Writer-actress Gertrude Berg, a huge radio personality during the Depression with her daily serial about an immigrant Jewish family's comic rise up the socioeconomic ladder, brought her audience with her when The Goldbergs debuted on the new TV medium in 1949; it quickly became a hit, earned her the first best actress Emmy, and opened the door for Lucille Ball, who later inherited its time slot. But the golden age of television corresponded to one of the darkest periods of post-war America, and it is only in the sequence about Berg's popular costar Philip Loeb that Aviva Kempner's documentary resonates. Loeb, an ardent union activist who was blacklisted during the McCarthy hearings, comes across as more identifiably human than the workaholic Berg, for all her fictional character's warmth and her many admirers' tributes. 92 min.
Director: Aviva Kempner
Producer: Aviva Kempner
Cast: Norman Lear, Roberta Wallach, Sara Chase, Margaret Nagle, Gertrude Berg and Ruth Bader Ginsburg