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Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

G  |   |  Drama, Family, Musical  |  3 November 1971 (USA)
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Reviews: 146 user | 64 critic

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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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


a tradition (re-release) See more »


G | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



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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
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Did You Know?


To get the look he wanted for the film, director Norman Jewison told Director of Photography Oswald Morris, who was famous for shooting color films in unusual styles, to shoot the film in an earthy tone. Morris saw a woman wearing brown nylon hosiery, thought "That's the tone we want," asked the woman for the stockings on the spot, and shot the entire film with a stocking over the lens. The weave can be detected in some scenes. Morris also shot the musical number "Tevye's Dream" in sepia rather than in full color. He had previously filmed Moulin Rouge (1952) with a color style made to resemble Toulouse-Lautrec's paintings and Moby Dick (1956) in a color style made to resemble 19th century engravings of life at sea. See more »


When the family is preparing for the Sabbath, Golde tells Perchik to wash at the well, and she tells Hodel to help him. As they leave the room, Perchik goes out a side door and Hodel follows her sisters upstairs. 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 »


Referenced in Gilmore Girls: New and Improved Lorelai (2005) See more »


Miracle of Miracles
(1964) (uncredited)
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Leonard Frey
Also played during the end credits
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

A Musical "Tradition!"
27 June 2004 | by (San Francisco, California) – See all my reviews

"Fiddler On the Roof" is the stage-to-screen adaptation of the famous musical. It tells the story of Tevye, a poor Jewish milkman in the tiny Russian village of Anatevka. This role is played by Topol, who played the character onstage in the London production of "Fiddler." We see him as a man mired in traditions, but struggling between his devout faith and the changing times when three of his daughters feel the urge to marry. The movie is beautifully shot, and tempers the story, which deals with the harsh realities of Jewish life in pre-Revolutionary Russia, with classic musical numbers sure to put a smile on your face. Between its incarnations on the stage and on screen, "Fiddler" will be immortal.

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