6.9/10
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100 user 41 critic

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. (1953)

Approved | | Family, Fantasy, Music | 1 July 1953 (USA)
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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(screenplay), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Oscar. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
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Jack Heasley ...
Uncle Whitney (as John Heasley)
Robert Heasley ...
Noel Cravat ...
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Dancer (as George Kerris)
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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

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Taglines:

The Wonder Musical of the Future! See more »


Certificate:

Approved | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

1 July 1953 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Five-Thousand Fingers of Dr. T.  »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,600,000 (estimated)
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

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Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was among the earliest released in stereo, as part of a ploy by the movie industry to get television viewers back into theaters. A 98-piece orchestra was assembled to record the score, which was the largest ever assembled on a Columbia soundstage at that time. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

Elevator operator: [Dungeon elevator song] First floor dungeon/Assorted simple tortures/Molten lead, chopping blocks and hot boiling oil/Second floor dungeon/Jewelry department/Leg chains, ankle chains, neck chains, wrist chains, thumbscrews and nooses of the very finest rope/Basement dungeon/EVERYBODY OUT!
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Connections

Referenced in Un bonheur n'arrive jamais seul (2012) 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

 
Real adventure, real entertainment, and a real message.
18 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What a pity they don't make films like this anymore for children, and an even greater pity that if they did no one would watch them. This wonderful music-and-dance fantasy tale harks from the days when there actually was a "culture," and at least some movie makers, and some parents, felt it was their responsibility to pass that culture on to the next generation. The screenplay for "Dr. T" was written by none other than Dr. Seuss, including the songs, and is delightful from beginning to end. The story, about a boy who dreams that his mean piano-teacher runs a surrealistic prison-school, is an adventure that holds the attention of young and old, and the excellent performances of Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy provide the "love interest" for those who find that necessary. The protagonist is played by Tommy Rettig -- "Jeff" of the original "Lassie" TV series -- at 12. It's interesting that so many of his pre-Lassie roles were in musicals, especially since apparently he couldn't carry a tune. (Tony Butala, one of the founding members of "The Lettermen," provided his singing voice in this film.) One number, way ahead of its time -- in fact way ahead of THIS time -- makes as clear a protest as I've ever heard against adults who "push and shove us little kids around." A VERY YOUNG Hans Conried as the conceited villain will have you laughing out loud, and references to the atomic bomb should be understood in the context of a year when thousands of people were digging large holes in their back yards. Watching this movie is a real and rare treat.


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