Synopsis by Clarke Fountain
This uneven and humorless drama is taken from the writings of Sholom Aleichem. Unfortunately, this movie version falls short of the tragic comedy presented in the original text. Tovie is a poor milkman who must work hard to support his wife and seven daughters. One by one, the young women leave the house when they reach the age when they can marry. The film was shown at the Cannes Film Festival and was partially financed by government funds from Germany and Israel, though it seems a shame that the money wasn't better spent. Perhaps purists were upset at the theatrical success of the musical Fiddler on the Roof and wanted something more solemn and reverential. The stories of the great Yiddish author were adapted by Norman Jewison just three years later into a vastly superior film of the musical, which captured the comedy and pathos of the rural Jewish poor so ably rendered in the stories.
empty-nest, family, milkman