This rousing musical, based on the stories of Shalom Aleichem, takes place in pre-revolutionary Russia and centers on the life of Tevye (Topol), a milkman who is trying to keep his family's traditions in place while marryi... more »ng off his three older daughters. Yet, times are changing and the daughters want to make their own matches, breaking free of many of the constricting customs required of them by Judaism. In the background of these events, Russia is on the brink of revolution and Jews are feeling increasingly unwelcome in their villages. Tevye--who expresses his desire for sameness in the opening number, "Tradition"--is trying to keep everyone, and everything, together. The movie is strongly allegorical--Tevye represents the common man--but it does it dexterously, and the resulting film is a stunning work of art. The music is excellent (it won Oscars for the scoring and the sound), with plenty of familiar songs such as "Sunrise, Sunset" and "If I Were a Rich Man," which you'll be humming long after the movie is over. Isaac Stern's violin--he provides the music for the fiddler on the roof--is hauntingly beautiful. And despite the serious subject matter, the film is quite comedic in parts; it also well deserves the Oscar it won for cinematography. --Jenny Brown« less
Jefferson N. from BLAIRSVILLE, GA Reviewed on 8/6/2011...
Fiddler on the Roof is by far one of my own favorite musicals! It's got great music and an awesome story! It takes place in Czarist Russia and it follows the life of a Jewish milkman and his family. He has three daughters and wants to make the best matches for their marriages so their lives...and maybe his...will be better. But fate and love conspire to blow his plans out of the water...that and the Russians wanting to run the Jewish people out of the country. A wonderful story with a lot of deep meanings...if you only see one musical in your life, let it be this one!
One of the best movie musicals ever
Megan S. | Washington, D.C. | 07/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem, the movie version of Fiddler on the Roof features Topol as Tevye the Milkman, a poor Jewish husband and father living in pre-revolutionary Russia. His story is inevitably tragic, but humorous and touching along the way.The movie is filled with asides from Tevye, as he reveals his thoughts to the camera. He is forever quoting "the good book," sometimes correctly, sometimes not so correctly. As was tradition during this time, the matchmaker sets up all marriages. Tevye's daughters aren't too happy about this (as is shown through the famous song, Matchmaker, Matchmaker), and the older three eventually set up their own marriages.Tzeitel, the oldest, falls in love with Motel, the poor tailor, and they ask Tevye's permission to marry. He finally relents and they have a proper Jewish wedding. Hodel falls in love with a revolutionary who has been staying with Tevye and Golde and their family. She leaves her family to follow him in the heartbreaking song, "Far From the Home I Love." Chava, the delicate middle daughter, falls in love with Fyedka, a Russian. Tevye forbids this marriage, for he cannot turn from his faith. Chava chooses love over family as shown through ballet, and Tevye has no choice but to count her as dead. Tevye's story ends as the Jewish community is forced from Anatevka. Even in this hard time, Tevye is faithful that everything will turn out all right in the end.The music in this movie is absolutely beautiful. You'll tap your feet to "If I Were a Rich Man," and "Miracle of Miracles." You'll find tears in your eyes during "Sunrise, Sunset," and "Far From the Home I Love." You'll laugh at Yente and during the dance at the bar.This is a movie that belongs in everyone's movie collection. It is a story that will last forever."
The best of musicals - movie & DVD review
Gregory L Dyas | 01/11/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The Film:Fiddler on the Roof is based on the tales of Russian Jewish life written by Shalom Alechem in the 1800s, with music scored by John Williams. Directed by Norman Jewison, it's widely acknowledged to be one of the best musicals ever made. Tevye, played by the famous jewish actor Topol, lives in the enclave of Anatevka with his wife and _6_ daughters. Insulated & protected by their Orthodox traditions, Tevye must face, with a poignant combination of humor, sorrow and acceptance, the marriage of his three eldest daughters in a series of increasingly unacceptable unions. How far can tradition be bent and still maintain the center of his family and his community's existence? Do we place tradition over family? Oswald Morris' beautiful cinematography and Jewison's compelling film-making pursue these questions both for the residents of Anatevka and for us in our ever-changing worlds.The DVD:A marvel, this film has never looked or sounded better for home viewing - a remixed Dolby 5.1 soundtrack and crystal-clear picture on a double-layer disc make this a contribution to your film library you'll not regret. Jewison & Topol's commmentary give you some ideas behind the making of the film, what the director was trying to achieve, and how Topol moved his character from stage to screen. Director's full use of the 70mm aspect ratio demands the anamorphic widescreen format used in this printing."
The CD is useless
Mike S. | Long Island | 12/28/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I'm not about to review Fiddler on The Roof or a give a complete history of all its various incarnations like other reviewers have. We all acknowledge it's great. One of the best, if not THE best, musicals ever. I'm here to write about this particular packaging of the "DVD with CD". I don't know about you, but I naturally thought the CD was a CD of the soundtrack so that you can then listen to the songs while driving in your car or hanging around the house. No - it's not a soundtrack CD, which explains the relatively low price - it's a CD of 70's songs. While some are great (Let's Get It On by Marvin Gaye and ABC by the Jackson 5), what the heck does "The Night Chicago Died" have to do with Fiddler on The Roof? Or "Reunited" by Peaches and Herb? Maybe they thought Herb worked in the deli down the street!?!?!
I'm not sure if the same CD is included in everyone's package, but here's the listing for my CD:
Billy Don't Be A Hero-Donaldson & The Heywood's Maggie May-Rod Stewart The Night Chicago Died-Paper Lace ABC-Jackson 5 Ant No Mountain High Enough-Diana Ross Lets Get It On-Marvin Gaye War-Edwin Starr Reunited- Peaches&Herb
To paraphrase Edwin Starr, "What is this CD good for?" Almost absolutely nothing as everybody should already have Marvin Gaye, The Jackson 5, Diana Ross and Rod Stewart on their Ipod already!?!?!? If you want a DVD of Fiddler on The Roof and another version is cheaper - go for that version. Don't think you're getting anything special with the bonus CD. "
A timeless classic?and my all-time favorite musical!
Mike Powers | Woolwich, ME USA | 05/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
""Fiddler on the Roof" is my all-time favorite musical, both on the stage and on film. This is a story of tradition, love and marriage in a Jewish family living in the face of persecution in Tsarist Russia at the beginning of the 20th century. Based on the 19th century stories of Sholom Alechem, it tells of how Tevye, a poor Jewish dairyman, Golde, his somewhat shrewish wife, and their five unmarried daughters face their dreams amidst the reality of rampant anti-semitism. Director Norman Jewison's treatment of this story is wonderfully sensitive. The cast - especially Topol as Tevye (nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award for this role) and Norma Crane as Golde - bring to life all the strength of character, the comedy, and the poignant tragedy of life in the village of Anatevka. The music and choreography are sheer magic throughout! "Fiddler on the Roof" is a timeless classic, and should not be missed."