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

Mary Healy , Hans Conried , Roy Rowland  |  G |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Mary Healy, Hans Conried, Tommy Rettig, Peter Lind Hayes, Jack Heasley
  • Directors: Roy Rowland
  • Writers: Allan Scott, Dr. Seuss
  • Producers: Stanley Kramer
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dubbed, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono), French (Unknown), Spanish (Unknown)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Subtitles for the Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 24, 2001
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (77 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059H74
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,952 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Digitally Mastered Audio and Video
  • Photo Gallery
  • Bonus Cartoon
  • Talent Files
  • Weblink

Editorial Reviews

Young Bart Collins, lulled to sleep by the monotony of his piano lessons, dreams of a castle ruled by his piano teacher, the eccentric Dr. Teriwilliker. Dr. T is determined to prove that his "Happy Fingers Method" of teaching piano is the best method in the world. Having banished all other musical instruments to the dungeon, Dr. T lures 500 reluctant little boys to perform in a colossal concert on the grandest grand piano ever built. In his effort to escape, Bart comes in contact with some of the strangest characters imaginable - Siamese twins on roller skates, a human drum and the most memorable villian since the "Grinch". Filled with surreal landscapes and tongue-twisting rhymes, for which Dr. Seuss is famous, this is a movie children and their parents will love to watch again and again. THE 5000 FINGERS OF DR. T is fantasy entertainment at its best.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beware the two versions! February 5, 1999
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This was one of my favorite films as a boy and its imagination and camp, crazy vision still enchants as an adult! Hans Conreid turns in the most wonderfully demented, camp villain performance since Ernest Thesiger's prim and fussy Dr. Pretorius in "Bride of Frankenstein"! "Do Me Do Duds" is a scream! The song of the Terwiliker Institute, "Hurray For Us!" is a riot! And, yes, the song, "You Have No Right," is touching and poignant. The one sure to give little ones nightmares will most likely be what I call "The Elevator Song." I don't know who the S&M Dungeon Master/Elevator Operator is, but BOY can he belt out a scary little ditty. One word of warning to those who care about the quality of the print of your films, the video reviewed here is an excellent restored print, apparently taken from the original negative. The Technicolors are vibrant and alive, BUT there's a clamshell packaged version floating around out there you should avoid at all costs. The print used for this version is washed out and lifeless and even turning the color control up on your TV won't compensate for a poor quality print. Apparently, when Columbia/Tristar labeled the film for their Family Collection, they figured most families must be color blind and wouldn't notice. So remember, if it says clamshell packaging, avoid it! The ONLY reason to buy the clamshell version would be if you needed the closed-caption feature, but what a rip off! The deaf are being cheated out of a great visual experience with this truly horrible print.
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43 of 47 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Hollywood could not do a better movie today if they tried, even with modern special effects technology and buckets of money, witness the live-action "Grinch" if you don't believe me. I first saw this movie as a child in the late 1970s where it was a staple of Saturday afternoon movies. What can be said? Hans Conried makes this movie as the campy, completely over the top and utterly mad Dr. Terwilliker.
The story and sets are wonderful, reflecting the fertile, and rather twisted, imagination of Theodore Seuss Geisel. Tommy Rettig is perfect, and never annoying as Bartholemew Cubbins, the precocious child star of the movie, Mary Healy plays his mother and Peter Lind Hayes plays the wise plumber, August Zabladowski.
This movie is billed as a musical, it's not much of one, the songs seem as if they were tacked on to the rest of the production, however the movie is so good that even this cannot detract from it.
The DVD transfer is very good, much better than the earlier VHS transfers, there isn't much in the way of special features, just a trailer and some photo stills, but given the fact that this movie was made 50 years ago this isn't surprising. My only complaint about the disk is that the sound seems somewhat muffled in places, although free of the more objectionable forms of distortion. The scene with Peter Lind Hayes and Hans Conreid attempting to put a whammy on each other is sheerly fantastic.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to my Childhood! December 12, 2000
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
One of the things I loved so much about the 5,000 Fingers of Dr T is I related to the Tommy Rettig character in that I also had to practice the piano every day. It's a wonderful window into the world of the child who is basically at the mercy of whatever his parents deem appropriate for him to do in his spare time. When I got older I appreciated being able to play the piano but I was not overly fond of it as a child. Tommy Rettig was one of the best child actors of the day, prior to Lassie. Hans Conreid makes a wonderful villain but the absolute best part of the movie is the incredible Seuss sets! There's a wonderful scene of an enormous piano, seemingly miles long, with acres of enslaved children feverishly pounding away on the keyboard...I still want a beanie with a hand coming out of the top, and I would love to have a room or two in my house designed just like the sets in the movie. From the first time I saw a Dali painting as a child I loved surrealism and there is an abundance of it in this movie. Totally unique from anything you've ever seen, a different excursion into the Seussian interpretation of a child's world trapped in a musical dictatorship. Although it was made in 1953 it translates beautifully into today by virtue of its fantasy; children still dwell in dreams part of the time!
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
I'm glad Ted Geisel devoted his talent to children, but you have to wonder what might have been. This movie must have been one of Terry Gilliam's favorites. It's got a lot of 'Brazil' in it--the subversive plumber character, stark set, the nonconforming protagonist, dream sequence, bumbling henchmen, idealized woman and oedipal undertones. It also does a pretty good job of ridiculing atomic power, adults and authoritarianism, and childhood fear and loathing associated with piano lessons. The casting is great, the acting has just the right touch of melodrama, and the music and choreography make for really good, thoughtful parody. Call me a cinematic slob, but before criticizing anything about this movie, remember that it was released almost half a century ago. I'm sure Hollywood didn't get it, but it's a classic example of the art of riducule to boot.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Totally disappointing
Remarkably stupid. Will scare silly most of the kids it is aimed for. Hard to believe
Dr. Seuss would be associated with this.
Published 1 month ago by J. Sucher
5.0 out of 5 stars Never enough of this flick!
Maybe because I grew up in the 1950's I feel at home in this edgy, bizarre notion of a child's fantasy world, sets are fantastic, music really bolsters the oddity of the story,... Read more
Published 1 month ago by JB
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Musical Fantasy Comedy is a Great Family Film!
Child star Tommy Rettig ("Lassie") stars as a boy who dreams a bizarre fantasy about his overbearing piano teacher, Dr. Read more
Published 2 months ago by D. J. Long
5.0 out of 5 stars Weird movie, but good. and quality dvd.
Not really here to write a movie review. the movie was good but weird. just wanted to say I got the dvd, quick delivery, and the quality was good. had no problems.
Published 2 months ago by Kala Williams
5.0 out of 5 stars CREEP COOL
I actually discovers this film by chance! Being along time Dr Seuss fan I have to safe it is a excellent depiction of a Dr Seuss world!!
Published 2 months ago by Wayne L. Kew II
5.0 out of 5 stars Great movie designed by Dr. Suess
My husband, having seen this as a child has introduced dozens of people to its whimsical Seussical style. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Janet Perry
5.0 out of 5 stars The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T
This movie is visually very interesting. It is different from any movie I have ever seen. Almost like a mix between Zeigfield and Dr. Suess. I really enjoyed it!
Published 4 months ago by Shelly Michaud
5.0 out of 5 stars movie
this has been a favorite move of my husbands. He enjoyed watching it again. we are so glad to own it again
Published 5 months ago by Susan Hyndman
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and Surreal.....
I love this movie, and saw it once when I was much younger, but much of it stuck with me. It is very underrated and hardly seen any more and it shouldn't be as it was the only live... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Betty L. Wilkins
5.0 out of 5 stars lots of fun
I remember this from my childhood. Rewatching it with a bag of popcorn,, it still holds up well. 2 thumbs up !!!
Published 5 months ago by Bill
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