The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T

Overview

This is a five-star-quality release of a movie so good and so strange that it is off a lot of people's ratings scales. One of the most delightful children's films ever made, and one of the most beguiling fantasy films ever to come out of Hollywood, The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T has had about the nicest thing happen to it that can be imagined -- Columbia-TriStar Home Video has released a DVD that looks as good as the restored theatrical print that this reviewer saw in 1999. Based on a story and screenplay by Dr. Seuss...
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DVD New in new packaging. 1953 Run time: 89.

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Overview

This is a five-star-quality release of a movie so good and so strange that it is off a lot of people's ratings scales. One of the most delightful children's films ever made, and one of the most beguiling fantasy films ever to come out of Hollywood, The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T has had about the nicest thing happen to it that can be imagined -- Columbia-TriStar Home Video has released a DVD that looks as good as the restored theatrical print that this reviewer saw in 1999. Based on a story and screenplay by Dr. Seuss (aka Theodore Geisel), this was the oddest of the fascinating body of movies that Stanley Kramer produced at Columbia Pictures in the early to mid-'50s. It's a wild ride across a landscape of musical and musically inspired fantasy, all told through the dreaming of a lonely boy who doesn't want to practice the piano. Along with The Wizard of Oz (and surpassing Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory), it's a movie that is completely absorbing in its vision of fantasy -- and, like The Wizard of Oz, it was never understood at the time of its release, only acquiring its large cult following through television showings, especially once color television became common in the late '60s. The colors look so clean, bright, and solid that the viewer just wants to plunge into the screen -- this disc will be a serious favorite among owners of big-screen monitors. The audio is a match for the picture, with a robust, rich sound that fairly leaps out at the listener. There aren't any particularly special "special features" to the disc, but the movie is more than enough given the price. One does wish, however, that Columbia could have interviewed Kramer or, better yet, Dr. Seuss while they were still with us for use in a secondary audio narration about the production (though neither was happy with the way the movie came out), especially as The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T just missed being part of the Criterion Collection on laserdisc back in the early '90s.
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Special Features

Digitally mastered audio and video; Full-screen presentation; Audio: English [mono], French, Spanish; Subtitles: English, French, Spanish; Photo gallery; Bonus cartoon; Bonus trailers; Talent files; Interactive menus; Scene selections; Direct weblink to official Dr. Seuss web site
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Craig Butler
Certainly not your standard issue 1950s-style musical, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T has gained a substantial cult following in the decades since its release. This is due primarily to the contributions of Ted Geisel, better known as Dr. Seuss, who wrote the imaginative screenplay and helped design the surrealistic look of the sets and costumes for the lengthy dream sequence that makes up the body of the film. The look, in particular, is impressive, from the Seuss-ian curves and spirals of the sets to the finger-beanies atop the boys' heads to the roller-skating twins connected by their shared beard. Less successful is the screenplay; while it has some delightful sequences, it's a bit disjointed, and its Freudian underpinnings are at times odd and jarring. The direction is fine, but it falls short of reaching the imaginative heights that the material requires. Tommy Rettig does a commendable job in the leading role, and Hans Conried makes a marvelously sly and slithery Dr. T. Mary Healy is fine as Mrs. Collins, but Peter Lind Hayes leaves something to be desired as the boy's father figure. Ultimately Dr. T disappoints by not living up to its potential, but it's a unique film that children especially will find rewarding.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 4/24/2001
  • UPC: 043396058361
  • Original Release: 1953
  • Rating:

  • Source: Sony Pictures
  • Region Code: 1
  • Aspect Ratio: Pre-1954 Standard (1.33.1)
  • Presentation: Pan & Scan / Dolby 5.1 / Mono
  • Sound: Dolby Digital, monaural
  • Language: English, Français, Español
  • Time: 1:32:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Lind Hayes August Zabladowski
Mary Healy Mrs. Collins
Hans Conried Dr. Terwilliker
Tommy Rettig Bart Collins
John Heasley Uncle Whitney
Robert Heasley Uncle Judson
Noel Cravat Sgt. Lunk
Henry Kulky Stroogo
Technical Credits
Roy Rowland Director
Clem Beauchamp Production Manager
Clay Campbell Makeup
Al Clark Editor
Dr. Seuss Screenwriter
Dr. Seuss Source Author
Harry Gerstad Editor
Frederick Hollander Score Composer
William Kiernan Set Decoration/Design
Stanley Kramer Producer
Eugene Loring Choreography
Jean Louis Costumes/Costume Designer
Cary O'Dell Art Director
Franz Planer Cinematographer
Hans Salter Score Composer
Allan Scott Screenwriter
Rudolph Sternad Production Designer
Morris W. Stoloff Musical Direction/Supervision
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Scene Index

Side #1 --
0. Scene Selections
1. Start [1:59]
2. Chase nightmare [1:21]
3. Dr. Terwilliker [1:09]
4. "Ten Happy Fingers" [2:22]
5. Mr. Zabladowski [2:32]
6. "Practice makes perfect." [3:30]
7. The Terwilliker Institute [1:47]
8. Number Two [2:33]
9. Bart search [1:30]
10. Eluding the guards [2:57]
11. "I need your help." [1:42]
12. Gone fishing [1:28]
13. "Dream Stuff" [3:53]
14. "Hypnotic Duel" [2:55]
15. Rumors of corruption [2:46]
16. "Get Together Weather" [4:31]
17. "The Kid's Song" [3:59]
18. Key to the safe [1:30]
19. Non-piano players dungeon [5:34]
20. Blood Oath [7:00]
21. Zabladowski vs. The Twins [3:23]
22. "Victorious" [1:21]
23. "Dungeon Elevator" [4:48]
24. Inventing MusicFix [6:39]
25. "The Dressing Song" [4:11]
26. 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T [2:53]
27. Atomic "Chopsticks" [3:55]
28. A dream come true [1:50]
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Menu

Side #1 --
   Play Movie
   Audio Set-Up
      English (Mono)
      French/Français
      Spanish/Español
   Subtitles
      English
      French/Français
      Spanish/Español
   Special Features
      Photo Gallery
      Bonus Trailers
         Annie
         The Adventures of Milo and Otis
         The Nuttiest Nutcracker
         Oliver! Anniversary Edition
      Gerald McBoing Boing
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 16, 2001

    I have always loved this film

    I have always loved this film. Though it is a bit disconserting at times I still would watch it over and over again. The story origionally by Dr. Seuss is a bit off the path of what most people think of when they think Seuss. The costumes and scenary however is obviously influenced by his style of design. Not nessacerily for every child but at least worth a one time look for anyone who loves/loved to escape from everyday life to a wolrd of imagination.

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