Tevya

  • 1939
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Comedy, Drama

Sholem Aleichem's stories about the Russian-Jewish milkman Tevya are probably best known for the musical FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. However, Tevya's story had been adapted for stage and film once before. This version had been a popular vehicle in the Yiddish Theater in New York City and its star, Schwartz, had made the role his own long before Zero Mostel or...read more

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Sholem Aleichem's stories about the Russian-Jewish milkman Tevya are probably best known for the musical FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. However, Tevya's story had been adapted for stage and film once before. This version had been a popular vehicle in the Yiddish Theater in New York City and its

star, Schwartz, had made the role his own long before Zero Mostel or Topol. Schwartz also adapted the play for the screen and directed a charming film. The story involves a crisis within Schwartz's family when his daughter, Riselle, falls under the charms of the goy next door (Liebgold). It's bad

enough that Liebgold's a Gentile, but he also reads secular writers like Gorky. Riselle naturally takes this up as well, much to her father's dismay. Schwartz fills his character with an abundance of wit and bitter sarcasm. Though one might find him to be a stereotypical Jewish father, the

characterization is realistic and emphatically human. This was shot in Long Island, but its re-creation of a Ukranian shetl is remarkable. Despite some overacting (by Riselle in particular), TEVYA is one of the best of the Yiddish films produced in this country. It boasted the highest budget for a

Yiddish film and every penny is on the screen. The re-creation of a world long gone is well worth seeing as a historical document, in addition it is an enjoyable entertainment. In 1978, some 39 years after the film's debut, TEVYA was restored by Sharon Puucker Rivo and Henry Felt and premiered

once more in New York City. (In Yiddish; English subtitles.)

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  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Sholem Aleichem's stories about the Russian-Jewish milkman Tevya are probably best known for the musical FIDDLER ON THE ROOF. However, Tevya's story had been adapted for stage and film once before. This version had been a popular vehicle in the Yiddish The… (more)

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