Fiddler on the Roof

Directed by Norman Jewison
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The Independent Culture

Fiddler on the Roof is the 1971 film version of the Broadway musical of the same name. It was directed by Norman Jewison. The film won three Academy Awards, including one for arranger-conductor John Williams.

It takes place in the Jewish village of Anatevka in Tsarist Russia in 1905 and centers on the character of Tevye, a poor milkman, and his daughters' marriages. As Tevye says in the introductory narration, the Jews have relied upon their traditions to maintain the stability of their way of life for centuries; but as times change, that stability is threatened on the small scale by Tevye's daughters' wishes to marry men not chosen in the traditional way by the matchmaker, and on the large scale by pogroms and revolution in Russia.


Norman Jewison


Joseph Stein


Chaim Topol … Tevye

Norma Crane … Golde

Leonard Frey … Motel Kamzoil

Molly Picon … Yente

Paul Mann … Lazar Wolf

Rosalind Harris … Tzeitel

Michele Marsh … Hodel

Neva Small … Chava

Paul Michael Glaser … Perchik

Ray Lovelock … Fyedka

Elaine Edwards … Shprintze

Candy Bonstein … Bielke

Shimen Ruskin … Mordcha

Zvee Scooler … Rabbi

Louis Zorich … Constable

Tutte Lemkow … the Fiddler (His playing was overdubbed by Isaac Stern).


  • To make Topol look older, the makeup team clipped 15 white hairs from director Norman Jewison's beard and applied them to Topol's eye brows (seven on the left, eight on the right).
  • To get the kind of look he wanted for the film, director Norman Jewison got Director of Photography Oswald Morris, who was famous for shooting colour films in unusual styles, to shoot the entire film with a woman's stocking placed over the lens. Morris also shot the musical number "Tevye's Dream" in sepia rather than in full colour.