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Fiddler on the Roof [VHS]

1,630 customer reviews

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Frequently Bought Together

Fiddler on the Roof [VHS] + My Fair Lady (digitally THX mastered) [VHS] + The King and I [VHS]
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Product Details

  • Actors: Topol, Norma Crane, Leonard Frey, Molly Picon, Paul Mann
  • Directors: Norman Jewison
  • Writers: Arnold Perl, Joseph Stein, Sholom Aleichem
  • Producers: Norman Jewison, Patrick J. Palmer, Walter Mirisch
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, NTSC
  • Language: English, Hebrew
  • Rated: G (General Audience)
  • Number of tapes: 2
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • VHS Release Date: September 10, 1996
  • Run Time: 181 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,630 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304151306
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #95,706 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

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

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

182 of 191 people found the following review helpful By Gregory L Dyas on January 11, 2001
Format: DVD
The Film:
Fiddler on the Roof is based on the tales of Russian Jewish life written by Shalom Alechem in the 1800s, with music scored by John Williams. Directed by Norman Jewison, it's widely acknowledged to be one of the best musicals ever made. Tevye, played by the famous jewish actor Topol, lives in the enclave of Anatevka with his wife and _6_ daughters. Insulated & protected by their Orthodox traditions, Tevye must face, with a poignant combination of humor, sorrow and acceptance, the marriage of his three eldest daughters in a series of increasingly unacceptable unions. How far can tradition be bent and still maintain the center of his family and his community's existence? Do we place tradition over family? Oswald Morris' beautiful cinematography and Jewison's compelling film-making pursue these questions both for the residents of Anatevka and for us in our ever-changing worlds.
The DVD:
A marvel, this film has never looked or sounded better for home viewing - a remixed Dolby 5.1 soundtrack and crystal-clear picture on a double-layer disc make this a contribution to your film library you'll not regret. Jewison & Topol's commmentary give you some ideas behind the making of the film, what the director was trying to achieve, and how Topol moved his character from stage to screen. Director's full use of the 70mm aspect ratio demands the anamorphic widescreen format used in this printing.
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190 of 207 people found the following review helpful By Megan S. on July 29, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Based on the stories of Sholom Aleichem, the movie version of Fiddler on the Roof features Topol as Tevye the Milkman, a poor Jewish husband and father living in pre-revolutionary Russia. His story is inevitably tragic, but humorous and touching along the way.
The movie is filled with asides from Tevye, as he reveals his thoughts to the camera. He is forever quoting "the good book," sometimes correctly, sometimes not so correctly.
As was tradition during this time, the matchmaker sets up all marriages. Tevye's daughters aren't too happy about this (as is shown through the famous song, Matchmaker, Matchmaker), and the older three eventually set up their own marriages.
Tzeitel, the oldest, falls in love with Motel, the poor tailor, and they ask Tevye's permission to marry. He finally relents and they have a proper Jewish wedding. Hodel falls in love with a revolutionary who has been staying with Tevye and Golde and their family. She leaves her family to follow him in the heartbreaking song, "Far From the Home I Love." Chava, the delicate middle daughter, falls in love with Fyedka, a Russian. Tevye forbids this marriage, for he cannot turn from his faith. Chava chooses love over family as shown through ballet, and Tevye has no choice but to count her as dead.
Tevye's story ends as the Jewish community is forced from Anatevka. Even in this hard time, Tevye is faithful that everything will turn out all right in the end.
The music in this movie is absolutely beautiful. You'll tap your feet to "If I Were a Rich Man," and "Miracle of Miracles." You'll find tears in your eyes during "Sunrise, Sunset," and "Far From the Home I Love." You'll laugh at Yente and during the dance at the bar.
This is a movie that belongs in everyone's movie collection. It is a story that will last forever.
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64 of 68 people found the following review helpful By Kindle Customer on April 7, 2011
Format: Blu-ray
The new blu-ray version arrived, and my first watch was with some mixed emotions. Colors are strong, but it seems to be a bit on the dark side to me. It is also not as sharp as I expected, and seems to be a bit soft on focus. I think I read some time ago that the film was shot through a stocking which gives it an overall cast of a flesh tone, extremely subtle, but it is there. You get a brief view of the stocking in one musical number when the sun hits the camera from the front, just for a few seconds. The package says it is widescreen, 2:35/1, but it seems to be more like 1:85/1. It hurts in some musical scenes, when I get an impression that I am not seeing all the action. The only thing that is 2:35/1 is the image shown while the intermission music is playing. I suspect this was not made from a new Hi-Def master. I was hoping for the improvement that blu-ray made to "An American in Paris" and "Gigi", but it is not here. I am a big believer in wide screen, and want to see all of the director's creation, and not some cut off version.
As to the performance, this is one of the all time best musicals, superbly cast & photographed. I really caught the moment in time perfectly, while delivering some superb entertainment. It's just too bad it isn't all there.
Overall, it is well worth the price, especially with the enclosed DVD version included.
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189 of 212 people found the following review helpful By My opinion... on April 27, 2011
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
Despite the reviews of others that noted the audio syncing problem on the Blu-ray disk, I purchased it anyway thinking it may have been resolved. No such luck. It is almost unnoticeable during the first part of the movie, though I found myself questioning whether the audio and video were in sync or not - or if it was just me. Halfway through the movie there was NO DOUBT. The lips of the actors were WAY out of sync with the video. Long past distracting, it became unwatchable. I had to take the Blu-ray disk out and put in the standard DVD in order to finish watching the movie. Now I know why they include both DVDs!

What a disappointment. What a Shame. What a waste of money, I already owned the standard 40th Anniversary Edition. Amazon should pull this off the "shelf." This wasbad enough to make me write my first review... I feel cheated. And it is NOT my Blu-ray player. My Blu-ray player is a high end Samsung and it plays all of my other Blu-ray DVDs perfectly.
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Difference in Editions
My husband swears up and down that the DVD of Fiddler on the Roof is vastly different than the release he saw in 1972 in the movie theater. He says it was not winter at the end, and that the songs are the same but the video during songs is changed in virtually every song. I can't find any... Read More
Aug 23, 2013 by T. Nielsen |  See all 3 posts
Edited or am I dreaming?
No, I think you're right. I had a hard time tracking down the ACTUAL, ORIGINAL straight-off-the-movie soundtrack.
Dec 10, 2007 by vocatus |  See all 5 posts
Characters' Lives Outside of Russia
They were heading for America at the start of the Soviet Revolution. They would arrive in America at the start of the Jazz age. That allow for many possibilities.
Feb 11, 2012 by Eric Pregosin |  See all 3 posts
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Fiddler on the Roof [VHS]
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