January is my birthday month, so I decided that I would try and do something quite unique and special for this milestone in my life. I will be turning 46, so I decided to watch 47 (46+1 for good luck) of my all time favorite movies in a random order over the course of this month. I have reviewed every one of these films already, but I will now give new perspectives on them all. Every one of these films received a 10/10 scoring from me. Some of these reviews will contain spoilers so if you have never seen them before, I recommend that you read some of my previous reviews of the film that were spoiler free before reading on…
Hope you enjoy!
This is film #9 of the 47.
Let’s continue with… Fiddler on the Roof (1971)
Initial Viewing Memories – Saw this as a kid on video and fell in love with the music and story right away and it still remains my favorite musical.
“That’s true, Reb Tevye, but even a poor tailor is entitled to some happiness!” – Motel
Number of Times Seen – Too many to count (TV, video, DVD, 15 Jul 2013 and 21 Sep 2015, 26 Jun 2017, 29 Jul 2019 and 5 Jan 2020)
Brief Synopsis – A poor milkman in a small Russian village must deal with the changing times as Pogroms began to pop up in rural Russia around the turn of the 20th Century.
My Take on it – Amazing musical that takes a powerful story with a timeless theme and makes it work on so many levels.
Topol is superb in the lead role and plays this character so well that he raised the bar for everyone who played this role after him.
The music is perfect because it is able to make many of the themes of this story even more tangible and real for the audience.
The story is all about finding the fine line between modern society and following one’s traditions and is very relatable to so many people who know little to nothing about Jewish culture.
The film has so many poignant moments that help make things even more powerful to watch as the story progresses.
This is a great example of a movie based on a play that is enhanced by the change in medium since on screen it is so much easier to transport us to this time and place while immersing us in the look and feel of the turn of the 20th Century in Czarist Russia.
The film deals with some very deep issues yet finds a way to sprinkle in some light humor along the way to “lighten the mood” when needed in order to not overwhelm the audience.
IMHO, one of the best and most powerful musicals ever made!
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Many devotees of the Broadway show were annoyed that Zero Mostel (who originated the role so famously on the Broadway stage) was not cast as Tevye in this film. The filmmakers decided the film needed to be more realistic, so a more “believeable” actor was hired, with Norman Jewison explaining: “one reason I liked Topol’s performance so much on the stage was that he projected his sense of destiny as, and pride in being, a Jew. His Tevye never loses dignity and strength; he is a man who knows who he is and where he’s going.” (From IMDB)
Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)
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