Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Yoo-hoo, Mrs. Goldberg Reviews

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Harlequin68
Super Reviewer
½ August 14, 2011
"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.
March 14, 2011
A fair docudrama on the career of Gertrude Berg, who was star of The Goldbergs radio show and later TV series. She not only starred in but wrote all of the scripts from radio days onto TV days and set the way for the family situation comedies we would come to know after like I Love Lucy and Dick Van Dyke, etc...Gertrude paved the way. Interviews with those that worked with her as well as family members and others in the entertainment industry. If you can remember those days or have an interesti in radio or tv history, you will likely enjoy this.
February 9, 2011
one of the best documentaries this year. how many people remember watching every week?
½ December 28, 2010
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.
½ September 29, 2010
Revelatory documentary about a television pioneer without whom we would probably not have the sort of entertainment we have today. A great blend of talking heads (not too many), kinescope footage and exemplary editing contribute to a fascinating tale of a woman who worked hard, but whose unwavering loyalty led to her professional demise. Though it gets just a bit draggy in its final third, it's a real find -- and despite a few pacing missteps, it's never less than completely compelling. You'll wonder how it's possible you never heard of this stunningly gifted woman who was, as one interviewee says, "the Oprah Winfrey of her day." Strongly recommended!
½ August 26, 2010
Many associate Lucille Ball as the first woman of TV comedy - they are wrong - decades before Gertrude Berg paved the way for women on TV as well the modern day sitcom. Never heard of her? - neither had I. The docu from acclaimed filmmaker Aviva Kempner, tells the story of her start on radio just as the Depression hit America. Her down-home, good nature won over audiences & even had Roosevelt to proclaim "I didn't end the Depression, Gertrude Berg did!". From radio to TV, her popularity lasted for decades until the 1950's when her show was forced off the air. The title refers to her character being called to the window from a voice across the way "Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg" - somebody needed her motherly advice & attention. Though her character is portrayed as sweet & nurturing, off screen, Berg was tough & demanding - a perfectionist. When she was on the radio & it called for Mrs. Goldberg to be fixing eggs, she would fry up eggs while the live performance was going on (she wrote all the scripts daily & picked up inspiration by walking around her mostly Jewish neighbourhood in the Bronx.) The film has a variety of talking heads (Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Norman Lear, etc.) & Berg showcased rising talents like Steve McQueen & Anne Bancroft. An enjoyable, brisk 90 min. docu which enlightened me to an era long since forgotten. It would be nice to have a Mrs. Goldberg to call out to today - but instead, we get the fist pumping Snookie's & reality TV starlets to be this generation's role models.
October 19, 2009
Mostly good but a bit too much time spent on telling us again and again how important Gertrude Berg was and not enough on filling in details. For example, how did Gertrude Berg balance work and family? And how come her radio show disappeared in 1945, several years before she entered television?
½ October 9, 2009
When I taught TV Production I loved teaching TV history, the kids hated it. It was the history of the last half of the 20th Century. One of the early stars that I remember from pre-school childhood was Molly Goldberg. She wrote, starred in one of the first comedy sitcoms before there was Lucy and the rest. Early TV had shows starring Afro-Americans (Beulah), Amos and Andy, and then there was Molly Goldberg (Jewish family in the Bronx). Before network suits sanitized early TV it was a melting pot of ethnic, cultural fabric of America. This documentary gives a great view of the period and one of its original stars. I loved Molly, she was the grandmother I never had and wanted. She was the first lady of TV comedy and brilliant talent. Won the first Emmy for female comedian and later went on to theater to win a Tony.
October 4, 2009
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.
September 17, 2009
With soap it's loaded
½ September 8, 2009
it is unbelievable that the first TV sitcom had so many religious overtones for its time but was universally loved by all.
½ August 16, 2009
A proto-feminist and the first actor to write and produce their own sitcom (maybe even the person for creating the sitcom format), Gertrude Berg is a forgotten icon of early television. The transition from the intro to the show outside her window into her living room is still revolutionary. The documentary about Gertrude Berg exemplifies how Hollywood works. During her 1-1/2 year absence while she fought to keep her TV husband who had been named an enemy of the state, American households had forgotten about the Goldbergs when the Ricardos filled the void and transformed into the landmark series it would become.
½ August 4, 2009
The story of woman who did A LOT of ideological heavy-lifting.
August 3, 2009
Can't wait! I know very little about Gertrude Berg, would love to see more!
½ August 2, 2009
An interesting, entertaining documentary about a fascinating performer. I would have given it 4-stars, if the film had only taken some additional time to explore the her dark side which it only touched upon.
August 1, 2009
A fun documentary about Gertrude Berg, an admirable woman that found ways to get around the Depression and the Nazi threat but was deeply wounded by MacCarthy's blacklist.
An interesting piece of Radio/TV History with the added value of interviews by Susan Stanberg and Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
July 13, 2009
A grand reclamation project to rewrite our history of the sit-com and the blacklist, among other topics, by presenting the extraordinary life and considerable work of Gertrude Berg. Berg wrote some 12,000 scripts over 17 years for radio and television to reflect on Jewish identity in her time. Ample footage from the paleotelevision era show a very ethnic show that took many a brave stand in the face of popular sentiment and world events. Interviews with Edward R. Murrow show a very canny and assimilated woman who inhabited the role for most of her waking hours. Her campaign to protect her costar Philip Loeb, accused of being a Communist seemingly for agitating for better working conditions and greater job security for actors, is amazing for its robustness while nonetheless tragic.
Sure, the filmmaker employs the "talking-head" format quite often, but Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg and NPR's Susan Stamberg are capable of presenting their positions with authority.
July 12, 2009
I cannot wait to see this. Check out the trailer.
July 8, 2009
Sounds kind of interesting, but too vague for me to actually want to see it.
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