Tonight on MeTV- it’s a combination of fantasy, sci fi, and music filtered through the imagination of favorite author Dr. Seuss- with results even the good doctor found bewildering! It’s a cult film with a horrendous history, which we will be explaining to you, as a mad maestro commands the “5000 Fingers of Dr. T”!
The movie opens in a somewhat confusing manner, but we soon realize that it’s all coming from the mind of young Bart Collins (no relation to Dr. Seuss’ Bartholomew Cubbins) who is being forced to practice the piano, urged on by his single parent Mom. She is enforcing the practice regimen of the stern and dictatorial piano instructor, Dr.Terwilliker, who feels outside play is detrimental to piano excellence, that other instruments are far inferior to the keyboard, and that his methods are the ONLY way to musical success. Bart, of course, disagrees, and feels that his mother’s insistence that he follow Dr. T’s rules may be a sign that she has been flim-flammed by his “racket”. Bart tries to get some sympathy from the local plumber working at his house, one August Zabladowski, but the workman is of no help.
The tedium of practice exercises takes its toll, and Bart falls asleep- dreaming his way into a strange location with what looks like a never-ending piano keyboard- and under the thumb (not fingers) of none other than Dr. T ! It appears that the maestro has a grand plan; having 500 boys ( 500 boys= 5000 fingers, if you count thumbs as fingers, I guess) to play his favorite composition, while in a sort of servitude. They will dwell in cells, and only engage in piano practice, with no distractions like family or fun.
Even worse- Dr T’s right hand ( 5 fingers or otherwise) man is a woman- specifically- Bart’s mother! She seems a little confused and distant when confronted by her son-but there’s no time for further reflection, when Dr. T spots Bart, and wants him incarcerated. Bart makes his escape, with various guards, including a pair of twins conjoined by a long beard, out to capture him. While trying to get away, he finds Zabladowski the plumber is also at work in this eerie realm, and, again, doesn’t seem concerned about Bart’s problems. Things begin to change as the day of the big concert draws near. Will Bart be able to break Dr. T’s spell on his mother, finally convince the petulant plumber to join him in his rebellion, and free the 5000 fingers and their owners?
Bart is played by young Tommy Rettig, whom some recall as the original child owner of “Lassie” in the first version of the TV series. We’ll introduce you to other cast members, including the real-life husband wife duo of Peter Lind Hayes and Mary Healy, and the over-the-top , highly theatrical Hans Conried, recognizable from many of his comedic roles. We’ll also talk about the catastrophic collisions between Dr. Seuss and the studio, what got changed and eliminated, and more. Seuss was responsible for the story, screenplay, a lot of the set design, choreography, and song lyrics. About the songs: many of them were cut from the film, much to Seuss’ chagrin. As far as cutting things, please note that this movie has a very lengthy run time that exceeds our usual amount of program time, necessitating a lot of editing on our part, which had to include parts of songs and dance numbers. We retained Bart’s song about how badly kids get treated by adults, since it is probably the best known song in the film, having even been performed recently by Tony Bennett.
We’re showing this movie because it has a cult following, and due to Dr. Seuss’ participation. We know some of you will not like this film, but everyone is welcome to their opinion. We ask that our blog commenters keep things civil, and not run the negativity into the ground. Remember that this is a family show, and the comments should also stay in line with that. If you really hate the movie that much, you shouldn’t continue to watch, but you will miss a new enterprise for Doug Graves and some Seuss-like verbosity about vehicles, as well as a new song!
“5000 Fingers of Dr. T ” play(s) tonight on MeTV at 8 pm eastern/pacific, 7 central, or check for time and channel in your local listings, or at www.metv.com . MeTV has been very happy with the response of viewers “live-Tweeting” during the show on Twitter, using that hashtag #svengoolie . Again, our show has been right near the top of the list as topics trending nationally, thanks to the many Tweets !
Our Chicago area viewers get a second round of vengeance with “Revenge of Frankenstein” this morning at 11 am on WCIU, the U.
Join us tonight for the ebony and ivory together on the piano keys- while disharmony is fueled by Dr/ T !