The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.

Synopsis: The bane of adolescent Bart Collins' existence is the piano lessons he is forced to take under the tutelage of Dr. Terwilliker, the only person he admits he detests because of his dictatorial nature. Bart feels Dr. Terwilliker has undue influence for these lessons on his widowed mother, Heloise Collins. The one person who sympathizes with Bart, although quietly on the sidelines, is the Collins' plumber, August Zabladowski. Bart hates his life associated with the piano so much he often daydreams when he practices and even during his lessons. His latest dream has him imprisoned in the fantastical Terwilliker Institute in the day before its grand opening. Terwilliker's second in command at the Institute is his mother, although she has been hypnotized into her position, which will also soon be as Mrs. Dr. Terwilliker. Bart tries to convince Mr. Zabladowski, who is there to install the Institute's plumbing, to save his mother and himself from Terwilliker. Bart also hopes that Zabladowski wi
Genre: Family, Fantasy, Music
Director(s): Roy Rowland
Production: Sony Pictures Entertainment
Rotten Tomatoes:
89 min

Get away! Get away! No!

Go on away!

Go on away!

Here, boy, here.

What's the matter?

Dr. Terwilliker, what happened?

What's going on around here?

Dreaming again.

I can't leave the room for five minutes.

-What were you dreaming about this time?

-I was being chased by men with nets.

Nets. Why can't you dream

about practicing the piano?

I'll try.

Don't you realize if you don't practice

you'll never become a concert pianist?

Practice makes perfect.

I'm trying to practice.

One month to learn that before I present

all my pupils in a grand concert.

I'm not going to let one dreary little

boy humiliate me. Do you understand?

I don't think the piano's

my instrument.

What other instruments are there,

pray tell?

Scratchy violins?

Screechy piccolos?

Nauseating trumpets?

Et cetera, et cetera!

We'll make a Paderewski

of you yet.


- Paderewski.

- Oh.

Now, I want you to practice

and practice and practice...

until you are perfect.

Good day, young man.

Well, that's my problem.

Dr. Terwilliker's

the only enemy I've got.

I can't think of one nice thing

to say about him...

because there isn't any.

Bart, darling!

That's my mother.

I like her.

I try to be everything

she wants me to be...


since my father died.

But, boy, she's as hipped on the piano

as Dr. Terwilliker.


Is that as loud as you can play?

Now, now, sweetheart,

not that loud.

And not that soft.

Bart, I hate to hound you.

I know you think I'm a slave driver,

but you really are missing the beats.

Like Dr. Terwilliker

says in the book-

Ten little dancing maidens

dancing, oh, so fine

Ten happy little fingers

and they're mine, all mine

They're mine

They're mine

Now, isn't that just fine

Not three, not five

Not seven and not nine

But ten, all dancing

straight in line

And all of them

Are mine, mine, mine

Yes, they are mine, all mine

That's better.

Now you have it.

I'll get it!


I'll get it.

I'll get it.

Oh, Peggy.

Ten little dancing maidens

dancing, oh, so fine

Ten happy little fingers

and they're mine, all mine

They're mine

They're mine

Now, isn't that just fine

Not three, not five

Not seven and not nine

But ten all dancing

straight in line

And all of them

are mine, mine, mine

Yes, they are mine, all mine

That's Bart you hear.

Still hates it like poison.

Sometimes I think

that Dr. Terwilliker...

has my mother hypnotized.

Holy mackerel,

I bet you that she-

That noise you hear is my friend,

Mr. Zabladowski, the plumber.

He knows all about the piano.

He's afraid to say so

in front of my mother.

He thinks Dr. Terwilliker

is a real racketeer.

Double phony.

Don't give me any more trouble.

Your job is pianos, my job is sinks.

Tell me, is Dr. Terwilliker

really a racketeer?

Did you tell him

Dr. Terwilliker was a racketeer?

Oh, I did not.

Keys, darling.

Now look here, you may be

the very best plumber in town...

but when it comes to piano lessons,

I hardly think you qualify as an expert.

I'm not trying

to qualify as anything.

You certainly aren't

helping me maintain discipline.

It's not easy to bring up a boy

without a father.

I realize that.

And maybe you're right.

Maybe even if he never learns the piano,

maybe the discipline's good for him.


There are no maybes about it.

I assure you,

I know what's good for him.

He'll learn to play that piano if I have

to keep him at that keyboard forever.


Dr. Terwilliker

says I gotta practice.

Practice makes perfect.

Practice makes perfect.

Not bad.

But not good.

That's still not loud enough,

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T." STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 28 Sep. 2022. <,000_fingers_of_dr._t._19616>.

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