- Topol was only in his mid-thirties when he performed the role of an older Tevye.
- To get the kind of look he wanted for the film, director Norman Jewison got Director of Photography Oswald Morris, who was famous for shooting color films in unusual styles, to shoot the entire film with a woman's stocking placed over the lens. Morris also shot the musical number "Tevye's Dream" in sepia rather than in full color. He had previously filmed Moulin Rouge (1952) with a color style made to resemble Toulouse-Lautrec's paintings and Moby Dick (1956) in a color style made to resemble 19th century engravings of life at sea.
- The film takes its name from a painting by the Russian painter Marc Chagall called "The Dead Man" which depicts a funeral scene and shows a man playing a fiddle on a roof top.
- Director Norman Jewison was brought into the project by executives thinking he was Jewish. His first words to the executives upon meeting were, "You know I'm not Jewish... right?"
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