The Goldbergs

1949 | USA | black & white | 120 min

Film Still Image
Film & Media History

Archive Details

Screened at SFJFF 2009

The Goldbergs, a brilliant show written and directed by and starring Gertrude Berg, premiered on radio in 1929 and on TV in 1949, when it became television’s first character-driven domestic sitcom. Berg (subject of this year’s Freedom of Expression Award–winner Aviva Kempner’s new documentary Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg) received the first Best Actress Emmy for her portrayal of the lovable, buxom baleboste from the Bronx, Molly Goldberg, who dispenses advice, gossip and a whole lot of common sense. She talks from her window to her neighbors and via the airwaves to millions of immigrant and first-generation families who were struggling to become American. By the end of each show, as she leans out and says goodnight “from our family to your family,” you feel like Molly has become your tante and that, regardless of your ethnicity, you are part of a larger American family. We will be showing four archival episodes: “Matchmaker,” in which Molly’s cousin Hannah Leah copes with gallstones and a single daughter; “Mother-in-Law” starring a young Anne Bancroft, who can’t quite bring herself to call her mother-in-law “Mom”; “Molly’s Fish,” which shows how not every recipe can be mass produced; and “Rent Strike,” a vehicle for Jake Goldberg’s (played by actor Philip Loeb) sense of justice when confronted with a new landlord.
—Nancy K. Fishman

To learn more about Gertrude Berg, click here to download a longer article by Professor Glenn D. Smith, Jr.


Gertrude Berg
Gertrude Berg
Principal Cast
Gertrude Berg, Philip Loeb, Eli Mintz
Co-presented by
BJE Jewish Community Library and Anti-Defamation League, Central Pacific Region
SFJFF Upcoming Screenings SFJFF Archives SFJFF Blog online short films