Monday, July 27, 2009

Monday At the Movies: Road Trips & A Trip to the Theater: Fiddler on the Roof

The Monday Movie Meme is brought to you by The Bumbles.

This week's movie topic is all about being on the road ...
So many movies are all about getting from Point A to Point B and the humor/drama/horror that occurs along the way. Here are some of the ones that rolled into our thoughts Share on your blog movies that focus on road trips.
As much as I like going on road trips, movies about them are not really high up on my must see list. I was able to think of a few irresistible ones though.

Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

Thelma & Louise (1991)

The Wizard of Oz (1939)

Rain Man (1988)

Apocalypse Now (1979)

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy (2001/2002/2003)

Anjin and I did not see any movies this past week. We did, however, make it to the Pantages Theatre for a live production of Fiddler on the Roof yesterday evening. I hadn't really known what to expect going into the musical, having never seen the movie nor was I familiar with the story itself.

Set in pre-revolutionary Russia, Fiddler on the Roof is based on Sholem Aleichem's stories, with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and book by Joseph Stein. The musical chronicles the trials of Jewish peasant Tevye the milkman (played by Chaim Topol), the father of five daughters, three of whom are marriage age. The oldest three set their eyes on their own prospective husbands, breaking the Jewish tradition of having the father choose the groom. On a bigger scale, their well-established community is suddenly threatened by the Tsar's orders to evict the Jews from their homes and land.

The musical was both funny and somber. Tevye struggles with the traditions he has always valued and held close while also wanting to make his daughters happy. He also has to deal with the outside threat to his family's well being in a society that is growing less tolerant of those who remain independent and seem different. Topol, who played the role of Tevye in the movie version as well, was amazing. He clearly owns the role. Although there were times we weren't quite sure what some of the lyrics were to a couple of the songs, the production was very well done; we had a great time. Now to get my hands on the movie!

© 2009, Wendy Runyon of Musings of a Bookish Kitty. All Rights Reserved.
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  1. How did I miss LOTR?! And I also should have thought of Wizard of Oz and Rain Main. Some of my favorites!

  2. I know! This is the first list to remember the greatest road trip of all. There are songs about Frodo's trip. Great one!
    All the best and have a great week.
    Terry Kate

  3. Fiddler on the Roof is the first play I remember seeing and I have loved it ever since. I own the movie and it is fantastic - have tissues handy when you watch it.

  4. I've heard that Fiddler on the Roof is great, but I've only ever made it through the first half hour. I think I need to have a long time of enforced idleness (like if I have a bad head cold or something and need to stay in bed) to watch the whole thing.

  5. Love Little Miss Sunshine! I'm glad you enjoyed Fiddler on the Roof--will it be a soundtrack that you'll be picking up? I've seen parts of the movie but don't remember much about it. How cool to see Topal in his role--it is his farewell tour, right? So which play is next on the agenda?

  6. Fiddler on the Roof was one of the first plays I saw as a child and it is still a favorite today. My husband and I sing random songs at each other from time to time – like “Tradition” and “If I Was A Rich Man”. My personal favorite is “Wonder of Wonders, Miracle of Miracles” – I spout off that like to my son all the time (I think it drives him crazy …).

    I’ve been looking for a copy of Sholem Aleichem’s original story for quite some time – I’d love to see how it was adapted for the stage.

  7. I love much of the music from Fiddler on the Roof, especially "Matchmaker, Matchmaker" and "Sunrise, Sunset." I think that the movie (with Topol) was one of the first I ever saw in a theater. So glad you enjoyed the show!

  8. I thought about listing Wizard of Oz and LOTR, but I had enough listed also! That is a great list! I melt when I think of Fiddler. I loved it as a child, and I still do. My favorite part is when Tevya makes the match for his oldest, then goes and celebrates with the Russians. Love that music and dancing. I've got goosebumps just thinking about it.

  9. Stacy - I hadn't realized how many I liked until this meme. LOL

    Terry Kate - I am such a fan of the Lord of the Rings movies. I hope you have a great week too!

    Kathy - I'll definitely keep tissues handy when I see the movie. I even got teary eyed watching the stage production.

    Alyce - I hadn't realized how long it was. I can't wait to see the movie.

  10. Trish - Little Miss Sunshine was such a great movie. I actually bought the soundtrack way back when my husband and I first ordered the tickets. :-)

    We'll be seeing Legally Blonde next month. I'm looking forward to that. It's gotten good reviews from what I hear.

    Heather - I don't know how I missed ever seeing Fiddler on the Roof until now. It's definitely going on my favorites list. I love "Miracles of Miracles". I think that's my favorite too. :-)

    I was wondering about Sholem Aleichem's stories too. I understand he wrote them as prayers to God from the milkman.

    Florinda - Those are the two songs my husband's mother used to sing when he was growing up. :-)

    Sandy - I wasn't sure if they would count at first, but then realized no one ever said they had to be in cars. :-) The dance in the pub was really good. I would love to see it again.

  11. I love this! I think it is cool to think of the Wizard of Oz as a road trip.... I had never thought of it that way before!

    Fun post - I loved Thelma and Louise and Lord of The Rings......

  12. I love road trip books and stories but other than the movies you mentioned, I haven't really seen any others that I like.

    I know Fiddler on the Roof is a classic but I'm ashamed to admit that other than knowing the name and that it's a musical, I don't know anything else about it. I'm glad you enjoyed it though! I hope the movie lives up to your expectations.

  13. I've never seen Fiddler on the Roof- gotta do something about that! :-)

  14. Great list! I can't believe that I left out the Lord of the Rings trilogy. D'oh!

  15. I would have thought of Lord of the Rings if we were talking books (the films, while beautiful, are not as lovely as what I see in my head when I read them).

    And Little Miss Sunshine I thought of, but my list was full ;)

    Nut The Wizard of Oz, well, I know a vintage film fan isn't supposed to say this, but I never really liked that movie; it's iconic and memorable, but not a favorite -- now I duck to avoid the tin cans & tomatoes tossed at me :P

  16. Lord of the Rings is one of my all time fave... About Fiddler on the Roof, I haven't seen it either... although I have a dvd of that movie here... maybe one of these days when I am not busy (lol) I might watch it

  17. Of course Thelma and Louise has to be one of my all time favorite movies.
    Another couple of good ones..albeit old are Easy Rider and Urban Cowboy (that had a road trip didn't it?)
    Even if not, I liked Urban Cowboy.

    Good choices Wendy.

  18. I love this movie. It's probably time for a re-watch.

  19. These are great movies! Thanks for commenting on my list too..


  20. Fiddler is one of my all time favorites, both movie and any play production. I have the movie pretty much memorized and lost count on how many times I've seen it. Wonderful stuff!

  21. Love Fiddler. Loved 1 and 3 of the LOTR movies (I don't think he did the Ents justice in No. 2.)

    HAVE to rave about my new fave film though -- have you seen "Let the Right One In"? It's a Swedish film about two lonely 12-year-olds who help each other cope. Only one has been 12 for a very long time. Yup, she's a vampire. Really really good, very real-feeling, and quite moving. I cannot recommend this movie enough. (See it with subtitles, the dubbing voices don't have the right emotions and are sort of too loud.)

  22. I've not heard of the other movies but LOTR is one of my favourites of all times...

  23. Sounds like you had a good time at Fiddler on the Roof. I saw an amateur production of it in Cambridge when we lived there. I've never seen the movie so that was my first experience with it and I quite enjoyed it. Thanks for reminding me! :)

  24. Sheila - I kept picturing that yellow brick road in my mind. :-)

    Jen - I was in exactly in the same position before I went to see the musical on stage, Jen, so don't feel bad. :-)

    Marie - I hope to see the movie in the next few weeks. Need to get my hands on a copy!

    Julie - There were a few others had mentioned that I missed too.

    Jaynie - Haha! I don't think anyone will throw anything at you for not caring for The Wizard of Oz. It's not my favorite film, but I did enjoy it.

    Lulu - I love the Lord of the Rings films (and books).

    Wisteria - Thelma and Louise was such a good movie. I sometimes watch it now and then. I haven't seen Easy Rider or Urban Cowboy, can you believe? Someday.

  25. Booklogged - I really hope to see it soon.

    Daisy - Thanks!

    Suey - I can't believe I had not seen or heard more about it before. Shame on me!

    Clea - You're right about the Ents. They were a bit disappointing in the movies.

    I haven't seen "Let the Right One In" yet, but thanks to you it's on my netflix list now. :-) Thank you for the recommendation.

    Alice - I love those movies too, Alice.

    Nat - We had a great time. I'll be said when we see our last show of the season later this month.


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