Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 6 Ratings

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  • Summary: From Aviva Kempner, award-winning maker of The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg, comes this humorous and eye-opening story of television pioneer Gertrude Berg. She was the creator, principal writer, and star of The Goldbergs, a popular radio show about a Jewish family living in New York City which became television’s very first character-driven domestic sitcom in 1949. She combined social commentary, family values and lots of humor to win the hearts of America. (International Film Circuit, Inc.) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Leba Hertz
    Kempner once again educates and entertains with unexpected tidbits and just plain good old-fashioned filmmaking.
  2. There's far more to this groundbreaker who built an empire in the face of formidable challenges. So why would you miss it? Go already.
  3. In Yoo Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg, Kempner gives us a balance of artist and alter ego, introducing us to a woman we'd like to know even better.
  4. Reviewed by: Paul Farhi
    As is, this generally excellent portrait does much to fill the void, restoring an unfortunately forgotten figure to her rightful place among broadcasting's trailblazers.
  5. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Entertaining, nostalgic and well-organized documentary.
  6. 67
    Best of all, though, is the kinescope footage of the televised version's early episodes, which eerily resemble nothing so much as every other TV sitcom to follow, Seinfeld included.
  7. 58
    Listening to Berg's characters talk so naturally, honestly, and colorfully about the small, surmountable problems of their daily life is so engaging that whenever Kempner cuts away to another dry historian or fervent fan, it's doubly aggravating.

See all 20 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. MarkM.
    Jul 17, 2009
    After watching the film a group of friends and I debated at length why we had never heard of Gertrude Berg. Here is our hypothesis. The reason that Gertrude Berg is not remembered -- besides the inability to make a permanent record of her show except for a few kinescopes, is that the history of the 20th century is by and large written by men. And her show appealed to women in their domestic scope. And judging from some of the ugly comments made on your site about her appearance the judgment by the male run networks and critics was that because she was not beautiful in the anorexic image seen on TV (Donna Reed, Lucy, Alice in The Honeymooners were damn skinny) and therefore she was not worthy of discussion. She made men uncomfortable. So does Oprah. So does Roseanne. Your review is right in that the film doesn't delve in to the reasons she wasn't remembered. The reasons are all about religious and sexual bias of the male controlled media. She was too Jewish, too old and too fat to be worthy of her tremendous accomplishments being recorded and recognized for posterity. She reminded men in power of their immigrant mothers who sacrificed for them. It wasn't cool. Thank goodness Aviva Kempner is finding a way to make sure she is not forgotten for her achievements. The narrow scope of beauty that the media seems to recognize is one reason why Gertrude Berg has been stricken from the record of cultural history. I think C plus is way too low a grade for this doc. Expand