The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T Reviews

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May 28, 2016
Word has it that Dr. Seuss all but disavowed The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. He would never work on another screenplay again. The movie isn't really that bad. It's creative if not a bit limited. Its imagery matches up with its themes very well, though certainly there's an overflow of creepy henchmen and other weird sights (and sounds) that leave the movie a little worse off for their inclusion. But it's a good illustrative example of the way children become emotionally scarred. In a weird way, it's a movie every parent should watch.
March 19, 2016
Delightful, surreal, Wizard of Oz-ish, with very cool sets and costumes. Family-worthy but so cooler for adults, who can appreciate the subtleties.
December 12, 2015
One of the strangest and most beautifully designed oddities ever to come out of a major studio. A small boy's nightmare - brought on by being forced to practise piano - as envisioned by Dr Seuss. Daft lyrics, vividly colourful costumes and sets, wan performances... ...and a subtext of fear of the atomic bomb. There is no movie like it.
Super Reviewer
May 19, 2015
Some creative visual live-action flourishes, but Dr. Seuss's work is better illustrated or animated. Contains what might be the oddest musical number ever, The Dungeon Song, with actors/dancers in badly painted green body paint playing Dr. Seuss style nonsensical instruments. The filmmakers attempt a Fantasia sort of extravaganza but the budget serious holds the production back. None of the other musical numbers became hits either. Dr. T (Conreid) plays a flamboyant piano teacher who forces 500 boys to rehearse. Bart (Tommy Rettig), in particular, would rather be outside playing with his dog. Rettig is amusing in breaking the fourth wall and talking to the audience. Most of the movie exists in Bart's mind as a fantasy nightmare. The movie would be unbearable if Rettig were not the lead. Real life couple Hayes and Healy play a kindly janitor and Bart's mom, respectively. Bart hopes his mom will choose the caring janitor rather than the dictatorial piano teacher. Unfortunately, all three adult leads leave a lot to be desired as they prance around this technicolor set. They simply never completely fill the massively open and empty sets with their voices or dancing.
March 8, 2015
Rivals Ed Wood for Worst Movie Ever Made. And way gay! Lots of men with their shirts off. What were they thinking???
May 24, 2014
A game effort at making a live action Dr. Suess movie. The real world just isn't up to creating in front of a camera what Mr Geisel could draw on the page. The action is slowed by being acted out before us rather than leaping ahead at the turn of a page.

As with The Wizard of Oz and Harry Potter, our young hero is rewarded for surviving the peculiar adventure with a return to a comforting, conservative world. The most daring dangerous things about the movie seem to be referencing the Flash Gordon and Buck Rogers serials:
- handy, all-seeing view screens
- dark, dirty dungeons
- angular, leering villains
- and a propensity for locking people in cages
½ May 24, 2014
Yep. That sure was weird.
January 14, 2014
It was a very enjoyable, very interesting and very fun live-action family musical fantasy. It had very great cinematography, great characters, very good cast, very fun songs, very well done costumes, very colorful sets, great adventure, very well done makeup and a great story. I haven't seen this movie in a very long time. I will recommend this movie to kids and adults.
Super Reviewer
½ January 8, 2014
A boy dreams he and his mother are trapped in a dream world ruled by evil piano teacher Dr. Terwilliger, who plans to enslave 500 boys to play his giant piano. Despite writing the story and libretto, Theodor Geisel (the Philistine!) notoriously hated this Technicolor spectacle, but you'll love the fantabulously surreal Seussian set design with its curved keyboards, ladders to nowhere, and roller-skating Siamese twin guards linked by their beards.
½ April 11, 2013
Colorful, culty Dr. Seuss Hollywood original.
March 1, 2013
This movie is OUT THERE! It was made I was just 3 years old! It a bit on bizarre side but look at who released it! Dr. Seuss himself! So you can probably guess it's going to be a "tad" on the BIZARRE side. I bought the dvd copy myself.See it it's good for laugh or two! Alan.
November 21, 2012
it was rather weird and I don't want to watch this film ever again, I didn't like it I thought it was a bit crap, it starred Peter Lind Hayes, Mary Healy, Hans Conried and John Heasley, don't want it on DVD
September 22, 2012
Better than it's supposed to be.
July 14, 2012
This is a strange movie in the same way that Dr. Seuss's books are strange books. Those are like no others, and anyone who tries to imitate them is immediately found out and discarded. This movie is very much like a Dr S book, especially the sets and the dance numbers. The funny songs, written by Seuss, are clever and funny, much better than the serious songs, which are sappy and boring. The dances are colorful and wonderfully choreographed.

This is NOT a movie for children, and not because of any sort of sex/violence/drug/blah blah blah. It would either scare kids or bore them silly, especially those who are used to anime and Toy Story. I think the audience that walked out at the first showing expected Disney. If you see it, take it on its own terms; the kid's life outside of fantasy is fairly boring, and the fantasy world is intense; think "If I ran the Circus" or "Happy Birthday to You."
July 12, 2012
To say this movie is anti-intellectual is one of the most ignorant things I've heard in a while. This movie captures the imagination and free spirit that all young boys have inside them, using the piano and its teacher as a metaphor for overbearing parenting and authority. The movie made me feel like a child again and made me wish that I had the creativity and genius that Geisel possessed even in his early career.
½ June 3, 2012
Peculiar movie that has an odd atmosphere to it. Then again, it is based on a Dr. Seuss book.
½ March 20, 2012
Very odd, but it's crazy enough for you not to indulge it.
March 8, 2012
Over looked clasic. Top 50 of all time. Yes its that good.
February 7, 2012
In a way a few people may consider this film being bad or bizarre. I personally thinks it's a fun and entertaining film I've seen in my childhood.
½ January 24, 2012
This is the first live action musical presentation of Dr Seuss. Beautiful in it photography, The acting is done well as is the direction. Dr. Seuss worked on this film when it was made. It brings to life the one of the stories that we all read when we were little.
It is one of those that should be included in any collectors library.
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