USA, 1939, 96 minutes, B&W
Yiddish with new English subtitles
Directed by Maurice Schwartz

with Complete New English Subtitles by
The National Center for Jewish Film

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Public Exhibition Formats: 35mm, 16mm, and DigiBeta


“In production just as German tanks rolled into Poland, this bittersweet Yiddish fable is no Fiddler on the Roof. Projecting the lessons of the past into an uncertain present, Schwartz's adaptation of Aleichem's story offered little comfort for audiences of the time.”
- The Museum of Modern Art, New York (2008 Screening)

“With all due respect to Zero Mostel and Topol in Fiddler on the Roof, it was Maurice Schwartz, the great Yiddish actor/director, who first showed Tevye the Dairyman in his full light as a mensch for all seasons. A rare opportunity to see Schwartz in what may have been his most magnificent role."
-Judy Stone, San Francisco Chronicle


First Non-English Language Film to have been deemed "culturally significant" by the United States Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry. (1991)


Maurice Schwartz's adaptation of the classic Sholem Aleichem play centers on Khave, Tevye the Dairyman’s daughter, who falls in love with Fedye, the son of a Ukrainian peasant. Her courtship and marriage pit Tevye’s love for his daughter against his deep-seated faith and loyalty to tradition.

The clash between tradition and modernity, parental authority and love, customs and enlightenment are foreshadowed by the antisemitism of the rural community. Tevye's world is a microcosm of the larger world of Russian Jewry in the early 1900s.

DVD extras include scenes from two Schwartz Yiddish language feature films, Yizkor and Uncle Moses, and program notes.

Selected Screenings

Vienna Jewish Film Festival (2016)
Yiddish Film Festival at Yale University (2015)
Doc Films, University of Chicago (2014)
Medias Central European Film Festival (2014)
Piccolo Spoleto Festival, Charleston, SC (2014)
Spertus, Chicago (2014)
Lenore Marwil Jewish Film Festival (2013)
Santa Fe Jewish Film Festival (2013)
San Francisco Jewish Film Festival (2011)
Montreal International Yiddish Theatre Festival (2011)
Toronto Jewish Film Festival (2011)
New York Jewish Film Festival (2011)
Austria Film Archive (2010)
Yiddish Book Center (2010)
Cape Town/ Johannesburg Yiddish Film Festival (2008)
The Museum of Modern Art; New York, NY "Hollywood on the Hudson: Filmmaking in New York, 1920-1939" (2008)
Marwill Jewish Film Festival (2006)
New York Jewish Film Festival, New York (2005)
Hong Kong Jewish Film Festival (2002)
Montreal Jewish Film Festival (2004)
Virginia Jewish Film Festival (2003)
Toronto Jewish Film Society (2002)

NCJF Film Restoration

35MM Restoration with complete new subtitles was completed with funding from Henry and Edith Everett, David Pokross, Ruth Fein and Bernard Wax.

1978, 1981 Restorations © The National Center for Jewish Film
Producer: Sharon Pucker Rivo
Director: Henry Felt
Subtitles: David Fishman
Prologue: Michael Swirsky
Production Assistant: Fredda Band Loewenstein
Production Assistant: Miriam Saul Krant
Animation: Edward T. Joyce
Camera: Phred Churchill, Jeffery Liberman


Director Maurice Schwartz
Producer Harry Ziskin
Screenplay Maurice Schwartz
Based on the play by Sholem Aleichem
Photography Larry Williams
Editor Sam Citron
Adaptation Marcy Klauber
Sound Paul Robillard
Settings William Saulter
Titles Leon Crystal
Production Maymon Film, Inc.
Music Sholom Secunda

Maurice Schwartz (Tevye)
Rebecca Weintraub
Miriam Riselle
Leon Liebgold
(Fedye Galagan)
Paula Lubelski (Tesytl)
Vicki Marcus (Shloymele)
Betty Marcus (Perele)
Julius Adler (Father Aleksei)
David Makarenko (Mikita)
Helen Grossman (Cholina)
Morris Strassberg (Mayor)
Al Harris (Zozulya)
Louis Weisberg (Official)
Boas Yound (Bailiff)


Schwartz’ Tevye Receives the Royal Treatment from NCJF
- Jan Lisa Huttner, World Jewish Digest, December 2004

Yiddish Tales Come to Life
- The Jewish Advocate, June 2007

Home Use DVD: $29.95

Does not include Classroom or Library Use Rights or Public Performance Rights. More Information


Classroom/Library Use DVD: $250

Does not include Public Performance Rights. More Information

Digital Site Licensing (DSL) available - Contact us

Step down pricing for K-12 & public libraries may be available - Contact us

Arrange a screening - Contact us


Green Fields

Uncle Moses

The Singing Blacksmith

Also based on a work by Sholom Aleichem

Jewish Luck

Laughter Through Tears

Our Children

Fiddler on the Roof

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