What? You haven’t heard of this little gem based on a story by Dr. Seuss? Largely ignored when it originally came out, this is a great little story starring Hans Conried as a piano teacher who captures and enslaves hundreds of children to play a massive, multi-tiered piano keyboard. Tommy Rettig of the 1950s tv-series Lassie plays the boy who is the focus of the plot. Costars are Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy. The same year, Hans Conried starred in “The Twonky,” based on a Harry Kuttner novel. But the good doctor apparently hated one or both movies, because he had to be talked into letting Hollywood turn his Christmas-hating Grinch into an animated vehicle for Boris Karloff in the 1960s. “The Twonky” had been a little story in which TV takes over someone’s life (like that could ever happen). But in the hands of Lights Out writer/producer Arch Oboler, it became a sci-fi/satire in which the TV is a sort-of robot, “possessed by a spirit from the future.” You can just see Dr. Seuss leaving the theater, can’t you?
Now let’s see how many stars Joe Bob Briggs gives “The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T” in his drive-in review:
(From Joe Bob's Ultimate B Movie Guide)
Dr. Seuss' first and only movie bombed at the box office, but is now a cult favorite and is properly seen as a satirical attack on the anti-comic-book movement of its day. Hans Conried stars as a sinister piano teacher who uses a hypnotized Stepford-Wife mom to achieve total control of a sanitized society.
For this and other movie reviews by the artist formerly known as the host of MonsterVision, go to Joe Bob Briggs.com
"The imagination of a 9-year-ol boy comes vividly to life in this fun-filled fantasy from Dr. Seuss.
"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. Terwilliker - 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 villain 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 family entertainment at its best."
Columbia Tristar Home Video
“The 5000 Fingers Of Dr. T”
Seen most recently on Turner Classic Movies
It is also scheduled occasionally on the British Sci Fi Channel UK