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🎶 Lord who made the lion and the lamb! You decreed I should be what I am! WOULD IT SPOIL SOME VAST ETERNAL PLAN..... If.... I were a wealthy MAAAAAN?! 🎶
Tevye is a farmer and milkman with a wife and 5 daughters living in a Jewish village in Russia in 1905. Tevye's just trying to get by each day when suddenly 3 of his daughters decide they want to get married. And...... well, that's the whole plot basically.
I thought this movie was excellent!
I knew 2 songs, only heard one of them completely and had no idea what kind of movie this would be. I wondered if it would be cornball and tough to take seriously or conversely too serious with no element of fun.
Turns out... it's a beautiful mix of comedy and drama. A musical dramedy!
I'll get right to the best thing in the movie and that's Topol as Tevye. Tevye looks about 65 but Topol was only 36 when he made this movie, that alone makes it a great performance. It's like Russell Crowe playing a much older man in The Insider. But Christ almighty is he good in this movie. He's from Palestine, he couldn't even speak English the first time he went up for playing Tevye on the stage and you'd never know it in this.
He's gotta be funny, serious.... AND sing! And Topol can manage all 3.
Tevye in this movie is one of my new favorite protagonists in movies, it's impossible not to like this guy and relate to him just wanting things to go as smooth as possible in his life... and of course they DON'T!
Tevye is constantly talking to God in this movie... and singing to him of course. Sometimes in the middle of a conversation, he'll look to the heavens to keep God in the mix and EVERY aside like that was a 10 out of 10 moment. It's ALMOST like breaking the 4th wall but not really and it works beautifully. He doesn't even have to SAY anything he'll just be talking to someone and then look at the sky as if to say "Can you believe this bullshit?" He's like the original Deadpool! Ya know if.... Deadpool was an elderly Jewish milkman in turn of the century Russia.
Now I love Gene Hackman in The French Connection...... but I might have voted for Topol to win the Oscar he was nominated for instead.
Norma Crane plays his wife Golde and I was shocked how good SHE was in this movie! I'd never seen her before and it's probably because she died shortly after making this movie at the age of 44, such a shame. But she's outstanding here as Golde who's tough as hell very much runs the house and she doesn't take any shit.... but you can tell she and Tevye love each other.... I know they do, they have a whole song about how much they still love each other than made me well up with tears for the one time in the movie.
My favorite scene is one with the two of them. Where Tevye has to figure out a way to tell Golde that their daughter's arranged marriage is off.... and it's this entire musical number in a dream scene where Tevye concocts this horseshit story that Golde's relatives came to him in a dream to tell him she shouldn't marry this butcher in town. And the butcher's widow shows up as a shrieking banshee to further warn against this and it's a FANTASTIC scene!
Nobody in the cast is bad, a 70s Hollywood musical and nobody drops the ball.... that's a lucky break, man. Always seems to be one person in every musical where it's like "OK... they don't belong." But nope, everything's great in this.
Then there's the music. If you don't come out of this movie whistling the tune of "If I Were a Rich Man..." then you weren't listening. What a great and catchy score, adapted from the play into a film by... John Williams who won an Oscar for the music in this movie.
Norman Jewison directed the movie and he hasn't made a movie I haven't liked yet with In the Heat of the Night, Moonstruck and now this. When they're not singing this is a proper drama with a great naturalistic tone. It's a rare musical where you could take the songs out and it'd STILL be a great movie, probably.
The Oscar winning cinematography by Oswald Morris is GORGEOUS! That shot where we get the credits playing over... the fiddler on the roof playing as the sun is setting... now THAT is a perfect shot. There's a lot of shots like that in the movie, I couldn't get over how good this movie looks.
3 hours long is a bit much, but it's one of those movies where even if I think it's too long... I wouldn't wanna cut anything out, it's too good.
I loved Fiddler on the Roof, such a good movie.
The songs, the cast, the plot.............and Topol. Frumah sarah episode is brilliant.
A high-spirited, stellar musical classic on traditional, culturally-clashing ideals, sweepingly driven by epic reminiscence and powered period drama that is at the level of "Gone with the Wind" with exquisitely unique music and humorous bits, all under Norman Jewison's best direction when making the play more dimensionally, while being uplifted by Chaim Topol's forefront, reflective performance with a symbolic attachment. (A-)
(Full review TBD)
The best inspiring musical movie ever made! With 2 of the best movie songs ever sung: If I Were a Rich Man and Sunrise, Sunset!
At first giddy with personality, though slowly dropping into religiously complex melancholy, this Broadway musical-turned-film is still a classic feast the for the eyes and ears, beautifully filmed and perfectly led by Topol.
A heartfelt musical about the Jewish cause.
Norman Jewison directs Fiddler on the Roof as a personal journey for one Jewish father named Tevye (Topol). It chronicles a Jewish family in the Ukraine from the early 1900's. I love how Jewison films Tevye's monologues to himself and the audience. The endlessly crafty cinematography, epic sweeping panning shots, complexly choreographed dance sequences, and tender acting performances all come together nicely in Fiddler on the Roof.
Not to mention, this is a musical! The music is memorable and funny, while also conveying the sincere emotions and deeply held beliefs of these people. It harkens back to traditional Jewish values and melodies. I love the score and the singing alike. I think most audiences will at least enjoy the songs scattered throughout Fiddler on the Roof.
Above all, I must credit Topol. He is an incredible actor who carries the majority of the film. Fiddler on the Roof is told right alongside him. We get his thoughts, feelings, and perspectives on every issue and moment. He conveys strict Jewish tradition, while also desiring to change for modern times. Topol's performance is one for the ages as he captures the harshness necessary for the desperate times, while simultaneously depicting a tender and understanding father. You feel and empathize for his cause. Topol makes you laugh and sing, but you truly come to understand and respect him as a man. This is complex characterization at its finest. Topol should be proud of his magnificent contribution to cinematic excellence and Jewish history.
In short, Fiddler on the Roof is a timeless classic. Both beautiful and enjoyable as a musical as well as demonstrating Jewison's mastery of filmmaking. Fiddler on the Roof is a movie you must watch before you die, not because you are told to, but rather because it is so engaging and important. Enjoy!
What a great musical! Makes you feel like dancing and singing along. Tradition! La Chaim! To Life! Matchmaker and Sunrise, Sunset. The dancing is awesome too.
This film will make any goy wish he was a jew and turn any jew into a super jew. Double blind studies have proven that bagels with lox consumption goes up 50% just by watching 10 minutes of this film a day. It will have you politely asking god for a few more sheckles faster than you can bake a matzoh ball. My favorite part is when he goes ape shit on the chickens. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBHZFYpQ6nc 1:57
One of the all-time great movies