One of the weirdest kids movies ever! Especially as far as 50s kids movies go. This one really stands out. The plot basically concerns a kid whose dad is dead and his widowed mom insists on him taking piano lessons to learn some discipline. From there it veers off into a nightmarish landscape where our protagonist dreams of his fascistic piano-teacher, the titular Dr. Terwilliker, who has built this gargantuan piano and enslaved busloads of children to play it for him. There's also a plumber who serves as a substitute father-figure, a bunch of songs and dancing(yes, this technically is a musical but unlike most musicals it does not make me want to vomit due to lameness). The strangest and most memorable scene, to me, is a song about the different levels of torture-dungeons sung by a muscular, hooded, executioner-creep with demonic eyeballs who appears to be covered with bronze skin as he takes our hero down to his cell on what appears to be the lowest level of Dante's Inferno.
Dr. Seuss wrote this thing, including the tunes, and you can really tell with some of the far-out characters that appear. I'm not sure how successful this was when it was originally released but it's too bad the wacky Doctor didn't do more stuff like this, but I guess the world needed that Green Eggs book. Check it out if you're into the old-timey bizarre stuff. AKA DR. SEUSS' 5,000 FINGERS OF DR. T
DR. T around the world!: