I’d like to be in the position of getting into things before they become cool. Usually, though, I’m way behind the curve on coolness. For instance, I just joined Twitter in the middle of last year, well past its cool-by date, and I still don’t use it. But this is one of those rare cases where I was genuinely hip ahead of the crowd. I saw The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T (1953) as a weekend movie back in the early 70’s when I was a kid, probably on Channel 2 or 44 (in San Francisco), and have loved it ever since.
The movie was written and designed by Theodor Geisel (aka “Dr. Seuss“), who also did the music, and it shows – in the strange, weird and wonderful qualities, the pointed whimsy – but the movie has a darker side than one usually expects from Dr. Suess. That darker side is there, I think, even in The Cat in the Hat, but is usually over-looked.The basic plot revolves around a reluctant piano student and his teacher – see IMDb or WikiPedia for a fuller discussion – and music is an integral part of the movie. The score features a theremin and was nominated for an Oscar. I recently ran across a CD of the soundtrack, and it’s interesting to listen to the music separate from the visuals.
Perhaps the best known song on the soundtrack is “The Dressing Song,” also know as “Do-Me-Do Duds,” sung by the dreamworld counterpart of the music teacher, seen here in the duds: