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Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

G  |   |  Drama, Family, Musical  |  3 November 1971 (USA)
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In prerevolutionary Russia, a Jewish peasant contends with marrying off three of his daughters while growing antisemitic sentiment threatens his village.



(adapted from stories) (as Sholem Aleichem) , (adapted from Sholem Aleichem stories by special arrangement with), 2 more credits »
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Title: Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Mann ...
Neva Small ...
Perchik (as Michael Glaser)
Ray Lovelock ...
Fyedka (as Raymond Lovelock)
Elaine Edwards ...
Candy Bonstein ...
Shimen Ruskin ...
Zvee Scooler ...


At the beginning of the twentieth century, Jews and Orthodox Christians live in the little village of Anatevka in the pre-revolutionary Russia of the Czars. Among the traditions of the Jewish community, the matchmaker arranges the match and the father approves it. The milkman Reb Tevye is a poor man that has been married for twenty-five years with Golde and they have five daughters. When the local matchmaker Yente arranges the match between his older daughter Tzeitel and the old widow butcher Lazar Wolf, Tevye agrees with the wedding. However Tzeitel is in love with the poor tailor Motel Kamzoil and they ask permission to Tevye to get married that he accepts to please his daughter. Then his second daughter Hodel (Michele Marsh) and the revolutionary student Perchik decide to marry each other and Tevye is forced to accept. When Perchik is arrested by the Czar troops and sent to Siberia, Hodel decides to leave her family and homeland and travel to Siberia to be with her beloved Perchik.... Written by Claudio Carvalho, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Shout It From The Rooftops! See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| |

Release Date:

3 November 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El violinista en el tejado  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office


$9,000,000 (estimated)


$50,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)| (35 mm mag-optical prints)



Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film originally began with the 1968 United Artists logo, accompanied by a timpani piece, composed by John Williams. It was also seen on early television broadcasts, as well as on the RCA CED VideoDisc version in early 1981. It has been lost to the ravages of time, due to Transamerica Corporation no longer being associated with United Artists Corporation. See more »


During the first few shots of crowd holding candles on their way to the wedding, the sun changes positions above the horizon. (But as such indicates the length in time of the journey by foot, which could be intentional, in which case the slow melting of candles might be a goof in its own right). See more »


[first lines]
Tevye: A fiddler on the roof. Sounds crazy, no? But here, in our little village of Anatevka, you might say every one of us is a fiddler on the roof trying to scratch out a pleasant, simple tune without breaking his neck. It isn't easy. You may ask 'Why do we stay up there if it's so dangerous?' Well, we stay because Anatevka is our home. And how do we keep our balance? That I can tell you in one word: tradition!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Topol and the cast sing "Tradition" without any opening credits rolling. At the end of the number, the fiddler, standing on the left of the screen, launches into an extensive solo while the opening credits roll on the right of the screen. See more »


Featured in Opportunity Knocks (1990) See more »


(1964) (uncredited)
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Topol, Norma Crane, Molly Picon, Shimen Ruskin, Paul Mann, and Barry Dennen
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Absolutely wonderful!
23 January 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

I know people have complained about the length of this movie. Yeah, it is long, three hours approximately, but there are so many things that compensate. Norman Jewison's direction is very good, and the film is stylishly filmed, with some nice cinematography and there are nice scenery and costumes. The choreography is great, energetic in parts and graceful in others. Next, the music is outstanding. The incidental music largely reminiscent of Russian folk music is a real treat, but the songs are outstanding. The beautiful "Sunrise, Sunset", the fun "Tradition", the idealistic "Match Maker" and the energetic "If I Were A Rich Man", all amazing. Also, Topol, what an absolutely brilliant performance. He put body and soul into Tevye, successfully mixing humour, wisdom and poignancy and the result is one of the most memorable performances in any musical to grace our screens. All the other performances are wonderful, I liked it all five daughters had distinct personalities, and Norma Crane is fantastic as the mother. The story is both tight and poignant, about a milkman of Jewish values, who wishes his five daughters to marry. In conclusion, wonderful and definitely memorable. 10/10 Bethany Cox

8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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