Seems that one of my fave cinematic duos is at it again. Tim Burton and Johnny Depp are collaborating on a freaky-looking version of Alice in Wonderland. There's a movie from my childhood that I'm dying for the two of them to get their paws on: The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. Ringing any bells with anyone? Probably not.
I saw the movie once or twice on TV at my grandparents' house when I was a kid. Then years and years went by and it had been so long since I had seen any evidence of the movie's existence that thought for a time that I had actually dreamed the movie. If you've seen some of my dreams, it's quite possible.
Then this wonderful thing called the internet was invented and I was able to track the movie down some years ago. It's actually a Dr. Seuss live action movie -- the only feature film he ever wrote. And apparently, he was so embarrassed by it that he left it off of his official biography with Random House, according to Wikipedia. And I don't blame him. I still love the movie because I first saw it as a child, but I imagine watching it for the first time as an adult would make me want to stick a fork in my eye.
The basic story is about a little boy who loathes being forced to take piano lessons by his single mother (I'm assuming she's a widow and not a divorcee since it was 1953). He complains to the plumber about his piano teacher, Mr. Terwilliger, and eventually drifts off to sleep at the piano. He's transported to Mr. Terwilliger's world in which 500 little boys are being held hostage and forced to play a huge, winding piano -- with their 5,000 fingers. Mr. Terwilliger, although quite effeminate (watch the clip below), falls in love with the little boy's mother and kidnaps her. Bart (her son) and the plumber scheme to set her free with some sort of McGyver-esque noise-sucking device that foils Mr. Terwilliger and eventually sets them all free. It really is a great movie -- if you're a kid.
Anyway, it just screams Burton/Depp remake to me. So universe, if you're listening, please get word to them for me. Thanks!