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Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof

4.8 42
Director: Norman Jewison

Cast: Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey


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Norman Jewison's adaptation of the long-running Broadway musical is set in the Ukranian ghetto village of Anatevka (the film was actually lensed in Yugoslavia). Israeli actor Topol repeats his London stage role as Tevye the milkman, whose equilibrium is constantly being challenged by his poverty, the prejudicial attitudes of non-Jews, and the romantic entanglements of


Norman Jewison's adaptation of the long-running Broadway musical is set in the Ukranian ghetto village of Anatevka (the film was actually lensed in Yugoslavia). Israeli actor Topol repeats his London stage role as Tevye the milkman, whose equilibrium is constantly being challenged by his poverty, the prejudicial attitudes of non-Jews, and the romantic entanglements of his five daughters. Whenever the weight of the world becomes too much for him, Tevye carries on lengthy conversations with God, who does not answer but is at least more willing to listen than the milkman's remonstrative wife Golde. After arranging a marriage between his oldest daughter Tzeitel and wealthy butcher Lazar Wolf, Tevye is forced to do some quick rearranging when the girl falls in love with poor tailor Motel Kamzoil. Fancying himself more broad-minded than his gentile oppressors, Tevye cannot accept the notion that his other daughter Chava would want to marry Fyedka, a non-Jew. And after shouting the praises of "tradition," Tevye must change his tune-and his entire life-when he and his neighbors are forced out of Anatevka by the Czar's minions. Topol's co-stars include Norma Crane as Golde, Yiddish theater legend Molly Picon as Yente the matchmaker, and Leonard Frey as Motel.

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Ed Hulse
Flamboyant yet sentimental, this 1971 film version of the long-running, award-winning Broadway play benefits from colorful location shooting, grand cinematic expansion of the show's constricted settings, and the charismatic performance of Israeli actor Topol in the leading role. He's nearly perfect as Tevye, a Jewish milkman who lives with his long-suffering wife and five daughters in the Ukrainian village of Anatevka, from which representatives of the corrupt czarist regime seek to drive Jewish traditionalists. The hapless, impoverished Tevye clings to his traditions even as he dreams of better things for himself and his family. This simple plot provided an unusual framework for a Broadway musical, and on film the story becomes even more compelling. Topol plays his complicated character with the necessary juxtaposition of traits: Tevye is bombastic yet contemplative, high-spirited yet riddled with self-doubt. His dialogues with God -- and, by extension, the audience -- are soulful, and Topol's rendition of the showstopping tune "If I Were a Rich Man" is a bit more sober and less exuberant than that of Zero Mostel, who originated the role on Broadway. Norma Crane plays wife Golde with dignity and restraint, while supporting actress Molly Picon is delightfully insouciant as Yente the matchmaker and Leonard Frey equally appealing as Motel the tailor. The beloved Jerry Bock-Sheldon Harnick score, which includes such favorites as "Tradition," "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," and "Sunrise, Sunset," makes the transition from stage to screen with no difficulty whatsoever, thanks to the assured staging of director Norman Jewison. Isaac Stern's violin work distinguishes the background music, for which composer John Williams won an Oscar (one of three the film received). With its deeply affecting affirmations of decency, loyalty, and bravery, Fiddler on the Roof is a classic folk story enhanced with beautiful music; in this film version it's a remarkable entertainment that, once encountered, will remain with you long after the final fadeout.
All Movie Guide
Spirited, funny, and deeply affecting, 1971's Fiddler on the Roof is a successful adaptation of its stage counterpart. Topol makes the transition from the London stage production with ease, and the supporting performances are similarly strong. Most crucial, however, is the quality of the big set pieces: gorgeously staged and musically flawless, the joyous "Tradition" and the tear-inducing "Sunrise, Sunset" leap from the screen. Director Norman Jewison makes full use of the advantages of film; thanks to the rich, on-location scenery, the material doesn't feel as if it's been subjected to a quick big-screen makeover. Fiddler was a huge success -- it was the second highest-grossing movie of the year (after The Godfather) and took home Oscars for cinematography, sound, and score. Without a doubt, it's much more sentimental than the New Hollywood films that dominated the era, but it never hits a false note.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
Mgm (Video & Dvd)
Region Code:
[Wide Screen]
[Dolby AC-3 Surround Sound]

Special Features

Audio commentary by director/producer Norman Jewison and actor Topol; John Williams: Creating a Musical Tradition featurette; Tevye's Daughters featurette; Set in Reality: Production Design featurette; Songs of Fiddler on the Roof featurette; Norman Jewison Looks Back featurette; Tevye's Dream Sequence - original print and in full color with side-by-side comparison and an introduction by Norman Jewison; Norman Jewison, Filmmaker documentary; Historical Background - read by Norman Jewison with photographs by Ann Weiss; The Stories of Sholom Aleichem - read by Norman Jewison; Deleted song "Any Day Now"; Production design and storyboards; Photographic production diary

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Topol Tevye
Norma Crane Golde
Leonard Frey Motel
Molly Picon Yente
Paul Mann Lazar Wolf
Rosalind Harris Tzeitel
Ina Claire Actor
Sarah Cohen Bashe
Otto Diamant Yussel
Miki Iveria Bess
Carl Jaffe Isaac
Raymond Lovelock Fyedka
Alfred Maron Previous Rabbi
Roger Lloyd Pack Sexton
Albin Pahernik Jewish Male Dancer
Alfie Scopp Avram
Marika Rivera Rifka
Aharon Ipalé Shefrel
Sammy Bayes Russian Dancer
Peter Johnston Russian Dancer
Bob Stevenson Bottle Dancer
Paul Michael Glaser Perchik
Michele Marsh Hodel
Neva Small Chava
Elaine Edwards Shprintze
Shimen Ruskin Mordcha
Zvee Scooler Rabbi
Louis Zorich Constable
Howard Goorney Nachum
Barry Dennen Mendel
Vernon Dobtcheff Russian Official
Ruth Madoc Fruma Sarah
Patience Collier Grandma Tzeitel
Tutte Lemkow Fiddler
Brian Coburn Beri
Arnold Diamond Moishe
Mark Malicz Ezekial
Vladimir Medar Priest
George Little Hone
Stella Courtney Shandel
Stanley Fleet Farcel
Jacob Kalich Yankel
Candy Bonstein Bielke
John Williams [composer] Conductor

Technical Credits
Norman Jewison Director,Producer
Thomas Abbott Choreography
Sammy Bayes Choreography
Jerry Bock Score Composer
Robert F. Boyle Production Designer
Joan Bridge Costumes/Costume Designer
Antony Gibbs Editor
Elizabeth Haffenden Costumes/Costume Designer
Sheldon Harnick Songwriter
Peter Lamont Set Decoration/Design
Robert Lawrence Editor
Oswald Morris Cinematographer
Terry Nelson Asst. Director
Patrick Palmer Associate Producer
Arnold Perl Original Story
Harold Prince Producer
Jerome Robbins Choreography
Wally Schneiderman Makeup
Joseph Stein Screenwriter
Michael Stringer Production Designer,Set Decoration/Design
John Williams [composer] Musical Arrangement

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Fiddler on the Roof - Feature Film
1. Prologue/Tradition
2. Main Titles
3. News for Tzeitel
4. Matchmaker
5. If I Were a Rich Man
6. Perchik
7. Tzeitel's Hand
8. Sabbath Prayer
9. At Lazar Wolf's
10. To Life
11. A Warning
12. Lessons/A Bride
13. The Pledge/Tradition
14. Miracle of Miracles
15. Fyedka & Chava
16. Tevye's Dream
17. The Wedding
18. Sunrise, Sunset
19. Mazeltov!
20. Lazar Wolf's Toast
21. Dancing With Women?
22. The Pillagers
23. Entr'acte
24. "Troubles, Troubles"
25. Perchik Proposes
26. Do You Love Me?
27. News From Perchik
28. Far From the Home I Love
29. The "New Arrival"
30. Chava's Choice
31. Chava Ballet Sequence
32. "Leave Anatevka"
33. Anatevka
34. Saying Goodbyes
35. Chava Returns
36. Finale/End Titles
Disc #2 -- Fiddler on the Roof - Special Features
1. Introduction
2. On Location
3. Filming Anatevka
4. Zagreb
5. Filming in the Square
6. Past Reflections
7. The Horse
8. Waiting for Snow
9. A Tony Curtis Visit
10. Topol Interview
11. Filming The Battle Dance
12. End Credits


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Fiddler on the Roof 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
drbcabarete More than 1 year ago
Had not seen this movie in some 20 years and it was wonderful to see again.Though I had seen the play several times before the movie was able to do some much more than the original work. I was able to share this with someone in their mid 30's who had never seen it or heard about it and found her enjoyment of the entire movie to be a double pleasure for me. Everyone should have the opportunity to experience "Fiddler".
Guest More than 1 year ago
It took me a long time to get up the nerve to watch this movie. I expected some long drawn out movie, so I always put it off. It sat on my table for weeks. Now I am glad I watched it. It was funny, entertaining, dramatic and enjoyable. I was actually surprised at how many of the songs I knew. Its definitely not light viewing, but it is a must see. The interaction between Topal and Norma Crane was great and often made me laugh. The dissolution of the family although predictable was still heartbreaking at times. There are times in the movie where it just seemed a little lame, thus my not so enthusiastic recommendation, but overall I liked it.
Bella_Quileute More than 1 year ago
This film of the great Broadway musical is magnificent. The actors are well suited to their roles, the singing and dancing are wonderful and the emotion is heartfelt and real. You will laugh and cry at the same time.
Guest More than 1 year ago
A masterpiece is the best title I could give this musical. Topol was cast very well, His godly performance could not been done any better by anyone else. The cast was very well chosen with such harmonic voices that the blend is suitable to any movie viewer and an absolute must for the hardcore movie buffs. Upon renting and viewing this movie the first time seeing it, I returned it immediately and went out and bought it and watch this at least once a week and has yet to get boring. Memorable songs like 'Tradition', 'Sunrise, Sunset' and the favourite 'If I were a rich man' keep my friends and family questioning me about it's origins. Even now I have noticed that primetime TV mentions Fiddler on the Roof in it's shows...It's just that good. It really is worth the dollar either to rent, own, or live theatre so help spread the word for others to enjoy. ^.^
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TwilightSucksForever More than 1 year ago
one very awesome intelligent movie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every December as I get the holiday baking done, I watch this movie with the kids and we sing and dance and bake! The music is uplifting and wonderful. A must see! Truely a classic
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is an old classic. I bought it for may granddaughter because she is trying out for the play at her school. I felt she needed to watch the movie firt to understand the play better. It is rather advanced for her but she loved the music and it helped her perfect the songs she will sing in the play.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Absolutely Fantastic!! I just watched the movie for the 1st time in 20 years. I Loved it!! We NEED MORE movies like this today!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie has shown the actual depiction and the real life facts of the Anti-Semitism which has been happening at the time. This movie is packed with a lot of excitement and comedy. A well played and well acted movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I saw the movie and had to buy the soundtrack! The music is fantastic and the story line is even better!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fiddler on the Roof was incredible. It goes way back to my great-grandmother. Anyone can relate to this film. It's a classic
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fiddler on the roof is a wonderful movie which not only mkes you lugh, sing long, but it also teaches great deal about Jewish culture. The only thing wrong with it is that the fiddler plays a violin.
DragonPie More than 1 year ago
the best film i have ever seen wonderful musical
Guest More than 1 year ago
05/17/05 What I like best about "Fiddler": how it draws me to my roots! (The Ukraine of 100 years ago during The Czar's empire.) Although Topol did not originate the role on Broadway (Zero Mostel did in the 1960s), film is a wonderful medium for Topol's soul. And, he could easily have been my great-grandfather-- musing upon the rooftop of a Jewish ghetto, or in a shtetl. Such is the power of the film medium-- complete with song-- to tug at our heart strings-- to be "Fiddler" for our roots! :-)
Guest More than 1 year ago
O My Gosh!!! The Best Musical Ever. And The Songs: Tradition,Matchmaker,If I were a Rich man Ect.. Put It in your collection! right next to West Side Story and Grease!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Personally this is the best musical ever made. The music is delightful and combined with the exuberant cast, is a perfect match.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Awesome movie, visually stirring. The characters are portrayed so realistically that viewers must keep reminding themselves that this was ''filmed entertainment'', not a real life documentary. Further, you don't have to be Jewish, or Russian, to want schlep over and join in singing the lyrics to the songs. The melodies are so memorable that you will be haunted by them and driven to learn the lyrics. A wonderful masterpiece in the history of film. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Fiddler on the Roof is a great classic. Topol did a great job playing Tevye. If you haven't seen the movie yet your missing out.
Guest More than 1 year ago
LOVE THIS MOVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!