Box art for Fiddler on the Roof

Fiddler on the Roof

  • Rated G
  • HD and SD formats available

music & musicals

Tevye the Milkman is a Jewish peasant in pre-Revolutionary Russia trying to support his family and maintain his Jewish tradition under a Czar that would like to run his people out of town.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

ON for kids age 10
Positive messages
4 out of 5
Positive role models
4 out of 5
3 out of 5
0 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
2 out of 5
0 out of 5
0 out of 5

Epic musical story of Jews facing religious persecution.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this film tackles numerous social and political issues within a religious context, including the concepts of interfaith marriages, gender roles, socialism, religious intolerance, and more. Smaller children may be spooked by the movie's portrayal of the violence of the Russian soldiers, and may also be frightened by the film's ending, in which the inhabitants of a small Jewish village are forced out of their homes by soldiers. Expect some celebratory drinking.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the importance of religious traditions: are they stifling to individuality or do they provide a moral framework that imbues everyday life with meaning?
  • Talk about parental authority. What happens when children flout their parents' wishes? Teens: How do you handle conflicts with your parents?
  • What are the big messages of this film? How are the movie's messages relevant to today's cultural and political issues?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: A lavish musical, too lavish for the subject matter, though.

- Bob Bloom, Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN), Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh: Earthbound but not bad.

- Dave Kehr, Chicago Reader, Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Fresh: Oy, what schmaltz!

- Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

A fine performance by Topol, nice location filming and some beautiful and of course memorable music is what this has going for it. It moves at perhaps too leisurely of a pace although it is an almost exact rendering of the stage show, still a good entertainment.

- jjnxn, Sunday, August 1, 2010

4 stars

I can't believe that it took me so long to see this deservedly acclaimed work by Norman Jewison about how life, as John Lennon said, is what happens while we were making other plans. Rousing and heartwarming with songs that do not offend but rather enhance the affair, as well as a look at life in a small Jewish village in Poland in the days before the revolution.

- ApeneckFletcher, Monday, August 8, 2011

3 stars

From the stage play that this film is based on, it is obvious that special care had to be taken place due to the strong and loyal fan base that is around this musical of hope and tradition. While watching this film, it is clear to see that Norman Jewison has taken special care in the production of the film. Visually, this film is beautiful seeing the country side and showing how it changes from a poor village to an overworked piece of land that is barely holding on. The story for this film is, sadly, one of the weakest parts. One thing that a lot of people hate is repetition. This is a film that repeats itself quite a bit. The basic formula is this: Daughter gets married, Father is upset, he gives in. Now, one of the redeeming parts of this overworked plot is that it continues to work every time. Acting wise, the only person worth mentioning is Topol as Tevye. He is seriously the only actor that develops his character, and actually makes it worthwhile and good. The rest of the cast is mostly (and sadly) one dimensional and I personally do not care for that. They introduce some good characters that I would have loved to see changed and developed, but the acting of Topol makes up for them all (thankfully). Now, the score is the complete highlight of this film and what makes this film worth the watch. There are few films that treat the subject of Judaism with respect and this is one of those films that does. The music, the set props, all capture the beauty of this heavily abused and neglected and tortured religion, and finally there is a film that gives dignity. So, overall, I say see this film if you love the original stage play, like the works of Norman Jewison, or like good musicals. But if you are expecting a deep, philosophical story line, then you are looking in the wrong place. Now, why am I recommending this story? Simple: It does what it does and what it does it does well.

- fb100000257973100, Friday, May 6, 2011