The Golem (Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam)

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Average Rating: 3.6/5

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Movie Info

Actor-director Paul Wegener made three films built around the mythical creature of Jewish legend: Golem was released in 1914, and a sequel of sorts, Der Golem und die Tänzerin, came out in 1917. This is the one film which has survived and is regarded among the landmarks of early German expressionism. In medieval Prague, Rabbi Loew (Albert Steinruck) observes the stars and concludes that trouble is brewing for his people. When the emperor issues a decree threatening the expulsion of Jews from the city, the rabbi, a master of magic, activates the Golem, a monstrous clay figure, to help save his congregation. The rabbi's daughter, Miriam (Lyda Salmonova, who also played this role in the 1914 film) is courted by two men, Famulus (Ernst Deutsch), the rabbi's assistant, and Knight Florian (Lathar Menthel), a messenger for the emperor. Famulus re-activates the Golem to vanquish his rival, and the monster goes berserk. Stylized sets and moody cinematography elevated Der Golem above the standard features of its time, its central figure has been the focus of a number of films produced in various countries, and the name has become a generic descriptor for any lumbering creature which can't be easily controlled. ~ Tom Wiener, Rovi

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Fritz Feld
as Jester
Lathar Menthel
as Knight Florian
Lyda Salmonova
as Rabbi's Daughter
Hanns Sturm
as Emperor Rudolph II
Paul Wegener
as The Golem
Duane Jarvis
as Lead Guitar
Jason Carter
as Drums/Percussion
Eric Drew Feldman
as Keyboards/Synthetics
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Critic Reviews for The Golem (Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam)

All Critics (8) | Top Critics (1)

Of the four extant versions of this perennial horror classic, Paul Wegener's 1920 version remains the best.

Oct 8, 2002 | Full Review…

The Golem, carefully crafted and visually impressive work, has lost little of its power over the decades.

Sep 19, 2007 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

This classic in horror is mainly enjoyed for its powerful visuals.

Dec 15, 2003 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

Paul Wegener directs and stars in an enduring example of German Expressionist horror, based on an ancient Jewish myth.

Oct 28, 2003 | Full Review…

Wes Craven could take some clues from Paul Wegener's concepts.

Oct 8, 2002 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Golem (Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam)

a strange and wonderful jewish folktale is brought to life in one of the most beautiful and influential german expressionist films. it's impossible not to think of james whale's 'frankenstein' while watching this

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

This movie is pretty magical for it's time, and the plot seems interesting at first, but I didn't understand how and if the Golem saved the jews in the end. It's not very clear.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer


The film's special effects, musical score, and editing make it an easy entry in the classic horror genre. However, it takes a back seat when compared to its' peers. The vision of actor Paul Wegener clomping about in platform heels and starched wig is comical rather than an horrific sight by modern audiences, but The Golem is a good story and Wegener and Carl Boese's direction is exceptional. The images are striking and many scenes will resonate in the mind, made all the more powerful through silent cinema. Photobucket

El Hombre Invisible
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer


This movie is one of the greatest silents that I have ever seen. Amazing work here, I think that this movie shows German Expressionism better than Cabinet of Dr. Caligari. The effects alone are enough for you to fall in love, but there is more. Art Direction, Cinematography, Acting, and the Story are all contributing factors. The Jews, who practice black magic and astrology. Are under persecution from the kingdom of Prague, who wants them out! Rabbi Lowe wont have that though, he creates a giant Golem out of clay to protect the ghetto, that he brings to life by placing the "magic" word into a star in the middle of his chest. The Golem does the Rabbi's bidding and protects the Jews in the Ghetto by warding off the evil emperor and his people of Prague. Its not enough for the Rabbi's right hand man though. Who is jealous that the Rabbi's daughter is dating some shiksa! Furious the Rabbi's buddy sicks the Golem on the guy and all hell breaks loose. The only way to stop the Golem now is if there is some little girl who will rip the star from the Golem's chest! Whats that? Oh there is!? Well, i guess you'll have to see it to see if that happens. Paul Wegener plays Der Golem here, and he does an amazing job. This Golem is a very, very imposing force. His expressions are great, it makes the movie worth watching just for the expressions. I was thoroughly impressed with this gem and you should all see it. Top 100 movies to see before you kick the bucket! I think so, I would have to give this movie a 9/10. Highest rating i have given out thus far. Excellent film, all be it a little Anti-Semite. Take it and love it Sid

Brandon Siddall
Brandon Siddall

Super Reviewer

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