Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg (2009)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Equal parts edification and entertainment, Kempner's tender tribute to a forgotten pioneer of American entertainment is both richly deserved and long overdue.


Movie Info

The true story of television pioneer, Gertrude Berg, the creator, principal writer, and star of "The Goldbergs," a popular radio show that debuted in 1929 and later became a popular television sitcom.

Rating: G
Genre: Documentary, Television
Directed By:
Written By: Aviva Kempner
In Theaters:
On DVD: May 1, 2010
Box Office: $0.7M
Runtime:
IFC Films - Official Site

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Critic Reviews for Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (25)

It is only in the sequence about Berg's popular costar Philip Loeb that Aviva Kempner's documentary resonates.

Full Review… | December 16, 2009
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Yoo-Hoo suggests that, yes, Berg broke new ground and, no, she shouldn't be forgotten. But it doesn't explain why she endured, or why she is so forgotten today.

Full Review… | November 4, 2009
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Charming.

Full Review… | October 16, 2009
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

History has been unfair to Berg, a fact that filmmaker Aviva Kempner hopes to correct with this illuminating documentary.

Full Review… | October 16, 2009
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Aviva Kempner's documentary Yoo Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg is a delightful introduction to Berg, who began writing and performing skits at her father's resort hotel in the Catskill Mountains, then studied drama at Columbia University.

Full Review… | August 27, 2009
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

We're left with an impression of a vivacious pioneer; but warm shouldn't have to mean fuzzy.

Full Review… | August 27, 2009
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg

½

"Yoo-Hoo, Mrs, Goldberg" is a charming and informative documentary about Getrude Berg, nee Tilly Edelstein, who was not only the star of "The Goldbergs," an immensely popular sitcom that originated on the radio, but also wrote the scripts in the days before word processors and computers with bad handwriting that puts my atrocious handwriting to shame.(One interviewee refers to her as the Oprah of her time.) What's especially noteworthy about "The Goldbergs" is that it is the prototypical family sitcom, influencing many sitcoms in the years to come.(Norman Lear is on hand to testify to this.) Although, to be honest, any television series that lasts for any period of time will have rising stars passing through at some point.

"The Goldbergs" not only has an important place in television history but also in the current events of the times by presenting a Jewish family in New York City without stereotypes in a time of growing anti-semitism in the 1930's. And the television program would be adversely affected by the Blacklist of the 1950's, despite its huge popularity. Sadly enough, "The Goldbergs" has faded somewhat from memory as it has not found a new audience with younger generations which hopefully this fine documentary helps to rectify.

Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

½

An informative documentary about Gertrude Berg, the writer, actress, and creator of The Goldbergs, a pioneering family sitcom on radio and then television, forerunner of many more famous ones to come, including 'Seinfeld' and Norman Lear's work. It was an urban sitcom set in the Bronx; late in its run, the setting was moved to the suburbs like the other family sitcoms, whereupon the show apparently became much less interesting. The movie explains the show's relevance and impact as well as the society it reflected, including the very sad story of a lead actor who was blacklisted in the Red Scare despite attempts by Berg and company to keep him employed. Berg was quite popular in her time and pretty influential. A good look at the life and legacy of a largely forgotten figure in entertainment.

An excellent documentary about a subject that not nearly enough people know about. Worth a look, especially if you were a fan of the "family sitcoms" like Dick Van Dyke and I Love Lucy growing up.

hyattisqueen
Megan Cunningham

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