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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 16.67%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 5.56%

1 review, 12 user ratings

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5,000 Fingers of Dr. T., The
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Fun, frightening, colorful, and eccentric — the perfect movie for kids."
5 stars

For some, all that needs to be said is that Dr. Seuss cowrote the script, designed the sets and costumes, and was essentially the film’s guiding creative intelligence. Inexplicably, this marvelous musical fantasy flopped at the box office.

You know this is a Dr. Seuss movie when you hear the name of the boy hero — Bartholomew Collins, played by Tommy Rettig (Lassie). Bart, who labors over his piano lessons to humor his widowed mother, mistrusts his piano teacher, the prim, humorless Dr. Terwilliker (Hans Conried). Hunched over his hated piano, Bart falls asleep and has a dream, which is where the film really begins.

In this elaborate, lavish nightmare, Bart is trapped in Dr. Terwilliker’s vast castle, where the mad teacher plans to lure 500 boys to play on his huge piano forever. Bart’s mom is hypnotized into obeying Dr. T’s every command; the only person he can turn to for help is kindly plumber Peter Lind Hayes.

The sets, effortlessly imported from the pages of Seuss, will make you gasp every time, and there are wondrous Seussian touches like rollerskating twins joined at their beard. And dig those crazy beanies! Conried gives one of the all-time camp performances; he seems to dote on the notion of being vicious and dressing in preposterous outfits.

If you’ve got kids, they should watch this instead of Jim Carrey’s 'Grinch' or Mike Myers’ 'Cat in the Hat.'

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originally posted: 04/04/07 11:39:01
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2006 Seattle Film Festival For more in the 2006 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

9/08/15 Anne Yes, this makes it! 5 stars
12/18/14 Stevie Most imaginative & bizarre fantasy film ever! Gayest film of all time! 5 stars
3/09/13 Fred Wichmann Saw it first in 60's. Still has the epic wierdness 5 stars
8/02/12 Alan Douglass The score and the performances are first-rate. 4 stars
1/02/11 Steve So bizarrely terrible that it almost defies description. 1953 audiences walked out. 1 stars
12/06/09 Eala Dubh It might even be... ATOMIC! 4 stars
10/15/08 David Fowler Deliciously surreal! Brilliant design. Conried is hysterical!!! 5 stars
8/29/08 Harley Ross Something new with every viewing. 4 stars
7/20/06 David Cohen Sadly unappreciated in its time, a trippy and enjoyable film by the great Dr. Suess 5 stars
5/31/06 Blackbrain Wonderfully bizarre. It's like an acid trip in a can. 5 stars
5/03/05 Gary Even better now than when I saw it as a kid. Good music and fun to watch. 5 stars
3/17/05 Jack Sommersby An imaginative, brilliantly realized delight. 5 stars
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  01-Jul-1953 (G)
  DVD: 07-Oct-2003



Directed by
  Roy Rowland

Written by
  Dr. Seuss
  Allan Scott

  Tommy Rettig
  Hans Conried
  Mary Healy
  Peter Lind Hayes
  John Heasley
  Robert Heasley

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