Monday, October 03, 2016

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953)

Delirious musical fantasy, conceived and designed by Dr. Seuss, produced by Stanley Kramer, and directed with real flair by Roy Rowland. A boy, bored with his piano lessons, falls asleep and dreams that his piano teacher is actually a mad supervillain and that he is being held captive in a labyrinthine lair. This set-up is a backdrop for a series of colorful, surreal set pieces and songs. This is undoubtedly the best role that Hans Conried ever had, delivering a delightfully madcap performance as the piano teacher. Tommy Rettig delivers a fine performance as the boy, and usband-and-wife vaudeville team Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy are good if somewhat bland as the adults in the story. Although often an uneven film, it is nevertheless entertaining and is superior to, and truer in spirit than, the more recent film adaptations of Dr. Seuss stories.

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