Directed by Carl Boese and Paul Wegener • 1920 • Germany
Starring Paul Wegener, Albert Steinrück, Lyda Salmonova
The ancient Hebrew legend of the Golem—widely recognized as the source of the Frankenstein myth—provided actor-director Paul Wegener with the substance for one of the most adventurous films of the German silent cinema. Suffering under the tyrannical rule of Rudolf II in sixteenth-century Prague, a rabbi (Albert Steinrück) creates a giant warrior (Paul Wegener) to protect the safety of his people. Sculpted of clay and animated by the mysterious secrets of the Kabbalah, the Golem is a seemingly indestructible juggernaut, performing acts of great heroism, yet equally capable of dreadful violence that, when harnessed by the wrong hands, unleashes disaster. With its remarkable creation sequence—a dazzling blend of religion, sorcery and special effects—and fiery climax, THE GOLEM stands as one of the greatest achievements of the legendary Ufa Studios.