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
Several times during the film, people touch a box on the door frame of a house. This is a Mezuzah; a case which contains a passage from the Torah (Deuteronomy 6:4-9 and and 11:13-21), which Jews traditionally affix to the door frames of their houses as a constant reminder of God's presence. 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 »
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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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 »
Originally released at 181 minutes (with an intermission), later trimmed for 1979 reissue to 149 minutes. See more »
..."Fiddler on the Roof" stars Topol as Tevye, a Jewish milk man (and father of five) living in a small town in the time before WWII. The movie follows him over a long period of his life, mostly focusing on his three oldest daughters getting married, and Tevy's opposition towards their new husbands. Of course, it sounds a little depressing, but believe me, when you here the song "If I Were A Rich Man", you'll change your mind.
Musicals tend to become boring about halfway through (or at the beginning if they're really bad) because of overly dramatic songs or over acting. "Fiddler on the Roof" doesn't fall into this category. The songs please and warm your heart whenever they are sung, and the characters don't either overact or become boring.
Topol is hilarious and dramatic as Tevye, the dancing and singing father who speaks to God (and the audience) out loud. Topol narrates, sings, dances, and mingles joyfully with the other characters, never even coming close to slipping out of character. Tevye will go down in my book as one of the most memorable protagonists...ever.
The only thing going against "Fiddler on the Roof" is its monstrous running time. Not because it gets boring, but because whenever you'd like to watch it, you have to make sure you have about four hours of spare time, 9/10.
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