NEW Yoo Hoo Mrs. Goldberg (DVD)
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Before Oprah, and before Lucy, there was the beloved Gertrude Berg, the entertainment genius who wrote, starred in and produced the first successful American sitcom and charmed a beleaguered nation. Animated through a dazzling collage of vintage clips and interviews, behind-the-scenes footage and intimate conversations with friends, colleagues and family members, the box-office smash-hit YOO-HOO, MRS. GOLDBERG traces Berg's rise to stardom from her childhood in New York to her early radio days in "The Rise of the Goldbergs" (1929-46) to her enormously influential sitcom, The Goldbergs (1949-56), which brought Berg the first Best Actress Emmy® in history. Berg's passion and incredible productivity paved the way for a wide variety of causes-women in entertainment, Jewish-American identity and actors' rights, to name a few-but she is most celebrated for singlehandedly proving that the American family transcends social, religious and economic divisions. Aviva Kempner's critically acclaimed YOO-HOO, MRS. GOLDBERG offers a humorous, captivating tribute to one of the most successful and innovative women in American broadcasting history.
BONUS MATERIAL INCLUDES: - Audio commentary with the director - Gertrude Berg's guest appearances with Edward R. Murrow, Ed Sullivan and Steve Allen - Additional scenes and interviews - Bonus Gertrude Berg recipe - Essay from the director and more!
Long before Roots, All in the Family, and Tyler Perry, there was Mrs. Goldberg. Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg is a documentary that explores the wonderful cultural significance of a creative, energetic Jewish woman, Gertrude Berg, and how her vision and drive broke cultural boundaries in the 1930s and beyond. Berg created a character, Mrs. Goldberg, a lovable and loving Jewish mother, shaped in the immigrant neighborhoods of New York City, who became a national heroine and one of the first true pop culture icons of the 20th century. Directed by Aviva Kempner, Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg traces the story of young Tillie Edelstein, granddaughter of Jewish refugees, who was born in 1898 in East Harlem. Young Tillie was inquisitive and formed her love for theater at her father's hotel in the Catskills. Later, upon returning to Manhattan, Tillie married and continued to write, supported by her loving husband. Eventually she changed her name to Gertrude and used her married last name, Berg, and became an early radio star in a series based on her insular Jewish neighborhood. The radio show eventually became a TV series--and giant national hit--earning Berg the first Best Actress Emmy. But the power of Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg lies in Kempner's meticulous, captivating storytelling. There are interviews with fans from Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg to NPR's Susan Stamberg--who relates the possibly apocryphal quote from Franklin D. Roosevelt that it wasn't he who led America out of the Great Depression, "it was Mrs. Goldberg" and the nurturing popularity of the radio series that bore her name. This boxed set is a rich exploration of the America of the 20th century, of the bridging of ethnic worlds, and of the vision and energy of one talented lady who captivated America and helped pave the way for the multicultural America that would lie ahead. The disc includes a great commentary by Kempner, several episodes of the original TV series, and interviews with Edward R. Morrow and others about Berg, who freely admits she "spends more time as Mrs. Goldberg than as myself." Fans of pop culture history and the evolving role of Jews in America will especially love Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg --A.T. Hurley --This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
"Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg!", Aviva Kempner's fascinating and touching documentary, reclaims the story of Molly Goldberg and her creator for modern audiences. Along with vintage clips from the radio and TV programs, Kempner presents interviews with Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Norman Lear, Susan Stamberg and other luminaries who testify to their love of Molly Goldberg and the importance of having a radio and TV character who reflected the reality of their own lives. "Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg!" is an apt tribute to an unjustly forgotten pioneer of situation comedy.
What made the TV show so interesting is that Molly bridged two worlds - between the old immigrant way of life and the New World of American consumerism; All along, she retained those important family values of honest work and community compassion. Why did the TV show go out of fashion? Did the New Americans merge into mainstream culture so completely that old time values became less interesting on television?
The documentary is also important for its frank discussion of blacklisting. The television husband of Molly Goldberg took his own life when he was not allowed to work any longer during the McCarthy witch hunting years.
I would not miss this film! Another documentary by the same director is the critically acclaimed "Life and Times of Hank Greenberg". He was a very important athlete who broke racial barriers in professional baseball for the Jews but is much less known than Jackie Robinson who did the same for African Americans. Last, but not least, for those who like Jewish cooking, don't forget to buy [on Amazon] a copy of "The Molly Goldberg Jewish cookbook", a volume that recreates those delicious Jewish recipes of the 1930s - 1950's.