwilliker, the only person he detests because of his dictatorial nature. Bart feels Dr. Terwilliker has undue influence on his widowed mother, Heloise. Bart constantly daydreams of a place - the Terwilliker Institute- overlorded by the evil madman; Dr Terwilliker. The mad doctor's built a piano so immense, it needs 500 children to play it. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Songs you'll never stop singing! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

A soundtrack album was announced prior to the film's release, but it didn't surface until a number of years later as a bootleg vinyl record, with the A-side featuring 12 songs/cues from the film and the B-side including 11 that were deleted. In 2010, Film Score Monthly officially released the soundtrack as a 3-CD set that included a whopping 99 tracks - all of the known existing cues, songs, and alternates, culled from a variety of sources. The CD includes a booklet that details how each deleted piece of music was intended to be used in the film. See more »

Goofs

Various times through the movie, Heloise Collins's pink scarf alternates from her shoulder/arm, changing positions occasionally. See more »

Quotes

Dr. Terwilliker: This is my day! 5,000 little fingers, all playing together on my piano! Every finger obedient to the whim of me, the master! Every infinitesimal, microscopic piece of living tissue of those 5,000 little fingers, cringing and trembling and groveling before me! Before me, Dr. Terwilliker, as I raise my baton! We shall play... raise hands! We shall play the most beautiful piece ever written! I wrote it. Ten Happy Fingers! A one, and a two, and a three, and a play!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Svengoolie: The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Because We're Kids
Music by Friedrich Hollaender (as Frederick Hollander)
Lyrics by Dr. Seuss
Performed by Tommy Rettig
See more »

User Reviews

 
Odds Bodkins.
28 October 2005 | by pedrodaveSee all my reviews

Well I never. I have just had the pleasure of watching this film on Channel 4 in the UK. Its a damp and dreary Friday afternoon and this wacky exercise in surrealism has just been broadcast and has certainly put a smile on my face. What a storyline. What a set. What acting. This is a gem of a film which I had never heard of till today. It is a real departure from your average 1950s family film. Through the whole duration the film swings between brilliance and total whack. The madness of Dr Seuss comes across so well, especially when you jack up the colour a few notches :-) I am led to believe that Dali had a hand in the design of the sets. That in itself is enough to get me watching. I was surprised at the amount of reference to this movie I have actually experienced without realising it. For example, the Uk is presently showing an add for "frank" which is a recreational drug use/misuse information service available to the public. It uses a character who is undoubtedly based on Bart to do so. As a fan of surrealism I totally enjoyed the spooky weirdness of this mindbending musical. Just sad I didn't record it as I see it isn't available in European pal DVD format. Doh.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 July 1953 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Five-Thousand Fingers of Dr. T. See more »

Filming Locations:

Hollywood, California, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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