Monday, January 13, 2014

THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR. T. / Stanley Kramer Productions - 1953

It's Dr. Seuss Monday with Tabonga, here at The Dungeon!.. Here's a movie that I saw a number of times in the fifties, but, since everything was broadcast in black and white back then, the only way you could see it in all it's glory was at the theater! Stanley Kramer produced 34 movies that includes HIGH NOON, THE WILD ONE, THE PRIDE AND THE PASSION, THE DEFIANT ONES, ON THE BEACH, INHERIT THE WIND and BLESS THE BEASTS & CHILDREN. This film had a budget of $1,600,000 and it shows!

Eegah!! sent over a wild little soundclip from this flick, sooooo, you can push the big red 'GO' button there next to the Happy Fingers Beanie, NOW, Ralphie The Tarantula! Here's our audio offering for... THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR. T!

The extremely talented Tommy Rettig plays young Bart Collins, the bane of his existence is the piano lessons he's forced to take under the tutelage of the very demanding, Dr. Terwilliker. Tommy actually plays the piano here, he started his career at age 8, appearing on KRAFT THEATRE in 1949. What us kids all remember is his role as Jeff Miller in 116 episodes of LASSIE. Tommy's adult height was only 5' 4" so his career didn't pan out, and, he was a long time advocate for the legalization of marijuana. He died of natural causes at age 54 in 1996.

Has Conried plays Dr. Dr. Terwilliker, aka, Dr. T. In Bart's dreamworld, Dr. T. is a demanding tyrant with bully guards to protect him and his house is surrounded by an electrified fence! Hans was a scientist in THE MONSTER THAT CHALLENGED THE WORLD and the awesome host/narrator on FRACTURED FLICKERS. He ended up with 208 acting credits and left us in 1982 at age 64.

Bart's mom is the doc's fiancée, she's hypnotized with power and barely recognizes her own son! Bart has to wear a Happy Fingers Beanie or be punished.

What a bunch of great images! In the world of Dr. Seuss, there are no straight lines or 90 degree angles.

Peter Lind Hayes plays the doc's handyman, August Zabladowski. Bart looks to him as a father figure. Peter was also in THE OUTER LIMITS episode, "Behold Eck!"

These are reasons you can be detained in The Dungeon, so, better watch it, buster!!

Here's the scene our soundclip comes from, a mad routine featuring the doc's musical puppets! George Chakiris is one of the dancers.

On this dilapidated elevator ride taking Bart and August to The Dungeon, the operator has one wild 'n' weird look going for him!

The doc's busses bring in 499 more kids to play at the big recital where he will conduct all the little buggers on a giant, 2-layered piano!

But, Bart has a little surprise and ruins the doc's plans, causing pandemonium a plenty! In the end, Bart's mom and August hook up, making for a happy ending!


Eegah!! said...

I'm trying to visualize what this movie would have looked like with Mr. T in Hans Conried's Role!

Randall Landers said...

LOL It would be atomic, no doubt. ;)

TABONGA! said...

I also thought about Mr. T when I was posting -

Anonymous said...

Those who will be in the San Francisco Bay Area this mid-October can see 'Dr. T' as part of an 'Altered Realities' film series being shown Friday evenings at the Mechanics Institute Library:

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