Genre Grandeur – Fiddler on the Roof (1971) – MovieRob – Encore Review 2

For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Movie Musicals, here’s a review of Fiddler on the Roof (1971) by Me.

Thanks again to Audrey of 1001 Movies and Beyond for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Ghezal of Ghezal Plus Movies and she has chosen the genre of Film Noir Movies.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of July by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Ghezal!

Let’s see what I thought of this movie:


[to God] “It may sound like I’m complaining, but I’m not. After all, with Your help, I’m starving to death.” – Tevye

Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (TV, video, DVD, 15 Jul 2013 and 21 Sep 2015 and 26 Jun 2017)

Link to original reviewHere and Here

Brief Synopsis – A poor milkman living in pre-Revolution Russia must deal with the ever changing world when it comes to religion and politics.

My Take on it – This film is not only my all time favorite musical bt is also among my all time favorite movies.

I love everything about it!

The story is so universal, the tone ranges from comical to serious to emotional.

I cry every time I see this movie especially at the line “even a poor tailor is entitled to some happiness.”

The themes presented here are amazingly put together on a very thoughtful way to make us all contemplate where we would draw our line before we would think we are breaking with our values.

Even though this film depicts a Jewish family living in pre-Revolution Russia, it deals with such universal concepts that it can be relateable to just about every one in today’s world.

This is a film that despite its three hour runtime, I can watch it over and over and never get tired of it because it’s such an amazingly put together story.

Zero Mostel originated the lead role on Broadway and won a Tony for it, but I always prefer Haim Topol’s interpretation of the role which he still occasionally plays today 46 years after this movie was made.

Mostel made the story seem more comical but Topol was able to present the role in a much more serious manner.

The songs are superb and I loved singing and humming along the whole time.

There is no doubt in my mind that this film is the best of 1971 and I still am baffled that it was beaten by The French Connection (1971) for Best Picture at the Oscars after having won the Golden Globe for Best Musical/Comedy.

Bottom Line -This film is not only my favorite musical but its also one of my all-time favorite movies.  The idea of dealing with a changing world is such a universal concept that is even relevant to people in today’s world.  I have seen this film so many times and despite the fact that it’s three hours long, I could watch it over and over and never get tired of it.  The songs and themes depicted here are superb and I cry at some of the simple moments in the film because its so powerful.  Topol is an amazing lead actor and gave this film a more lofty and serious tone than his on-stage predecessor Zero Mostel was ever able to do. This film was clearly the best film of 1971 and should have beaten The French Connection (1971) for the Oscar for Best Picture.  Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia –  By the early 1970s Hollywood roadshow presentations–especially musicals–were now no longer popular with critics and audiences. Recent musicals, including Camelot (1967), Doctor Dolittle (1967), Star! (1968), Finian’s Rainbow (1968), Sweet Charity (1969), Hello, Dolly! (1969), and On a Clear Day You Can See Forever (1970) were not as captivating, imaginative, realistic,, as the film adaptations of Broadway musicals prior, had been., those successful film adaptations, including West Side Story (1961), The Music Man (1962), Mary Poppins (1964), My Fair Lady (1964), The Sound of Music (1965), The Jungle Book (1967), Oliver! (1968), and Funny Girl (1968) were in the 1960s, so Norman Jewison, Walter Mirisch and United Artists were worried about how the film would do once it got released. When it was finally released in late 1971 it defied naysayers and received overwhelming critical acclaim and became the highest-grossing film of the year, besting films like Shaft (1971), Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange (1971), Diamonds Are Forever (1971), Dirty Harry (1971) with Clint Eastwood, and the Academy Award-winning The French Connection (1971). (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)


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13 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur – Fiddler on the Roof (1971) – MovieRob – Encore Review 2

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  2. I agree with you that Fiddler is a wonderful musical. And not a typical musical – all bright colors and devil may care attitude. More in the vein of West Side Story – with an important story to tell dealing with very serious issues. Not just marrying off one’s daughters – but coping with the loss of one’s home and lineage and the start of a human holocaust. It doesn’t cry out to be set to music. But it’s marvelously done – helmed by the terrific Norman Jewison. I would also agree that Israeli actor Topol made the part very much his own – after the iconic Zero Mostel imprinted his oversized talent and one of a kind manic personality on the role of Tevye on Broadway. I saw a recent revival – and as good as it was – none of it could hold a candle to Mostel or Topol. I close my eyes – and Zero is a “Rich Man”.

    As to your declaration that it WAS the Best Movie of 1971 – and should have beaten “The French Connection” – I would take issue with that as well. Other than “A Clockwork Orange” – far to violent for the time – it’s victory was its nomination. But ANY of the other 4 could have won – and would have been well deserved – these two – the superb “The Last Picture Show” and the epic “Nicholas & Alexandra”. Not even including non-nominees that year including Klute, The Hospital, Mary, Queen of Scots and Carnal Knowledge – it was quite a crowded field.


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