The Golem Review

Golem, The
The golem legend is set in 16th century Prague, during the era in which Rabbi Loew has created the giant golem from clay in order to save the Jews from persecution by the despot Rudolf II. Loew's assistant, Famulus, has different plans, however, as he takes control of the golem and orders it to perform criminal acts.

by Kim Newman |
Published on
Release Date:

15 Jan 1915

Running Time:

85 minutes



Original Title:

Golem, The

A relic certainly, but a fascinating one. A mute film photographed in black & white, perhaps the screen's first great monster movie, this dramatises a Jewish legend, as a rabbi in Prague creates a clay giant and animates him through sorcery.

Intended to protect the ghetto from pogroms, the golem is twisted by love and runs riot until a small girl ends his murderous rampage.

Director-star Paul Wegener's clay man is a little comical, the Frankenstein monster with a girly haircut, but the wonderfully grotesque Prague sets and the alchemical atmosphere remain potent. Leaving the viewer with a constantly un-nerving feeling and a wish to see more of this hideous creation at work.

The second and better version of the medieval myth.
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