FILM | "Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg"
Gertrude Berg… The Most Famous Woman in America You’ve Never Heard Of
From filmmaker Aviva Kempner (The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg) comes this funny and insightful story of radio and television pioneer Gertrude Berg, the creator, principal writer, and star of The Goldbergs. A popular radio show for 17 years, The Goldbergs became television’s very first character-driven domestic sitcom in 1949. Berg wrote 12,000 scripts for The Goldbergs (CBS’s number one show) combining comedy and social commentary—with Jewish characters, particularly matriarch Molly Goldberg, at the center.
On the air, Berg was the endearing matriarch Molly Goldberg—kibitzing with neighbors across airshafts in the Bronx (“Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg!”). Off air, Berg won the first-ever Best Actress Emmy Award, earned a Tony on Broadway, and charmed audiences on variety TV shows and through her advice column. Polls showed she was the second most respected woman in America, after Eleanor Roosevelt. When her co-star Philip Loeb was attacked by Joseph McCarthy’s blacklisting machine (a tragic witch hunt memorialized in the 1976 film The Front), Berg fought to save his career and The Goldbergs.
Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg includes fabulous rare clips from The Goldbergs kinescopes, and other period TV shows and films including The Ed Sullivan Show, The Honeymooners, The Perry Como Show, I Love Lucy, The Milton Berle Show, and The Marx Brothers.
The film also features marvelous interviews with historians and fans, including Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Ed Asner (The Mary Tyler Moore Show), Norman Lear (All in the Family creator), Gary David Goldberg (Family Ties creator), Andrea Roane (CBS anchor), Susan Stamberg (NPR correspondent), and many others.
An unforgettable portrait of the most famous woman in America you’ve never heard of: the trailblazing American cultural icon Gertrude Berg.
USA | 2009 | 92 min | English | Director: Aviva Kempner
Student | $4
Member | $6
General Admission | $8
Film provided by The National Center for Jewish Film, www.jewishfilm.org
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