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The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T
Directed by Roy Rowland • 1953 • United States
Starring Peter Lind Hayes, Mary Healy, Hans Conried
One of the most outrageous acts of cinematic surrealism ever to emanate from Hollywood’s dream factory, the only film written by Theodor Seuss Geisel (a.k.a. Dr. Seuss) is a riotous Technicolor fantasy in which a young boy (Tommy Rettig) dreams himself into an imaginary world ruled by a diabolical piano teacher (Hans Conried) who forces five hundred children to practice an enormous keyboard for eternity. With its outlandish sets, eccentric musical numbers (with lyrics also penned by Dr. Seuss), and vaguely unsettling tone, THE 5,000 FINGERS OF DR. T. was met with incomprehension upon its release but has since taken its place as a beloved cult favorite, a one-of-a-kind children’s film that doubles as a triumph of genuine avant-garde imagination.