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The Golem: How He Came into the World

The Golem: How He Came into the World

The Golem: How He Came into the World (, also referred to as Der Golem) is a 1920 silent horror film and a leading example of early German Expressionism. Paul Wegener starred as the titular creature, as well as co-directing the film with Carl Boese and co-writing the script with Henrik Galeen based on Gustav Meyrink's 1915 novel. Photographer Karl Freund went on to work on the 1930s classic Universal horror films years later in Hollywood. This was the third of three films that Wegener made featuring the golem, the other two being The Golem (1915) and the short comedy The Golem and the Dancing Girl (1917), in which Wegener dons the golem make-up in order to frighten a young lady with whom he is infatuated. The Golem: How He Came into the World is a prequel to The Golem from 1915 and as the only one of the three films that has not been lost, is the best known of the series.

Plot

Set in the Jewish ghetto of medieval Prague, the film begins with Rabbi Loew, the head of the city's Jewish community, reading the stars. Loew predicts disaster for his people and informs the elders of the community. The next day the Holy Roman Emperor signs a decree declaring that the Jews must leave the city before the new moon and sends the knight Florian to deliver the decree. Loew meanwhile begins to devise a way of defending the Jews.