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

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0:53 | Trailer
A young boy dreams that he is in 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 »
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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 is 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 that Dr. Terwilliker has undue influence on his widowed mother Heloise. Bart constantly daydreams of a place--the Terwilliker Institute--at which the evil madman is its overlord. The mad doctor's built a piano so immense that it needs 500 children to play it. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The one and only Wonderama! The first musical of the future! See more »


Certificate:

G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Prior to Bart's discovery of Zabladowski at the Terwilliker Institute, Zabladowski sang a short song about menial labor called "The Grindstone" as he was assembling sinks. The song was removed, but he whistles a portion of the tune in the finished film. See more »

Goofs

In the first scene in the Tewilliger institute, Dr. T. buttons his jacket closed after putting his baton away. Immediately after in the long shot, his jacket is open, then in a closer shot, it's buttoned again. See more »

Quotes

Mr. Zabladowski: I've heard rumors about your operation.
Dr. Terwilliker: Rumors? Scuttlebutt! I can tell you all about the rumors! I'm a villain! I'm a loathsome racketeer! This money you see before you? I've stolen it from the pocketbooks of unsuspecting mothers. Filthy, lying rumors! Why, this is a problem that every great man faces! The rumors of corruption that breeds in high places, rumors seeking to discredit my noble aims. And now these have crept into me own house, vilifying and besmirching my honesty, my fair name, my ...
[...]
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Connections

Referenced in Nostalgia Critic Real Thoughts: The Lorax (2017) See more »

Soundtracks

Get-Together Weather
Music by Friedrich Hollaender (as Frederick Hollander)
Lyrics by Dr. Seuss
Performed by Hans Conried, Peter Lind Hayes, and Mary Healy
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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)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Stereo (Western Electric Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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