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Tevya (1939)

Approved | | Drama | 21 December 1939 (USA)
The original, non-musical film version of the book which inspired "Fiddler on the Roof".



(story "Khavah and play "Tevye der Milkhiker""), (adaptation) | 1 more credit »
1 win. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Miriam Riselle ...
Rebecca Weintraub ...
Paula Lubelski ...
Leon Liebgold ...
Fedya 'Fedye' Galagen
Vicki Marcus ...
Betty Marcus ...
Julius Adler ...
Aleksei, the Priest
Daniel Makarenko ...
Mikita Galagen, Fedya's Father
Helen Grossman ...
Mrs. Galagen, Mikita's Wife
Morris Strassberg ...
Al Harris ...
Zazuli 'Zuzuya'
Louis Weisberg ...
Boas Young ...
Uradnick, the Officer


Tevye is a dairyman in the Russian Ukraine early in the 20th century. He lives in a cabin outside Boyberik with his wife Goldie, his widowed daughter Tseytl, her two children, and his younger daughter, the unmarried Khave. Khave is being courted by Fedya, a Christian, the son of a local government official. Tevye warns Khave against romance and marriage outside her faith, but Fedya is persuasive too. What will Khave decide, how will Tevye react, and when the Tsar initiates a pogrom, will Tevye's friends come to his defense? Can the stubborn Tevye reconcile his heart and tradition? "On the other hand..." Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis








Release Date:

21 December 1939 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tevye  »

Box Office


$70,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


This film was selected to the National Film Registry, Library of Congress, in 1991. See more »


From shot to shot the priest's cross changes position. It's an orthodox cross with a slanted second cross piece. It flips position randomly. See more »


Version of Tevye and His Seven Daughters (1962) See more »

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User Reviews

Much more insightful than fiddler.
23 November 1999 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Much more insightful than fiddler.

If you want to learn more about yiddish / ashkenazic culture, this film is a far better choice than fiddler.

This film also provides a much stronger and fuller character of Tevye.

4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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