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Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

G  |   |  Drama, Family, Musical  |  3 November 1971 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.0/10 from 28,342 users  
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


The screen's most magnificent entertainment returns...filled with joy, laughter, love and life. (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?


Orchestration by John Williams and Alexander Courage. John Williams worked on Star Wars; Alexander Courage did Star Trek. See more »


Near the end of the dancing scene in Mordcha's inn, we see the Jews holding hands and dancing to one side, and the Russians walking ducked through the spaces between their bodies to the other side. In the first two takes, we see four Russians, and in the following two takes only three, the one on the right, with brown hair and a blue shirt, is gone. 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!
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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 Saturday Night Live: The Best of Phil Hartman (1998) See more »


To Life
(1964) (uncredited)
Music by Jerry Bock
Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Performed by Topol, Paul Mann, and Chorus
See more »

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User Reviews

Fiddler on the Roof
13 May 1999 | by (Marietta, OH) – See all my reviews

Strong film adaptation of one of the greatest musicals ever. Jewison beautifully recaptures the essence of the Alchiem stories with wonderful cinematography, editing and performances from Teyve, Frey and Molly Picon. One of the last great movie musicals.

20 of 33 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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