(Roy Rowland, US 1953, 89 min., 16mm)
Dryden Kids. Columbia’s nutty musical fantasy was originally intended for kids, but with a script and lyrics cowritten by Theodor Geisel—aka Dr. Seuss—the result was so wonderfully weird it has since found a cult following among grown-up aficionados of the outré and flat-out strange. Child star Tommy Rettig (Lassie) stars as Bart, a reluctant piano student who is transported to a nightmarish dream world ruled by his dictatorial piano teacher Dr. Terwilliker (Hans Conreid). There, five hundred boys—Bart included—are forced to slave away at Terwilliker’s enormous piano, a wonder of 1950s set design that must be seen to be believed. Free for ages 17 & younger.