After 43 years, I eventually got to see Fiddler on the Roof and it waswell worth the wait! What a touching, beautiful portrayal of life in anexiled Jewish community in Russia (or was it the Ukraine?) around theturn of the 20th century.
The star of the film is undoubtedly Topol as Tevye a subsistencemilkman, the head of his family of wife and five daughters but therewere certainly many others. His wife, Golde (Norma Crane - who diedjust two years after "Fiddler" of breast cancer) and his three oldestdaughters Yente (Molly Picon), Hodel (Michele Marsh) and Tzeitel(Rosalind Harris) captured the modest yet determined characters ofmale-dominated Jewish women at a time when traditions (a word yelled byTevye many times in exasperation throughout the movie) wereirreversibly changing. As we learn during the story, Tevye and Goldafirst met each other on their wedding day and were told that, in time,they would learn to love each other. The scene where they actuallyadmit this is absolutely beautiful.
However, starting with Yente, Tevye and Golda's daughters rebel againstcentury-old tradition and choose their own marriage partners - eventhough old ways don't die easily and, being the soft-hearted, lovingfather that he is, Tevye succumbs to their wishes until Tzeitelannounces her love for a gentile and that is just too much for herfather who (initially) disowns her.
One amusing (to me) scene was where Hodel and her man, Perchic (playedby Paul Michael Glaser of Starsky and Hutch fame) express their lovefor each other. As I watched the scene I was frequently reminded ofSheldon and Amy of TV's Big Bang Theory. (I guess you need to watchboth to see it but it did make me smile!)
I won't write about the ending to the movie as that would tend to be aspoiler too far. Just let me say Fiddler on the Roof is a verybelievable story of love, loyalty and sheer doggedness that is aninspiration to anyone who is experiencing difficult times. As I say,well worth the long wait!