Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof

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Tevye is a poor milkman in czarist Russia, where he provides for three unmarried daughters and a sharp-tongued wife. Faced with mounting financial strain and growing anti-Semitism, Tevye strives to maintain balance despite the precarious nature of his situation.
Branch Call Number: DVD FEATURE FIDDL
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (181 min.) : sound, color ; 4 3/4 in
video file,Blu-ray
Notes: Originally produced as a motion picture in 1971
Based on the stage play Fiddler on the roof, adapted from Sholom Aleichem
Special features: audio commentary by director/producer Norman Jewison and actor Topol; Norman Jewison, filmmaker; Norman Jewison looks back; John Williams: creating a musical tradition; Songs of Fiddler on the roof; deleted song, 'Any day now'; Tevye's daughters; Set in reality: production design; storyboard-to-film comparison; Tevye's dream sequence (in full color with side-by-side comparison and an introduction by Norman Jewison); trailers, teasers and TV spots


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Jul 30, 2019

Fiddler on the Roof is a historical film about religious tradition. It teaches outdated messages about family, love, tradition, friendship, and hope. These are outdated lifestyles because our culture has finally embraced a world of decadence. The movie is about changing and breaking old world traditions into a modern mindset and signals anti-Semitism for Jews in the next century. I have Jewish ancestry so this movie is very close to my heart. The story begins in pre-revolutionary Russia particularly focused on a Jewish man by the name of Tevye (played by Topol) who is a milkman in his village and father of five. When the film begins, Tevye encourages his audiences to understand his tradition and he questions the reasoning behind the tradition, although he doesn’t know the answer. Tevye is enlightened by wisdom and age and truly shares a parental love for his daughters. He seems to be a man who follows his heart no matter how crazy his impulses may seem. He speaks to God out loud and he narrates the story through his perception. He speaks of the fiddler on the roof and he makes it seem as if we are all fiddlers in our own right. I personally think it is a metaphor that we need balance a ying and yang principle in order to restrain from chaos and hostility, and without that humanity will lose their identity. His daughters decide to make a liberated choice and challenge the traditions of their community for the sake of love, but they never lost their identity. As the world was entering into a time of extreme turmoil, it was family and marriage that pulled them together that kept strength for creation and life. Tevye is really a progressive for a man in his society. Tevye represents the traditions of Orthodox Judaism and all traditions (especially marriage) are considered outdated, as we are moving into an unorthodox lifestyle of decadence. In the film he cursed these words, "What ever happened to tradition!" and I think he would curse these words if his character could see our culture today. Although, Tevye tried to change with his day, I doubt he would change with our culture and I think he would disrespect our choices, as many individuals today may even think of him as judgemental as to their lifestyle, but it was their era and it was his belief system. His daughter’s marriages were untraditional according to his orthodox religion, he managed to respect his daughter's and allow the unorthodox marriage for their sake. However, he disowned his last daughter Chava for marrying out of her faith, as her husband was a gentile. Although, this family is from Russia and they are Jewish, they remind me of the struggle that we face today, that many traditions and beliefs are being persecuted because of certain individuals who desire special rights. The film may have a sad ending, but I think our ending will be far worse. At least Teye had an opportunity and a warning that he must leave with his family. I think this time we won’t be so lucky and we won’t be getting a second warning. On a positive note, the film has humour, romance, dancing, and a lot of great and classic music such as “If I Were A Rich Man,” "Tradition," and "Sunrise, Sunset,” This film is not only about religious tradition, but shares a little bit of the politics of the day and this is what got me interested in Russian history, the dangers of Marxism and the harsh realities of the Bolshevik Revolution. @janmarrow1225 of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

Jul 03, 2019

One of the best loved musicals of the 70s, based on the hit Broadway play. There was some controversy when Israeli actor Chaim Topol was cast, rather than the actor who originated the role of Tevye, Zero Mostel. But it's become his signature role and you can't really imagine anyone else doing it. Featuring such hits as "Tradition," "Sunrise, Sunset," and "To Life." Norman Jewison directs and, despite his name, he's not Jewish. It'd be like if a guy named Jack Christianson directed a Jesus movie. Jewison also did the cheesy Jesus musical "Jesus Christ Superstar."

May 02, 2019

A long but excellent adaptation of the famous play: both a heartwarming and realistic depiction of a poor, close-knit Jewish family in 1910 Russia. The tender-hearted father's bark is definitely worse than his bite as he responds to family challenges and changing traditions. Great musical scenes complement rather than distract from the actual acting.

Mar 11, 2019

A beautiful classic!

Jan 28, 2019

Outstanding film starring the incomparable Topol as a poor, Jewish milkman in a village in Czarist Russia and featuring Isaac Stern in the most jaw-dropping violin virtuosity I’ve ever heard. My ONLY complaint about this DVD is that the English subtitles are only included for the speaking lines but NOT the song lyrics. I’d borrowed this DVD to share with a family member who has hearing difficulties and wanted to become familiar with the musical prior to watching a stage production. It is often difficult for hearing impaired individuals to make out words within a song; Why on earth the DVD producers opted to omit the lyrics from the subtitles is beyond me. Otherwise, a great family film with a strong history lesson about intolerance and upheaval in pre-WW1 Russia.

Oct 22, 2018

Watched this movie for schoolwork... WOW!! The world sure was different back then.

Jul 24, 2018

Rarely do I see a movie more than once but this is a movie I've seen several times before and will see again every so often. Truly a masterpiece.

harry m. reichenberg

Aug 14, 2017

Movie Masterpiece! Why not gold plate the cover?

May 30, 2017

GREAT 1971 film musical set in Ukraine village in 1890's Russia.
Not sure why it's taken me so long to see this fabulous work of art - but now I have - and recommend you view it too!

Mar 25, 2017

I can't believe I had never seen this movie until now. Very enjoyable and by far the best original soundtrack.

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May 02, 2019

Other: Time-period sexism.

May 02, 2019

Frightening or Intense Scenes: Pogrom: a Jewish village is attacked and homes/businesses destroyed. Russian officers charge and hurt socialist protestors.

May 02, 2019

Violence: Gentiles bully a young Jewish woman.


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Jan 12, 2017

readingfairy1 thinks this title is suitable for 7 years and over

Jul 19, 2010

hur74Vety thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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Nov 07, 2013

A Jewish father struggles to cope with all the changes going on around him-his three daughters are all getting married "for love", the government is taking a despotic turn, and things aren't simple anymore. What happened to tradition? Will life ever be the same? 12+ for some violence (no blood), scary images, and when the main character is drunk (along with some other guys in a tavern).

Jun 09, 2010

A Jewish father struggles between maintaining the traditions of the family faith and allowing his three daughter's to be happy and marry whom they love.


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Laura_X Jan 21, 2015

They gave each other a pledge? Unheard of. Absurd.

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