IMDb > Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg (2009)
Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg
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Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg (2009) More at IMDbPro »

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Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg -- A documentary on television pioneer Gertrude Berg. She was the creator, principal writer, and star of "The Goldbergs," a popular radio show for 17 years, which became television's very first character-driven domestic sitcom in 1949. Berg received the first Best Actress Emmy in history, and paved the way for women in the entertainment industry.

Overview

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7.2/10   188 votes »
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Release Date:
10 July 2009 (USA) See more »
Tagline:
"The Most Famous Woman in America You've Never Heard Of"
Plot:
The story of the actress, writer, and broadcasting pioneer Gertrude Berg. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
User Reviews:
Radio and TV History Lesson See more (9 total) »

Cast

 
Gertrude Berg ... Herself (archive footage)
Lewis Berg ... Himself (archive footage)

Sara Chase ... Laura (voice)
Ruth Bader Ginsburg ... Herself
Viola Harris ... Herself

Norman Lear ... Himself
Madeline Lee ... Herself (as Madeline Guilford)
Arlene McQuade ... Herself

Margaret Nagle ... Herself
Susan Stamberg ... Herself
Betty Walker ... Mrs. Bertha Kramer (archive footage)
Roberta Wallach ... Effie (voice)

Directed by
Aviva Kempner 
 
Produced by
Aviva Kempner .... producer
Leah Ramsay .... associate producer
 
Cinematography by
Learan Kahanov 
Tom Kaufman 
 
Film Editing by
Judith Herbert 
 
Sound Department
Billy Johnson .... sound mixer
Roger Phenix .... production sound mixer
Skip SoRelle .... sound designer
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Dennis Boni .... additional photographer
David Waldman .... cinematographer: Los Angeles unit
David Wexler .... gaffer: additional
 
Editorial Department
Margaret Sclafani .... post-production coordinator
 
Other crew
Charlotte Hendrix .... line producer
 

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Additional Details

Runtime:
USA:92 min
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Language:
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Movie Connections:
References "The Goldbergs" (1949)See more »

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7 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
Radio and TV History Lesson, 27 October 2009
Author: John DeSando (jdesando@columbus.rr.com) from Columbus, Ohio

When is a Jewish mother not a Jewish Mother? When she doesn't act just like Molly Goldberg, the heroine of a popular radio and television comedy, The Goldbergs, in the first half of the 20th century. Aviva Kempner's informative documentary about the life of Gertrude Berg, who played Molly, is more a survey of radio and TV culture at that time than an insightful probe into the life of one of broadcasting's pioneer women.

Kempner's ability to weave in segments from shows, videos, interviews, and archival photographs puts the audience into the creative hotbed of the Depression through the post-WWII '50's. No one, not even Zero Mostel, can steal the stage from the affectionate, strong-willed character and actress (indeed, the two seem the same, so thoroughly did Berg develop Molly from within herself and her life).

Remarkably, Berg also wrote all the shows, a precursor of the all-in-one writer, producer, and actor talents of later generations. Perhaps because of her assimilation into the character of Molly, the film is unable to penetrate the character of the real Gertrude, although I suspect the two sides of Gertrude are just that character. The documentary comments on Berg's sometimes tyrannical off-stage persona, and it does a reasonably good job showing the sacrifices she made to defend her radio and TV husband, Phillip Loeb, from accusations of Red Channels that he was a communist. That conflict and the decision, not hers, to locate the TV show from the Bronx to the suburbs, helped the closing of her career.

It is probable that the notion of the benign, caring Jewish mother, was shaped in part by Gertrude Berg. It is almost certain she was a force behind the TV sitcom paradigm and the emergence of Lucille Ball as the new model of modern TV housewife-comedienne.

Yoo-Hoo is a winning history lesson in broadcasting and women in all media.

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