Also following in the tradition of the other films, 5,000 Fingers is not simply an exercise in oddity for oddity’s sake. Stanley Kramer Productions. The musical number that takes place in the dungeon features prisoners playing instruments both familiar and strange, and is one of the most impressive in the film, as well as a testament to the value of freedom and individuality. culture of the second half of the twentieth century in America. 2. If you’ve never seen Dr. Seuss’s “The 5000 Fingers of Dr T” you have an amazing treat waiting for you. and Creativity. human need without which we cannot experience freedom and individual "I mean, it was like Rocky Horror Picture Show -- they knew all the lines," she says. Top subscription boxes – right to your door, © 1996-2020,, Inc. or its affiliates. work as a whole)? What are the characteristics of the "dream quest" as a Seuss exercises his playfully wild imagination (his distinctive style can be seen in the film’s sets and costumes and in quirky lyrics like the ones referencing “undulating undies”) and also infuses the film with one of its most memorable qualities – a very real sense of menace. Consideration of the use of the dream in film, literature, and art as especially relating to adult authority and the development of autonomous Among them: singer Michael Feinstein, who's such a fan of the movie that he spent the past 30 years gathering every scrap of music ever recorded for it -- enough material to fill three CDs. as devices and images in The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T (and in Dr. Seuss' Polly Collective Recommended for you It's the end of the Terwilliker institute and Bart's dream! Some of the development pieces have deteriorated with time, but the really important pieces have transferred just fine. a means of representing the role of imagination in life and culture. I request a VCR and projection system or monitor to show excerpts. to adult authority. He follows the stairs up and finds that they lead to nowhere. As in the aesthetics of German Romanticism, the first What's New on Amazon Prime Video in November 2020: How to Watch Donald Trump and Joe Biden's Next Presidential Debate. Prime members enjoy FREE Delivery and exclusive access to music, movies, TV shows, original audio series, and Kindle books. We don’t share your credit card details with third-party sellers, and we don’t sell your information to others. selfhood through free imaginative play The review of this Movie prepared by Sara Embrey. he says. typical imagery of children's nightmares, the child also finds the means modern school to value the lessons of the dream, play exists not only as Cast: Tommy Rettig, Peter Lind Hayes, Mary Healy, Hans Conried, John Heasley. Collectors can buy this set with confidence and it makes a great addition to any collection. I first rediscovered director Roy Rowland’s 1953 film The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T years ago, tracking it down based on vague recollections from childhood. The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. was heavily edited prior to release, with only 6 songs remaining in the picture. For lovers of unusual cinema, this is a real find. reduce imaginative free play to the workings of some deeper, more primal That being said, the movie is amazing art. His dream is to force 500 young boys to slave 24 hours a day practicing at the world's largest piano, him with baton in hand. But it refuses to And now, 57 years after its premiere, the definitive soundtrack of this kooky cult classic has finally been released. I remembered a very strange and very dreamlike movie, and, upon watching it again, I found my remembrances confirmed. Seuss didn't even mention the movie in his memoir. Here he stumbles upon the castle of Dr. T, who runs a piano school for captive boys. The school is surrounded by an electric fence, the living quarters cells, and those playing instruments other than the piano are sent to the dungeon. It’s not a coincidence that 5,000 Fingers was backed by independent producer and noted Hollywood liberal Stanley Kramer. It was a lucky break: Chakiris says producers wanted so many male dancers -- 60 of them -- that auditions were opened to men who were not in the Screen Extras Guild. He imagines a cockeyed castle where his teacher, transformed into the evil Dr. Terwilliker, has hypnotized his mother and taken 500 boys prisoner so they can play music on his 5,000-key piano. A very strange musical fantasy for children, the sets abounding with color, distorted structures, and images that can be frightening. By all accounts, he absolutely hated the finished film, feeling that his vision had been warped beyond recognition. Awareness and analysis of themes in children's dreams and nightmares, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T Message Board (click here). hero, in the manner of Alice in Wonderland and The Wizard of Oz. Like At previews, the filmmakers realized that their movie was too dark for young audiences. That rebellious spirit is a major part of what distinguishes The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T., and what makes it as relevant in our own dangerous age as it was when it was first released. In this live-action version of a Dr. Seuss story, a young piano student falls asleep, finding himself in a twisted reality where his evil instructor, Dr. Terwilliker, has a quest for power. Nightmare in the Arts, Children's Dreams and Nightmares, or the Dream In order to navigate out of this carousel please use your heading shortcut key to navigate to the next or previous heading. A young boy dreams that he is in an imaginary world where, assisted by his family's plumber, he must save other piano-playing kids like himself from the dungeons of his … Heinz Roemheld and Hans J. Salter added additional dramatic underscore, based on Hollander’s themes. Bart hates practicing the piano. A so-so movie makes a terrific set of CD's, Reviewed in the United States on February 16, 2019. lessons with the eccentric and tyrannical Dr. Terwilliker (Conried). Seuss' under-recognized place as a defining sensibility in the art and It’s a movie you can see over and over and still be amazed at how bizarre it is. Out of the work that this prolific musician created for the film, Lareau says that the music for the film's "Shlim Shlam Ballet"  sequence really stands out. Terwilliker has also hypnotized Bart’s widowed mother into complicity. Our payment security system encrypts your information during transmission. The autocratic and maniacal piano teacher known as Dr. T. holds 500 young boys captive in his castle-like Happy Finger Institute in order to present a concert featuring 5,000 fingers on a giant piano of his own invention. THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR T. is one of the best fantasy films ever produced by Hollywood. The Brattle Film Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit, supported in part by a grant from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, a state agency. genre in modern children's literature and film? imagination that confronts adult authority as either all-powerful enemy You have to see it. endowments-unmediated by cultural imperatives, social training, or Not many people know about Dr. Seuss' only film, The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T. The 1953 movie musical was a flop, but thanks to special screenings and cable-TV airings, it's earned a small but devoted following. and The Cat In The Hat (both 1957) made him a household name—The 5,000 Fingers Of Dr. T. is the only movie Dr. Seuss ever wrote. "So I auditioned, and I got the job and I made enough money to actually join the Guild, as well. College of Art and Design. Roy Rowland, 1953), Dr. Seuss' only love and guidance. This presentation would be relevant to a panel on Dreams and Film, The to explore empathy and responsibility, to reconcile with the demands of Mary Healy and Peter Lind Hayes, who were married in real life, starred as the hypnotized mother and the plumber who saves her. USA, 1953. The prisoners have built musical instruments out of odd materials and, in the film's most elaborate. The review of this Movie prepared by Estefan Ellison. Cathy Lind Hayes attended a screening in Pasadena, Calif., a few years ago, only to discover that the film had a devoted cult following. I can show and direct discussion of this film in its entirety if there's Adults will find it every bit as diverting and intriguing as children as it explicitly connects dreams, surrealism and psychoanaysis. It’s not a coincidence that 5,000 Fingers was backed by independent producer and noted Hollywood liberal Stanley Kramer. hide caption. "And they were much, much younger than me. Sold by amazingwildcat and ships from Amazon Fulfillment. dream as escape from the boring duties and responsibilities imposed by into dungeons and sewers, stairs and ladders galore, good and bad Instead, our system considers things like how recent a review is and if the reviewer bought the item on Amazon. the means to discover and assert autonomous selfhood through Like those practically legendary tales, it draws on the convention of the dream as escape from the boring duties and responsibilities imposed by adults upon children who would rather play. Zabladowski tells Bart his mom is at the institute too, as second in charge, and the disbelieving Bart sets off to find her. Right from the start it’s clear that 5,000 Fingers is something left of center, a more twisted take on standard Technicolor musical fare like MGM’s singing sailor flick Hit the Deck, which Rowland would a direct a few years later. dream"-a view that places the dream at the center of a theory of The movie is worth checking out. It also analyzes reviews to verify trustworthiness. sequence, perform a strange ballet. "They always said, 'Oh, we wish we could get a better version -- so much has been cut!' Music: Frederick Hollander and Nelson Riddle; Cinematography: Franz Planer; Art Direction: Cary Odell, Rudolph Sternad; Produced by: Stanley Kramer; Written by: Dr. Seuss and Allan Scott; Directed by: Roy Rowland. When he gets to her room, he learns that Dr. T is hypnotizing her and runs back to enlist Zabladowski for help. "It's a wonderful feeling after nearly three decades to see this thing in existence. Reviewed in the United States on August 10, 2011. The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T, Dr. Seuss' only live-action film, is an The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T is a Technicolor fantasy -- mostly the extended dream sequence of a boy who doesn't want to practice the piano. Here as in all the typical Seussian tales, the child finds a film series, or interest. That atmosphere also colors the way we view the villain of the kiddie musical in question. Awareness and analysis of the conventions of representation of the The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T (dir. THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR T. is one of the best fantasy films ever produced by Hollywood. dream in cinema Bart has to re-convince Zabladowski by stealing the secret disintegration order and showing it to him. through creative play, marks the film as a crucial demonstration of Dr. says Feinstein. under-appreciated example of the dream/nightmare quest, through its Rettig and Hayes are delightful and Healy's OK but Conried gives what may be the performance of his estimable career as the dastardly fop. After viewing product detail pages, look here to find an easy way to navigate back to pages you are interested in. Directed by Roy Rowland.

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