Connect with us


5,000 Fingers of Dr. T., The (1953, Tommy Rettig, Hans Conreid)



A rare chance to see a unique cinematic oddity – a live action musical based on an idea by one of the world’s most famous writers of nonsensical children’s books, Dr Seuss (real name Ted Geisel). Although his works have been animated for television for decades, this was the first time his visions were committed to screen live and the result is totally fascinating.

TOMMY RETTIG is Bart, who’d rather be out playing baseball than learning piano scales under the stern eye of Dr Terwilliker (HANS CONRIED). But, being a dutiful boy, he obeys his widowed mother (MARY HEALY) who wants him to succeed in life even though local plumber PETER LIND HAYES (who has a crush on Healy) thinks he should be running free. But Bart also dreams… He is one of 500 boys held captive by Terwilliker who is training them to play at a massive piano in unison – only Bart and the plumber (who, of course, also appears in his dream) can rescue them along with his hypnotised mother, Terwilliker’s slave.

Musical numbers include The Kid’s Song by Bart, rebelling against adult domination, and Dungeon Elevator but the highlight is the dance sequence in the dungeon where those who preferred other instruments to the piano are held captive but show their spirit with a musical number played on their favourite instruments fashioned from odds and ends. The sets, by Rudolph Sternad, are out of Seuss’ books via Busby Berkeley and the film also has some fascinating Freudian overtones – at one point, Bart tries to escape by climbing a ladder that goes on and on and on – and then ends in mid-air. Absolutely strange (it has a huge camp following) and totally unmissable.


production details
USA | 89 minutes | 1953

Director: Roy Rowland
Writers: Dr Seuss (Ted Geisel), Allan Scott

Tommy Rettig as Bartholomew Collins
Mary Healy as Heloise Collins
Hans Conried as Dr. Terwilliker
Peter Lind Hayes as August Zabladowski
Noel Cravat as Sgt. Lunk
Robert Heasley as Uncle Judson
Jack Heasley as Uncle Whitney (as John Heasley)
Tony Butala as Boy Pianist (uncredited)
Henry Kulky as Stroogo (uncredited)
Alan Aric as Elevator Operator (uncredited)


Alastair James is the editor in chief for Memorable TV. He has been involved in media since his university days. Alastair is passionate about television, and some of his favourite shows include Line of Duty, Luther and Traitors. He is always on the lookout for hot new shows, and is always keen to share his knowledge with others.

The Valley The Valley
News18 mins ago

The Valley, April 16, 2024, Bravo, “The ‘D’ Word”

The drama continues in The Valley as the group of close friends navigate their lives in the latest episode, “The...

Wildcard Kitchen Wildcard Kitchen
News19 mins ago

Wildcard Kitchen, April 16, 2024, Food Network, “LA in the House”

Get set for an exciting culinary showdown as Wildcard Kitchen returns with a new episode, “LA in the House.” This...

HBO News HBO News
News46 mins ago

An American Bombing: The Road to April 19th, April 16, 2024, HBO

An upcoming HBO documentary examines the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, the deadliest act of domestic terrorism in US history, and...

The Cleaning Lady The Cleaning Lady
News46 mins ago

The Cleaning Lady, April 16, 2024, FOX, “Velorio”

In the latest episode of The Cleaning Lady, titled “Velorio,” tensions rise as Ramona becomes increasingly suspicious of Thony’s involvement...

News47 mins ago

Lopez vs Lopez, April 16, 2024, NBC, “Lopez vs Let It Go”

In the latest episode of Lopez vs Lopez, George joins a meditation group led by spiritual healer Carlos the Curandero,...

Fixer to Fabulous Fixer to Fabulous
News48 mins ago

Fixer to Fabulous Italiano Series Finale, April 16, 2024, HGTV, “Unveiling the Villa”

In the finale episode of Fixer to Fabulous: Italiano, Dave and Jenny embark on a high-stakes mission as they near...

Alert Missing Persons Unit Alert Missing Persons Unit
News5 hours ago

Alert: Missing Persons Unit, April 16, 2024, FOX, “@Kyra”

In the upcoming episode of Alert: Missing Persons Unit, a popular travel influencer goes missing during a hurricane, prompting the...

FBI CBS Title Card FBI CBS Title Card
News8 hours ago

FBI, April 16, 2024, CBS, “Best Laid Plans,” Shantel Van Santen Guest Stars

The FBI team tackles high-stakes investigations, delving into terrorism, organized crime, and counterintelligence in the latest episode titled “Best Laid...

The Curse of Oak Island The Curse of Oak Island
News20 mins ago

The Curse of Oak Island: Digging Deeper, April 16, 2024, HISTORY, “Abbey Road”

In this episode of The Curse of Oak Island: Digging Deeper, airing on HISTORY on Tuesday April 16, the team...

Four In A Bed Generic Four In A Bed Generic
News58 mins ago

Four in a Bed, 15 April 2024, Channel 4, “The Sportsman, Whitworth, Lancashire”

Channel 4’s popular B&B competition series Four in a Bed returns for another brand new season, pitting B&B owners against...

True Crime Generic True Crime Generic
News1 hour ago

Murder Case: The Digital Detectives, 15 April 2024, Channel 4

In the first episode of Murder Case: The Digital Detectives, viewers are taken on a journey into the world of...

Escape to the Country Escape to the Country
News1 hour ago

Escape to the Country, 15 April 2024, BBC One, “Shropshire”

In this episode of Escape to the Country, Denise Nurse joins a couple from Cheshire who are seeking to swap...

Big Little Crimes Big Little Crimes
News1 hour ago

Big Little Crimes, 15 April 2024, BBC One, “Season 2 Episode 6”

BBC One’s documentary series Big Little Crimes returns with another insightful episode, showcasing the intriguing world of police investigations and...

Traffic Cops Traffic Cops
News1 hour ago

Police Interceptors: Pursuit and Capture, 15 April 2024, 5Action, “Episode 6”

In the latest episode of Police Interceptors: Pursuit and Capture, viewers will witness a high-speed clash between officers and a...

Yesterday Give Find It, Fix It, Flog It Double Series Renewal Yesterday Give Find It, Fix It, Flog It Double Series Renewal
News1 hour ago

Find It, Fix It, Flog It, 15 April 2024, Yesterday, “Season 8 Episode 4”

In the latest episode of Find It, Fix It, Flog It, airing on Yesterday on Monday 15 April, Henry Cole...

Pompeii The New Dig Pompeii The New Dig
News1 hour ago

Pompeii: The New Dig, 15 April 2024, BBC Two, “The Bodies”

The ancient Roman city of Pompeii, famously destroyed and preserved by a volcanic eruption in AD 79, has long been...