The Golem

The Golem

How He Came Into the World

DVD - 2002
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Story is set in medieval Prague. The Rabbi gives life to the Golem who falls in love with the Rabbi's daughter and brings fear to the emperor's court. He is destroyed by an innocent child. Based on the legend of the Golem, a popular figure in Jewish tradition.
Publisher: New York, NY : Kino on Video, c2002
Edition: Restored authorized ed
Branch Call Number: DVD GOLEM
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (86 min.) : sd., b&w ; 4 3/4 in
Alternative Title: Golem, wie in der Welt kam


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Oct 29, 2018

IMO - The Golem's appearance (in this silent-era, German production) was far too clumsy and comical looking for me to take his role as the hero in the story at all seriously.

I mean - At one point, Golem's position as the hero in this tale was so undermined (to the point of him being just a mere errand-boy) that I'm actually surprised that (in his obvious humiliation) he wasn't dressed up in a frilly apron and ordered to tidy up the Rabbi's residence.

You know - After viewing this 1920 picture I really wonder if its premise hadn't given Nazi leader, Adolf Hitler some sinister ideas when it came to his eventual pursuit of becoming the supreme persecutor of the Jews.

Sep 17, 2018

This movie might make for interesting viewing alongside James Whale's Frankenstein. You can see this film's style and sympathetic depiction of its "monster" echoed in the later talkie. On its own merits, I feel The Golem will be of more interest to silent movie fans or those interested in folklore than a casual viewer. Even as far as introducing someone to silent cinema through German Expressionism, Nosferatu or The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari might be better "gateway drugs" so to speak. However, I dug the visual style, from the off-kilter sets to the expressive lighting. Paul Wegener, who also wrote and directed, makes for a great Golem: like Karloff's turn as the Monster, he is intimidating yet soulful.

Jul 15, 2018

"Fee! Fye! Foe! Fum!"

1920's "The Golem" was probably one of cinema's very first live-action superhero stories.

In this despairing and overwrought tale of Jewish woe - It sure looked to me like "Wreck-It-Ralph" (aka. the Golem) was definitely having himself a very serious "bad-hair" day.

Set in 16th century Prague (where religion and sorcery were joined together, hand-in-hand) - I found (much to my disappointment) that "Wreck-It-Ralph" only turned out to be just a mere errand-boy.

And, as a result - "The Golem" (as a motion picture) did not even come close to delivering as satisfactory entertainment.

Jan 27, 2017

Based on a Jewish folktale yet bearing more than a passing resemblance to Shelley’s "Frankenstein", this intriguingly odd silent film remains one of the finest examples of German Expressionism right alongside "The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari". There are no right angles or straight lines in directors Carl Boese and Paul Wegener’s stagy production—houses lean and twist like melting candles, staircases spiral like snail shells, and Hassidic protagonists cavort in wizard gowns and pointed hats, their spirited temple ceremonies looking more like solemn jazz revivals. At one point a summoned demon, all bulging eyes and smoking mouth, emerges from the shadows like a bobbing Mardi Gras mask and the Golem itself (played by Wegener) is suspended somewhere between horrific and ridiculous in smudgy clay-face and bricked wig. Backing up all the onscreen action is an updated ensemble score which segues from boisterous clamour into darker chords while some strategic tinting washes the actors in hellfire reds or celestial blues, saving the more golden hues for a racy (though wholly implied) sex scene and a smarmy Christian ending. A clever little fable told with a great deal of exuberance.


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