[[caption-width-right:229:"Yes sir, ''very'' atomic!"]]

->''"We should always believe children. We should even believe their lies."''
-->-- '''Mr. Zabladowski'''

''The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T'' is a sadly-overlooked 1953 fantasy movie, especially notable in that it was the only time that Creator/DrSeuss ventured into the live-action film medium. In it, young Bartholomew Collins (Tommy Rettig) [[AllJustADream finds himself]] and his hypnotized mother (Mary Healy) trapped in the piano-playing Institute of the maniacal Dr. Terwilliker (Hans Conried), a villain who doesn't just chew Seuss's [[{{Bizarrchitecture}} marvelous scenery]], but engages in an [[ChewingTheScenery epic multicourse banquet]]. Bartholomew's only hope is convincing plumber August Zabladowski (Peter Lind Hayes) to help him, instead of installing the Institute's sinks.

The film was a massive Main/BoxOfficeBomb and critical bust at the time of its original release (people even left the theater ''15 minutes'' into the movie during its Hollywood premiere), and prompted Dr. Seuss to [[FranchiseKiller not produce another feature film again]], but it has since become a CultClassic, and has inspired many filmmakers today, such as Creator/TimBurton.

There's Siamese-beard rollerskaters, a visit to the most [[BigLippedAlligatorMoment toe-tappingly tuneful dungeon]] ever, and a VERY atomic noise-sucker/bomb. Go track down a copy and watch it! Do it now!

It was directed by Roy Rowland and prodced by Creator/StanleyKramer.

!!This film contains these INEXPLICABLE PHENOMENA:

* AffablyEvil: Dr. Terwilliker IS THIS up and down and back and forth the line, he even outright states he's a villain before offering refreshments AND has a VillainSong with Ms. Collins and Mr. Zabladowski!
* AllJustADream: The reasoning behind the high weirdness and the behavior of the adults - it's all based on a child's dream logic. (But see OrWasItADream, below.)
* AndYouWereThere
* ArsonMurderAndJaywalking
--> ''"First Floor Dungeon: Assorted simple tortures. Molten lead, chopping blocks, and hot boiling oil."''
--> ''"Second Floor Dungeon: Jewelry Department."''
** Although the next line of the song makes it clear that [[SubvertedTrope the "jewelery" in question is an assortment of chains and nooses]].
* {{Bizarrchitecture}}: It is, quite literally, a Dr. Seuss book brought to life. Note, for example, the [[StealthPun Toilet Tree]] in the background of Bart's cellblock.
* {{Camp}}: Oh, where to begin...
* CampStraight: Dr. Terwilliker. ''Especially'' in his VillainSong.
* CardCarryingVillain: Dr. Terwillinker
* ClassicVillain: Classic children's villain, even. The grumpy inflicter of the boy's hated piano lesson becomes an egotistical, grandiose, vain and autocratic dictator who speaks with SesquipedalianLoquaciousness and demands that ''everyone'' is subservient to him, ''Dr. [=TerWILLIKER=]''! Why? Because piano playing is SeriousBusiness and he knows far more than a mere ''child!''
* CoverVersion: Avante-Garde Metal band Music/MrBungle would often cover third floor dungeon live. they take it UpToEleven. It's terrifying.
* CreepyTwins: The film features a pair of roller-skating twins who share a conjoined beard, with which they attempt to strangle the protagonists.
* CutSong: There was a whole bunch of other music written for the film by Dr. Seuss that didn't make the final cut, and only survives on [[http://web.archive.org/web/20051221064958/hometown.aol.com/seivadj18/music.html old production bootlegs]]. As of 2010 Film Score Monthly has rectified this, however, putting out a limited-edition 3-CD set with nearly everything related to the film possible.
--> '''Oh We Are The Guards:''' We are Two Terrible Twins With a Terrible Siamese Beard. \\
Don't get fresh with us now, Or you will get choked by the beard of the twins with the \\
Siamese beard, with a terrible twin on each end.
* DastardlyWhiplash: Dr. Terwilliker. Hans Conreid was the ''voice'' of [[WesternAnimation/DudleyDoRight Snidely Whiplash]].
* DeusExNukina: "Is it... ''atomic''?" "Yes sir, VERY atomic!".
* DisproportionateRetribution: While taking Bart and Zablodowski to be locked up in the dungeon, Terwilliker shows them a drummer from a band he once conducted, whose he's imprisoned inside a drum forever...because he always played an extra boom while playing Beethoven's fifth symphony.
* DisintegratorRay: "Hello, physics laboratory? ... I want him disintegrated...''[[ThereIsNoKillLikeOverkill atom...by atom]]!''"
* DisneyAcidSequence: Most of the movie.
* DisappearedDad: Played ''oh so very straight'' to the point where the entire film is a Freudian dream metaphor for Bart's longing for a father who can take him to baseball games instead of having to hang around the house with mom and do piano lessons. Yes indeed, very '50s.
* DoesThisRemindYouOfAnything: A dictator herds people into a labor camp, and it all ends with [[spoiler: an atomic explosion]].
* DreamBallet: If you squint a bit, the dance numbers could be considered as {{Dream Ballet}}s.
* DreamLand
* ElevatorFloorAnnouncement: The dungeon elevator.
* FalseFriend: When Mr. Zabladowski goes to question Terwilliker about his intentions, he and Mrs. Collins quickly charm him with some bizarre food, a reasonably catchy dance and assure him that they're only doing this to help educate American children further in music. The moment Zabladowski leaves, Terwilliker calls the institute physics laboratory (hey, piano academies don't have prison cells, search lights, electric fences, or enslaved musicians of non-piano instruments either!) and orders them to have Zabladowski disintegrated slowly and painfully at dawn.
* FashionableEvil: Of the {{camp}}iest sort. "Do-Me-Do Duds", indeed.
* {{Foreshadowing}}:
** After the dream sequence at the beginning of the film, Bart describes it to Dr. Terwilliker. Terwilliker scoffs and replies, "Why couldn't you dream about practicing the piano?" Sure enough, the next time Bart falls asleep....
** Also Terwilliker mentions to Bart that he plans to present all his pupils in a concert next month, and not to mess it up for him. This concert ends up being theme of Bart's dream...as an ''eternal'' one.
* FrothyMugsOfWater: Pickle juice. "Be careful, Mr. Zabladowski. That's some ''powerful stuff!''"
* FunHatingConfiscatingAdult: When the other boys arrive at the institute, the first the guards do after giving them beanies, is open their suitcases and confiscate their toys or anything that's fun (one guard even holds a boys pet frog out of it's water bowl and suffocates it..''right in front of the boy!'')
* GildedCage: "''Tonight''... you will sleep '''in your ''lock-me-tight!"'''''
* HighVoltageDeath:
** Threatened; when warning Bart not to try and escape, the talking bust of Dr. Terwilliker says that the barbed wire on the fences is electrified.
** Furthermore, the cut verse from the elevator song mentions that the third floor dungeon has electric chairs.
* HilariouslyAbusiveChildhood: Inverted in that it's just piano lessons, but to a red-blooded 1950s boy like Bart the very idea is A Fate Worse Than Death. And when he learns that his teacher has built an enormous "500 boy piano" with plans for ''more'' little boys to have to bang away, oh the horror, the horror...
* HonorBeforeReason: Bart goes to quite a bit of trouble to avoid waking Dr. T when he goes to break into the vault to steal some money...and then Bart leaves an IOU with his name for the missing cash. This winds up having nothing to do with him setting off the alarms and getting caught.
* HumiliationConga
* HypnotizeThePrincess: Bartholomew's mother has been [[{{Brainwashed}} turned into]] Terwilliker's assistant, and he also plans to marry her after the grand opening.
* ItRunsOnNonsensoleum: The VERY atomic noise-sucker.
* LargeHam: Dr. Terwilliker can rant with the best of them.
* LyricalDissonance: ''Almost'' none of the articles of clothing Dr. T lists in "Dress Me" are actually part of the [[BlingOfWar costume]] he gets dressed in.
* MacGyvering
* NiceHat: As seen above, so very much averted with the beanie that Bartholomew is forced to wear.
* NonSerialMovie: Although it's fairly clear where the hallucinogenic sequences stem from.
* NotableOriginalMusic:
** The [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pHVRxzvkJao Dungeon Elevator Operator]] song.
** The Dungeon of screechy violins musical interlude. (See Big Lipped Alligator Moment.)
** The [[{{Camp}} Camp Villain]] song, [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W8TQOzyCu8Q "Dress Me"]], aka "Do-Mi-Do Duds". [-"Come on and dress me, dress me, dress me in my finest array..."-]
** "Just Because We're Kids" sounds like an anthem of the [[TheSixties 60's]] Baby Boom generation.
* NothingIsScarier: After the horrific description of what goes on in the first dungeon, and the ''more'' horrific description of the second dungeon, the basement dungeon (which they get off on) is not described. Leaving it to the imagination as to how bad ''that'' must be. (It was originally described in High Octane Nightmare Fuel glory, see {{Second Verse Curse}} on the YMMV page.)
* [[UsefulNotes/ColdWar Nuclear Nightmare]]: Rife with Cold War symbolism.
* OrWasItADream: Bart and Mr. Zabladowski, after Bart wakes up, still have their thumbs bandaged from their BloodOath. Mr. Zabladowski, not "remembering" the dream, doesn't know how it got there.
* ParentalBonus: The song [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VcYTilauRLo Get-Together Weather]], which is a LoveTriangle Song. Hmmmm... [-"Come on, the weatherman's reporting that the weather's ripe for sporting, and for love and assorted courting, this is get-together weather, together is just what we've got to get! What fabulous weather for cooing and billing! What fabulous weather for dally-down dilling! What fabulous weather for bipping and beeping! For schnipping and schnupping and schnooping and schneeping! Come on, the weatherman's announcing that the weather's ripe for flouncing, and for b-b-b-b-b-b-bouncing..."-]
* RealLifeWritesThePlot: Mr. Zabladowski and Mrs. Collins were married in real life when they made the picture.
* RuleOfSymbolism: see Nuclear Nightmare and Disappeared Dad, above.
* SadistTeacher: Dr. Terwilliker. Even the real-life version seems overly strict and demanding, even taking into account Bart's bad habit of falling asleep while practicing.
* ScaryBlackMan: The elevator operator.
* SexySecretary: Mrs. Collins.
* ShotAtDawn: A variation; Dr. Terwilliker orders Zabaldowski disintegrated at dawn.
* SissyVillain: Dr. Terwilliker isn't quite a HarmlessVillain, but the fact that he's so full of himself throughout the film and has a somewhat effeminate attitude prevents him from being scary at all.
* SpiritualSuccessor: ''Film/WillyWonkaAndTheChocolateFactory'', Creator/TimBurton movies, DerangedAnimation...
* SuperSerum: ''Pickle juice''. ItMakesSenseInContext.
* SuspiciouslySimilarSubstitute: "Bartholomew Collins" sounds a lot like "Bartholomew Cubbins", the hero of an earlier book by Dr Seuss. They are both boys of about the same age, hats and the number 500 features in both stories. Dr Seuss ''did'' say his original idea was warped beyond recognition...
* VillainSong
* WeaksauceWeakness: Mr. Zabladowski defeats the Twin Guards by cutting their shared beard, separating the two in the process.