Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Popcorn & Coffee: The 5,000 Fingers Of Dr. T

G; 89 minutes; $14.98; Mill Creek Ent.; Amazon

Everybody knows the Dr. Seuss, one of the greatest children's book authors of all time, but many of you (including me) probably didn't know that he also wrote the screenplay (under his real name, Theodor Seuss Geise) for the 1953 musical-fantasy film The 5,000 Fingers Of Dr. T.

For the first time ever, the film will be arriving on Blu-ray today from Mill Creek Entertainment. Directed by  Roy Rowland, the film starred Tommy Rettig, Mary Healy, Hans Conried and Peter Lind Hayes. There are no special features or extras on the single-disc.

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T centers on a young boy named Bart Collins (played by Tommy Rettig) who hates getting piano lessons from his stranger teacher, Dr. Terwilliker (played by Hans Conried). Despite his complaints to his mother, Heloise (played by Mary Healy), he is forced to put up with Dr. T.

While practicing the piano, Bart falls asleep and dreams of being tapped inside the Terwilliker Institute, which is operated by the evil dictator, Dr. T, who has built a large piano that will take 500 boys (5,000 fingers) to play it. Bart's mother has been hypnotized into becoming Dr. Terwiliker's personal assistant and future bride.

Bart must some how save his mother, but first he must try to outrun Dr. T's guards. His only hope lies in the plumber August Zabladowski (played by Peter Lind Hayes) to help rescue his mother and stop Dr. T's mad plan.

Despite receiving negative reviews from critics, as well as flopping at the box-office, it did receive a earned a 1953 Academy Award nomination for "Best Scoring of a Musical Picture" for the score by Frederick Hollander with lyrics by Dr. Seuss.

Final Thoughts: Wow! This is a odd little movie, but not in a bad way. The acting is pretty decent for an old low-budget film, though the traditional special effects are a little out dated. The script is off the wall weird; with most of the film being a child's dream. After the first musical number, I could clearly see that this was written the one and only Dr. Seuss. Overall, I enjoyed watching The 5,000 Fingers Of Dr. T. It's a film that is hard to explain, you have to watch it to believe it even existed.

*Disclaimer - I received complimentary copy in exchange for my unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

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