in about 100 words or less
Germany 86m, silent B&W, tinted
Directors: Carl Boese, Paul Wegener; Cast: Albert Steinruck, Greta Schroeder, Lyda Salmonova, Paul Wegener
Inspired by a medieval Jewish folk tale, Der Golem is a clay figure that is brought to life by Rabbi Loew, a magician, alchemist and astrologer living in 16th century Prague. As a horror movie, this expressionist film has numerous similarities to James Whale’s 1931 Frankenstein, including a laboratory setting for the monster’s creation, the use of lightning, angry villagers, a great fire, and a tender moment between a small girl and the monster. As such, Der Golem was surely an inspiration for Universal’s most famous monster. Technically, this film is a remarkably well-made, with extraordinary set design and unique camera work which provides Der Golem with a visually unique and interesting look and feel (Klaus Ming December 2009).