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The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T


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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 (84 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000059H74
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,409 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

Great story, great scenery, even pretty good acting.
D. Reid
The sets are beautiful - sometimes austere, sometimes wildly surreal, with an excellent use of monotone and color to evoke mood.
Santos L. Halper
The great thing about Dr. T is it really feels like a kid's film.
Ricardo C.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By Dwight Kemper on 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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44 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Jamie Jamison on January 27, 2002
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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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Schuyler V. Johnson VINE VOICE on 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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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By cherrymerrymuffins on July 8, 2004
Format: DVD
"The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T" is a journey into the extraordinary, the unbelievable, and the entertaining. Albeit, it's wacky, but how else should the wonderful world of Dr. Seuss be? If you are up for a fantastic adventure into dreamland, than look no further!
Bart Collins is your average little boy--he loves his mom, he likes to play with his dog, and there is nothing he despises more than practicing the piano. No doubt his eccentric, but strangely captivating piano instructor, Dr. Terwilliker, has something to do with this. After a particularly trying lesson, Bart falls asleep at the ivories and is transported to the Terwilliker Institute, a prison-castle for tiny piano players like himself. He immediately attempts escape, but finds himself surrounded by a whole lot of bizarre characters, including some green-skinned musician-hostages who do not play the piano.
This colorful film may be a bit quirky, but beneath its oddity is a charming story that is sure to involve you and stimulate your imagination. Every aspect of "Fingers" is truly memorable, from the beautiful set to the catchy sing-along numbers to the original screenplay. This is a movie that the entire family will love--kids can identify with Bart and Dr. Seuss, adults can enjoy the music and choreography, and everyone will want to watch it again and again.
Once you watch "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T," you'll see why I went crazy when I was able to tape it on TV (and went crazy when someone taped over it!). I couldn't wait until this title appeared on DVD! Get it while it's hot! :)
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