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GOLEM, THE (GOLEM, WIE ER IN DIE WELT KAM)

GOLEM, THE

The Prague ghetto in the 16th century. Rabbi Loew wants to prevent the expulsion of the Jews from the town, which had been ordered by Kaiser Rudolf II. The rabbi, a magician and master of the Black Art, thus creates the figure of the Golem out of clay, conjures up the spirit of Astharot and forces him to breathe the life-giving word. With his help, he brings the Golem, who possesses enormous powers, to life. Rudolf revokes his order when this figure saves the Kaiser's life. The Jews can now stay in the city. For Rabbi Loew, the Golem has now fulfilled his purpose and he takes the vitality away. But when his servant returns it to the Golem so that it can hound a rival, the clay figure evades human influence and causes a devastating fire which destroys part of the ghetto. Loew manages once more through a magical conjuration to save the Jewish community. When the Golem breaks open the ghetto's gate to leave, he meets a girl who removes the Schem, the life-giving saying. Robbed of his magic, the clay figure crashes to the ground.


Paul Wegener was born in Arnoldsdorf (East Prussia) in 1874 and died in Berlin in 1948. After studying Law in Freiburg and Leipzig, he started taking acting lessons and later worked with Max Reinhardt in Berlin. In 1913, he appeared in Stellan Rye's Der Student von Prag, portrayed the legendary Golem in Henrik Galeen's 1914 film Alraune and then himself directed the genesis of this mythical figure in Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam (1920). He then concentrated on work as an actor, appearing in over 50 films such as Hans Westmar (1933), Zwielicht (1940), Kolberg (1945) as well as on the stage in Berlin theaters.
Genre Fantasy
Category Feature, Silent
Year of Production 1920
Director Paul Wegener
Screenplay Henrik Galeen, Paul Wegener
Cinematography Karl Freund
Cast Lothar Muethel, Otto Gebuehr, Ernst Deutsch, Lyda Salmonova, Albert Steinrueck, Paul Wegener, Loni Nest
Producer Paul Davidson
Production Company Projektion-AG Union (PAGU)/Berlin
Length 85 min
Format 35 mm, b&w
Original Version
 silent with German intertitles
Festivals Muestra de Cine Europeo Ciudad de Segovia 2014, Venice 2018, Sydney 2019

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