Genre Grandeur – Fiddler on the Roof (1971) – Encore Review 3 – MovieRob

For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Movies based on Plays, here’s a review of Fiddler on the Roof (1971) by me.

Thanks again to Virginie of The Wonderful World of Cinema for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s genre has been chosen by Barry of Cinematic Catharsis and we will be reviewing our favorite Nature Gone Berserk Movies.

Mother Nature usually takes care of us, with all the oxygen we can breathe, water we drink and cute bunnies we can pet, but what happens when she gets angry? Watch her unleash floods, earthquakes, volcanoes and animals gone mad.

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

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

Let’s see what I thought of this movie:


“[to God] Sometimes I think, when it gets too quiet up there, You say to Yourself, “What kind of mischief can I play on My friend Tevye?” – Tevye

Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (TV, video, DVD, 15 Jul 2013 and 21 Sep 2015, 26 Jun 2017 and 29 Jul 2019)

Link to original reviewHere, Here and Here

Brief Synopsis – A simple milkman deals with the changing world in Czarist Russia during the early part of the 20th Century.

My Take on it – This is a film that is among my favorite all time films and I enjoy it more and more every time that I watch it.

The story itself is quite timeless and they are able to tell it in such a powerful way that works on numerous levels.

The story itself is cross culture and makes it feel relevant to just about anyone as we all must try and find a way to come to terms with the fact that a line must always be drawn in the changing world so that we don’t lose all of our heritage due to these changes.

The tone of the story is quite different during the first and second halves yet they manage to find a way to inject powerful drama into the “lighter” first half and moments of humor in the much “heavier” second half which helps balance things out in both halves.

The music is amazing and allows us to feel as if we are living in this far off world that these characters embody.

Haim Topol is superbly cast in the lead role here and his performance is so amazing that it is difficult to imagine anyone else portraying this character in such a great way.

The songs of this musical are quite poignant since each and every one of them is filled with lots of messages about life and faith and this helps make things even more powerful and memorable along the way.

The way that the film is adapted from the stage helps transport us back to a different time and place more effectively than on stage and it’s so easy to get drawn in to this powerful and moving story.

The plot is somewhat timeless and we get to see various themes that people still need to deal with on a day to day basis which makes things even more relevant to the viewer.

Bottom Line – Such an amazing story that is able to work on so many levels. The story isn’t only relevant to people of a certain culture and allows people of any culture to understand that in life we all always must find a place to draw the line in order to not lose the ways of our ancestors. The first half of the film is more fun that the second half yet they still have a great mix of drama and humor that is accompanied by amazing music throughout.  Topol is superb in the lead role and made such an impact on the role that the bar was set very high for anyone taking his place in the role. The songs are quite memorable and most of them have very poignant messages embedding within them which helps make the story even more powerful.  The adaptation to the screen helps transform us to a different place and time where they must deal with similar things that people still deal with now on a day to day basis which helps make the themes feel quite timeless. One of the best musicals ever made.  Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The title comes from a painting by Russian artist Marc Chagall called “The Dead Man” which depicts a funeral scene and shows a man playing a violin on a rooftop. It is also used by Tevye in the story as a metaphor for trying to survive in a difficult, constantly changing world. (From IMDB)

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


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8 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur – Fiddler on the Roof (1971) – Encore Review 3 – MovieRob

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