Mill Creek Entertainment was busy this past week adding to its already bountiful June schedule and laying down early markers for the month of July. So let’s get right to it.
June 7 marks the Blu-ray debut of director Roy Rowland’s 1953 film adaptation of Dr. Seuss’ (aka: Theodor Geisel) 1953 story (he also wrote the screenplay — his only theatrical screenplay), The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.
A musical, surreal in nature, filmed in glorious Technicolor and written by Dr. Seuss, who could ask for more!
Dr. Terwilliker (Hans Conried) is a piano teacher who has a student named Bart (Tommy Rettig — who would rise to stardom the following year as Lassie’s sidekick in the legendary television series of the same name), the son of a widowed mom named Heloise (Mary Healy). That’s the surface story … a young boy who would rather be out playing than learning how to play the piano.
Of course, we wouldn’t have much of a story if it was just about Bart and not liking his piano lessons. Instead, his imagination runs wild, he views Dr. T(erwilliker) as someone who is a mean taskmaster and stalking his vulnerable mother to boot. When he dozes off during one of these lessons he suddenly finds himself in an alternate universe (think: Dorothy and the Land of Oz).
It’s a strange land of music run by the wizard-like Dr. T who demands that young Bart — along with 499 other boys — learn how to play a massive piano (the equivalent of pushing a boulder up an endless hill)!
Can Bart escape the clutches of Dr. T and will his mother find happiness with August Zabladowski, the plumber (played by Peter Lind Hayes)? Who knew that piano lessons would be so fraught with danger!!!
In addition to the Blu-ray debut of The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T on June 7, Mill Creek Entertainment has also added the double-disc DVD collection titled 5 Classic War Films, which includes Young Winston, The Prisoner, Commandoes Strike at Dawn, Castle Keep and Bitter Victory. The SRP is just $14.98.
Also added to the June 7 release calendar this past week were DVD editions of the Emmy-winning series teaming Scott Bakula with Dean Stockwell, Quantum Leap: Season One (a double-disc set — the series was a late season replacement and ran just nine episodes) and Quantum Leap: Season Two (a four-disc set featuring a full season’s worth of 22 episodes).
Shifting to the first week of July we find attractively priced DVD collections of the James Garner detective series, The Rockford Files: Season One and The Rockford Files: Season Two (both are four-disc sets).
July 5 also marks the DVD debut of the eight-part, double-disc set titled Ghost Encounters. Included in this unique paranormal collection are: documentary filmmaker Dan Marro’s Ghost Hunt: Paranormal Encounter at Burlington County Prison; there are four chilling encounters from documentary filmmaker Philip Gardiner, Ghost Attack on Sutton Street: Poltergeists and Paranormal Entities, Haunted House: Demon Poltergist, Paranormal Rosslyn Chapel: Haunted Portal of Spirits and Ghosts and Haunted North America: Witches Ghosts and Demons; filmmakers Nick Padley and Nigel Albermaniche team for Unexplained Explained: Ghostly Paranormal Activity and filmmaker William Burke provides us with Ghosts at Sea: Paranormal Shipwrecks and Curses and Paranormal Prisons: Portal to Hell on Earth.
Not done yet! July 5 also has the family-friendly four-film collection (SRP is just $9.98) titled Secret Lives of Dogs: 4 Paw-some Family Films — included in the mix are Summer's Shadow, Ugly Benny, Designer Pups and Bandit and the Saints of Dogwood — and director Stephen Gyllenhaal’s Talking to Heaven, starring Ted Danson, Mary Steenburgen, Diane Ladd and Michael Moriarty.