[Film Review] Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

Fiddler on the Roof poster

Title: Fiddler on the Roof
Year: 1971
Language: English, Hebrew, Russian
Country: USA
Genre: Drama, Family, Musical
Director: Norman Jewison
Screenwriter: Joseph Stein
adapted from the stories of Sholom Aleichem
Music: Jerry Bock
Cinematography: Oswald Morris
Norma Crane
Paul Mann
Leonard Frey
Molly Picon
Rosalind Harris
Michele Marsh
Neva Small
Paul Michael Glaser
Ray Lovelock
Vernon Dobtcheff
Zvee Scooler
Elaine Edwards
Shimen Ruskin
Rating: 6.4/10

As Hollywood is a place gathering all the potent and filthy rich Jews, there is no wonder this Jewish drama-musical could become a sensation in 1971, garnered 8 OScar nominations including BEST PICTURE, DIRECTOR, ACTOR, S. ACTOR and harvested 3 of them (music score, sound and cinematography).

Running time is over 180 minutes, I exerted myself quite hard to finish the film. Being an adaption of a success musical, the film version holds steady the same axiom “Music is the cure!”. The melodies and riffs have a dominating impact so that the shallowness of the corny script (three marriages, specifically encountering money, politics and religion obstacles) should not hinder the sonic amalgam.

I’m rather a peculiar person, as usually, musical has never been my cup of tea, let alone a prolonged one, despite of the fact that I’m a true contemporary music aficionado. The only fun I can acquire is from Topol’s “If I Were a Rich Man”, which I just realized is the catchy refrain of Gwen Stefani’s hit single “Rich Girl”.

Maybe after 40 years, the didactic preaching through music has been outdated for my generation, also in a utopian world, Jewish or not is not an issue anymore (the same thing suitable for genders, religions, colors or sex orientations), so bearing the label of a nihilist, I find that John Williams soul-freeing score are much more tempting than Jerry Bock’s oldies soundtrack. Anyway, one thing I can not deny is Topol’s strenuous but fabulous performance (personally Paul Mann’s Lazar wolf is my pick), which will never become bleached through all these years.


3 thoughts on “[Film Review] Fiddler on the Roof (1971)

  1. Pingback: [Last Film I Watched] The Boys in the Band (1970) | Cinema Omnivore

  2. Pingback: [Film Review] In the Heat of the Night (1967) – Cinema Omnivore

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