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

Mary Healy , Hans Conried , Roy Rowland    DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Bart: I don't think the piano is my instrument.
Dr. Terwilliker: What other instruments are there, pray tell? Scratchy violins, screechy piccolos, nauseating trumpets, et cetera, et cetera?

The only live-action Dr. Seuss movie for nearly a half-century, this delightful musical comedy is a treat--something for kids who thought they have seen everything. Young Bart (Tommy Rettig of TV's Lassie) detests his piano lessons with the fanatical Dr. Terwilliker (Hans Conried). As with Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Bart falls into a dream world in which the piano teacher--renamed Dr. T--is ruler and children are hunted down to have piano lessons. Worse yet, Dr. T has magical control over Bart's mom (Mary Healy). The Oscar-nominated songs are uneven but the art direction is superb, creating a truly magical world (and the world's longest piano). Dr. Seuss's love for language stays intact. Many kids of the 1950s might remember Bart's five-fingered beanie, which was a top seller. Great fun for the 5-10 age range, and adults too. --Doug Thomas


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Yes, sir, it's VERY atomic! 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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3.0 out of 5 stars The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T Sept. 26 2002
Format:DVD
Ted Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, wrote and helped design this eccentric fantasy about a young boy named Bart (Tommy Rettig) who, like most young boys, doesn't enjoy his piano lessons with the mean-spirited Dr. Terwilliker (Hans Conried). He figures his time would be better spent playing baseball with his friends or helping his grown-up buddy Arthur Zabladowski (Peter Lind Hayes), a plumber. One night, while fast asleep, Bart has a long and remarkable dream in which he's trapped in the kingdom of the fearsome Dr. T, who has enslaved hundreds of little boys, forcing them to practice on the world's largest piano until they drop. With the help of a familiar plumber, Bart plans a revolt that will topple Dr. T's evil empire once and for all.

This is a pretty goofy flick, but fun nevertheless. It has its share of dance numbers, and you can definitely tell that Dr. Seuss had a hand in making it. The props, characters, and one musical number in particular that Bart spies on just scream Dr. Seuss. The scene takes place in a cavern with musicians flying around playing all sorts of weird and gigantic instruments. Definitely worth watching if, you are in the mood for a goofy flick.
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Format:DVD
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.
Was this review helpful to you?
Format:DVD
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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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars this a great movie
this movie is for the whole family. i love watching it with my two year, we are all way using line from the movie.
Published 9 months ago by E. Collins Boulton
4.0 out of 5 stars A Superb Masterpiece
This film is an incredible piece of work built onto a great story with great dialogue, conflicts, music and dancing. Read more
Published on Feb. 15 2011 by jamiedalewalraven
5.0 out of 5 stars YOU MUST SEE THIS
This was my favorite movie as a little kid... and it still is. Its musical peices are fun for children and devilishly clever for adults. Read more
Published on July 7 2004 by Kafka
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Seussian
This movie is an excellent movie if you enjoy Dr. Seuss. It does much better than either "The Grinch" or "The Cat in the Hat" in being Seuss-like, and has a pretty good story. Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Imagination is the biggest value
If you are looking for a real dr. suess movie, you found it. This movie was made with input and approval from Dr. suess himself! Read more
Published on Dec 26 2003 by bo knows
5.0 out of 5 stars A Timeless Joy
I remember seeing this movie as a child and was delighted to see that it is now on DVD. While a bit on the strange side, it is a joy to behold. Read more
Published on March 18 2003 by I. Henzel
5.0 out of 5 stars BIZARRE!!!!!!!
This is one of the strangest and most entertaining movies you and you're kids will ever watch. I recommend this film to music teachers for classroom viewing - perfect for grades... Read more
Published on June 6 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic for Children and any adult who took piano lessons
Critics may not have thought this is the most wondeful movie ever made, but the Dr. Seuss sets and simple story of a boy who wants a dad and would rather play baseball than... Read more
Published on April 15 2002 by Rodman Neumann
5.0 out of 5 stars a beautiful, well-made and surreal film
i had very vivid memories of seeing this movie when i was a kid and i wasn't disappointed when i got it on dvd. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2002 by D. L.
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