The Golem (1920)
Director: Paul Wegener, Carl Boese
Main Stars: Paul Wegener, Albert Steinruck, Ernst Deutsch
Storyline: A jewish rabbi creates a clay golem using sorcery to protect the people from persecution.
Review (Spoils): After hearing a ton about this classic film I figure I would hunt down a copy of The Golem and finally see if this compares to the other German classic The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari. After searching and searching I finally got hold of a copy of the film and sat back to see what the raving has been all about.
This film is very close to the feel of The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari but not as dark. The film is a story of a jewish rabbi who lives in fear and traps his own beliefs into witchcraft to bring faith to the people buy creating a guardian of clay called the golem (Paul Wegener). I can see the influence of this silent film to the later Frankenstein but with more of a religious and political statement hidden in the film. Dealing with the relationship between the Jews and Christians in Prague the monster itself it not hideous but instead viewed as a huge guardian or protector. The scenery of the film like other classic German horror films is amazing such as the ghetto itself and all the shadows and twisted dark looks.
Rating: Don’t expect scares or anything that is going to keep you on the edge of your seat with this one. That’s where I would drop the Golem below The Cabinet of Dr.Caligari but this is still a classic film of art. The shadowy imagery of the evil presence during the ritual, the golem and plot alone is enough to keep you enticed.