Movie Review: The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953)

Synopsis: A disinterested piano student and a plumber try to stop piano instructor, Dr. Terwilliker from opening a new institute and enslaving 500 piano students.

Who's in it? The movie stars Peter Lind Hayes, Mary Healy, Hans Conried and Tommy Rettig

Review: I did not know the legendary Dr. Seuss once wrote a live-action movie but, once I learned that, I was definitely intrigued enough to watch it. So, when my youngest daughter wanted a family  movie night this weekend, it's the film I picked. After seeing it, I can understand why Dr. Seuss didn't make more.

To tell you the truth, this movie wasn't the worst I've seen or even one of the worst. In fact, I think there were some good things going for it.

For one, I did like the main plot, involving a piano student (Rettig) trying to stop his evil piano teacher (Conried) from enslaving other piano students. Adding to this was the way the movie made it seem like nobody was on his side. His mom (Healy) was hypnotized by Dr. T and his plumber friend (Hayes) was more interested in getting paid for putting in sinks.

There were also some intriguing characters in this movie (ones you would expect to see in a Dr. Seuss book). My daughters, for example, loved the beard-sharing twins (Jack and Robert Heasley).

I think the biggest problem with this movie is it tries to do too much. In particular, I think the movie has way too many musical numbers. I'm OK with musicals, especially those written by a legendary writer. But, in this case, they seemed like more of a distraction from the main plot than anything. Not to mention, some of the dance numbers made us wonder, out loud, if Dr. Seuss was on drugs when he wrote this.

Final Opinion: I thought the movie had some potential and, as I said, it wasn't completely awful. But, I think it would have been better had it not been a musical.

My Grade: C


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