Fiddler on the Roof [Blu-ray + DVD]
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This rousing musical, based on the stories of Shalom Aleichem, takes place in pre-revolutionary Russia and centers on the life of Tevye (Topol), a milkman who is trying to keep his family's traditions in place while marrying off his three older daughters. Yet, times are changing and the daughters want to make their own matches, breaking free of many of the constricting customs required of them by Judaism. In the background of these events, Russia is on the brink of revolution and Jews are feeling increasingly unwelcome in their villages. Tevye--who expresses his desire for sameness in the opening number, "Tradition"--is trying to keep everyone, and everything, together. The movie is strongly allegorical--Tevye represents the common man--but it does it dexterously, and the resulting film is a stunning work of art. The music is excellent (it won Oscars for the scoring and the sound), with plenty of familiar songs such as "Sunrise, Sunset" and "If I Were a Rich Man," which you'll be humming long after the movie is over. Isaac Stern's violin--he provides the music for the fiddler on the roof--is hauntingly beautiful. And despite the serious subject matter, the film is quite comedic in parts; it also well deserves the Oscar it won for cinematography. --Jenny Brown --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
The extra features (contained on side 2 of the disc) on Fiddler on the Roof are definitely worthy of this incredible musical. The commentary by Norman Jewison and Chaim Topol (billed here as Topol) is informative and brings a new depth to the film (although obviously recorded separately, and thus intermittently redundant). The documentary "Norman Jewison, Filmmaker" delves somewhat into the career of Jewison, but the focus is on following the production of Fiddler and the many difficulties encountered. Be prepared for a sharp contrast when you watch Jewison's modern-day recollections; these were filmed almost 30 years later. Other highlights on this disc are the full color version of "Tevye's Dream" (which can be viewed in side-by-side comparison with the one in the film); Jewison reading the stories of Sholom Aleichem over beautifully drawn pictures; historical context for the film (which might be useful to new viewers to watch first); a song deleted from the film (shown over movie stills); and much more. --Jenny Brown --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Each of his three older daughters choose a different path. The first one refuses to marry the person chosen by the father as she in love with the tailer Motel. The way Tevye cons his wife into agreeing for this wedding is one of the funniest pieces of the movie. The characters chosen are unique and beautifully portrayed. The song before this, "Matchmaker, matchmaker" is beautiful. The way Yente, the matchmaker looks at the youngest daughters as though they were caravans wares is extremely funny. The second daughter Tseitel chooses the revolutionary who is against the Tsar and wishes communism. The song in the bar "To life, Le Chaim" is unusual and shows the way the Jews and the Christians can get along in a limited manner. The third daughter chooses a gentile.
Though this is a musical, the acting, story and the character portrayal is deep. Songs range from comic like "If I were a rich man", to haunting, "Sunrise, sunset", to sad and lonely, "Little bird". Though being Jewish will help one understand this movie better, it is not a necessity. The screenplay is wonderful.Read more ›
Tevye the milkman has three daughters who, one-by-one find the man of their dreams. The story is about Tevye's inner turmoil as he prepares himself to let each daughter go off into the world of marriage. Faith and tradition are everything in Tevye's life and thinking, and they surface in little chats he has with his God. His God is the sounding board for his thinking but his tradition offsets everything else. It is about the tradition of the Jewish culture and how everything must have a law and a faith to keep them together.
Norman Jewison has made some great films over his career, but for me, Fiddler is the pinnacle of his artistic achievement in musicals. It is stylishly with the flair of an artist who knows.
Music is so much of the story and Jewison has edited to the music. Unlike many previous musicals (i.e. Rogers & Hammerstein or most filmed Operas) which hold a shot for the singers and actors to move about the frame, Jewison has cut and intercut the film on the meaning of the story and the beat of the music so that the performers and the music bring the audience intimately into the lives of the characters. Fiddler shows how a creative director can construct a film to be a spectacle of congeniality of all the elements, because he knows how to tell a story visually.
This is a great film from a master filmmaker with a twinkle in his eye.
The story, based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem, centers around Tevye, a poor Jewish milkman who lives with his wife and five daughters in czarist Russia in 1905, on the eve of the revolutionary period. They live in their home in the small village of Anatevka. The story is so engrossing, so I will tell no more of the plot, as to not spoil for you the joys of first viewing it yourself.
Tevye, the deeple religious milkman, is played magnificently by Chaim Topol (he is billed only as "Topol"). Before I saw this movie for the first time, I thought it was a mistake for the filmmakers to not have Tevye portrayed by Zero Mostel, who played him in the original Broadway production. I must say, however, that Topol is a marvel as the lovable Tevye. He is a perfect match to the character...his performance is both funny and touching. I laugh every time I see him dance while singing the famous "If I Were A Rich Man". His performance is one for the ages.
The supporting performances are all extroidinary! Norma Crane is very sincere and fabulous as Golde, Tevye's wife. Rosalind Harris (Tzeitel), Michele Marsh (Hodel) and Neva Small (Cheva) are all magnificent as Tevye's three main daughter's. Their performances are all sentimental and heartfelt. Their rendition of "Matchmaker" is priceless. Leonard Frey is also great as Motel, the tailor and one of the girl's love interests. Only, the way he walks and moves can be quite annoying at times. Nevertheless, he sings a great rendition of "Miracles of Miracles".Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
This was a gift for my daughter's birthday. She is very happy with it, and the price was very good. I received it within a week of ordering.Published 10 months ago by Mary Tildesley
This is a classic. My daughter is getting into musical theatre, and this was one that I knew she'd appreciate!Published 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
Wonderfully music and dance choreography. Though true to it's time perhaps, the male chauvinist culture is jarring.Published 15 months ago by Guy Pritchard