Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

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Rating: 5 stars from 8 ratings

Fiddler on the Roof is a 1971 American musical comedy-drama film produced and directed by Norman Jewison. It is an adaptation of the 1964 Broadway musical of the same name, with music composed by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and screenplay by Joseph Stein and based on stories by Sholem Aleichem. Starring Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey, Molly Picon, and Paul Mann, the film centers on Tevye, the father of five daughters, and his attempts to maintain his Jewish religious and cultural traditions as outside influences encroach upon the family's lives. He must cope both with the strong-willed actions of his three older daughters, who wish to marry for love each one's choice of a husband moves further away from the customs of his faith and with the edict of the Tsar who evicts the Jews from the town of Anatevka.

Throughout the film, Tevye talks to God and directly to the audience, breaking the fourth wall. In these monologues, Tevye ponders tradition, the difficulties of being poor, the Jewish community's constant fear of harassment from their non-Jewish neighbors, and important family decisions.

The film was released to critical acclaim and won three Academy Awards, including Best Music, Scoring Adaptation and Original Song Score for arranger-conductor John Williams. It was nominated for several more, including Best Picture, Best Actor for Topol as Tevye, and Best Supporting Actor for Frey, who played Motel Kamzoil the Tailor. Topol and Frey had performed in stage productions of the musical; Topol as Tevye in the London production and Frey in a minor part as Mendel, the rabbi's son, on Broadway.

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