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

In addition to several notable edits, nine complete songs and a few reprises were cut from the final version of the film: "The Uncles' Skating Waltz" (aka "Oh! We Are the Guards!"), "Terwilliker's Do Re Mi" (aka "My Favorite Note"), "Many Questions," "The Grindstone," "I Will Not Get Involved," "You Opened My Eyes," "Massage Opera," "Money," and "Freckle on a Pygmy." See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Mr. Zabladowski: You are a sly, deceiving little coot. So I'll "just go and take a look"!
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Connections

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

Soundtracks

Dressing Song: Do-Mi-Do Duds
Music by Friedrich Hollaender (as Frederick Hollander)
Lyrics by Dr. Seuss
Performed by Hans Conried
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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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