Paul Wegener had the idea of making a film about the Golem after hearing the original legend being told in Prague, where he spent some time filming The Student of Prague (1913). Unhappy with his 1915 attempt at telling the story, he decided to make another film. See more »
When the Rabbi returns with the Golem from the Feast, just before the Golem becomes angry at the Rabbi you can see briefly the top of a Crew Members head passing by at the window. This Scene is supposed to be playing in an upper room of a Tower. See more »
The 2002 Alpha Video DVD version runs for 101 minutes. This is not evident from the back of the Alpha Video DVD case, which wrongly lists the running time as only 85 minutes. It looks as if Alpha Video somehow got hold of the fullest version currently known - maybe even a complete version of the film, since there are no obvious gaps in the story. See more »
A fascinating tale and a complete misrepresentation of an entire religion.
"The Golem" lays the cinematic groundwork for the 1931 motion picture version of "Frankenstein" . In character design, wardrobe, and interaction with its creator and the world around it, the two monsters do resemble one another. In this case, "The Golem", is a monster created from clay and magic rather than from spare body parts and science, and the monster's creator is a Rabbi. I think I was more shocked to see a Rabbi portrayed as someone who openly dabbled in the black arts and astrology than anything else the film offered. The Rabbi is even shown conjuring up a "god" - Asteroth - and forcing him to produce the life-giving word to bring "The Golem" to life. Any casual reader of the Old Testament will see that the Jews were repeatedly warned against having anything to do with the occult - it was considered blasphemy and worthy of the death penalty under Jewish law. If this is how Germans perceived the practice of the Jewish religion in 1920, fifteen years before the Holocaust began, it might explain a great deal, but nothing about this aspect of the film is mentioned in the extra features of the Kino set in which I saw it, "German Horror Classics".
One more interesting parallel to the 1931 film "Frankenstein" is in how the Golem, originally created to protect the Jews but now on a rampage, is destroyed. It is a twist on a similar innocent act in "Frankenstein", one so horrific in its effect that the scene was exorcised from prints of Frankenstein throughout the production code era. I suggest you watch both films and see what I'm talking about.
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