The Golem: How He Came into the World  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Golem: How He Came Into the World (original German title: Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam) is a 1920 silent horror film by Paul Wegener. It was directed by Carl Boese and Wegener, written by Wegener and Henrik Galeen, and starred Wegener as the golem. The film was the third of three films that Wegener made about the golem, the other two being The Golem (1915) and The Golem and the Dancing Girl (1917). It is a prequel to The Golem and today the most widely known of the series.

Plot

The film concerns itself with the legendary creation of the golem, which had appeared in the earlier films, by Rabbi Judah Loew ben Bezalel. In the 16th century, the Jews of Prague face persecution. Rabbi Loew creates a giant golem out of clay, to protect the people. Unfortunately, the creature rebels and wreaks deadly havoc. In the end, a small girl stops the golem by removing the magic star from its chest.

Production

Architect Hans Poelzig designed the sets, a reproduction of the medieval Jewish ghetto of Prague. He designed them specifically to be filmed, creating highly expressionist imagery. The cinematography of Karl Freund, in collaboration with Poelzig and Wegener, is cited as one of the most outstanding examples of German Expressionism.




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