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
The composers original idea was to base the musical on a novel about a touring jewish theatre company in eastern Europe. However, Joseph Stein who was hired to write the libretto (book) felt it couldnt be musicalised and instead suggested adapting the 'Tevye' stories by Sholem Aleichem, set in pre-revolutionary Russia. See more »
When Perchik and Hodel are dancing for the first time, Perchik has his hat on, but as they finish and he says, "There. We've just changed an old custom," his hat is missing, and in the next scene in the barn, he has his hat back on. 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 »
A Gentile who loves the movie and always sheds tear
I LOVE this musical but I weep a little always for the Yiddish culture lost forever. The world is so much poorer.
I apologise for straying from the artistic merit to linger on the loss to Humanity
Nevertheless this film is a permanent record of the fact that we enjoyed a wondrous Yiddish culture in our midst in Europe but after a series of Pogroms culminating in the Holocaust the heart was ripped out of our culture here in Europe
The music, the humour, the humanity, gone forever from the Heart of Europa. Europe's loss
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