Golem Of Prague

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Researched by: Z451

The Golem: How He Came Into the World (original German title: Der Golem, wie er in die Welt kam) is a 1920 silent horror film by Paul Wegener. It was directed by Carl Boese and Wegener, written by Wegener and Henrik Galeen, and starred Wegener as the golem. The script was adapted from the 1915 novel The Golem by Gustav Meyrink. The film 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 he is infatuated with. It is a prequel to The Golem and is today the most widely known of the series, largely because it is the only one that isn't now lost.

Set in 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 brings his assistant Famulus to inform the elders of the community. The next day the Holy Roman Emperor Luhois signs a royal decree declaring that the Jews must leave the city by the end of the month. Luhois sends the knight Florian to deliver the decree. Loew meanwhile begins to devise a way of defending the Jews.

Upon arriving at the ghetto, the arrogant Florian falls in love with Miriam, Loew's daughter for whom Famulus shares affection. Loew talks Florian into reminding Luhois that it is he who predicts disasters and tells the horoscopes of the emperor, and requests an audience with him. Having courted with Miriam, Florian leaves. Loew begins to create a huge monster out of clay, the Golem, which he will bring to life to defend his people. Florian returns later with a request from Luhois for Loew to attend the Rose Festival at the palace. He shares a romantic moment with Miriam while Loew reveals to Famulus that he has secretly created the Golem, and requires his assistance to animate it. In an elaborate magical procedure, Loew and Famulus summon the demon Astaroth which is then enclosed in an amulet. The amulet it inserted into the Golem's chest and the creature comes to life. Famulus tames the Golem, and the Rabbi uses it as a household servant.

When Loew is summoned to the palace for the festival, he brings the Golem with him to impress the audience. Florian meanwhile slips away from the court to meet Miriam, whose house is being guarded by Famulus under Loew's instruction. Back at the palace the court is both terrified and intrigued by the arrival of the Golem. Impressed, Luhois asks to see more supernatural feats by Loew. Loew projects a magical screen showing the history of the Jews, instructing his audience not to make a noise. Upon the arrival of Ahasuerus the wandering Jew, the court begins to laugh and the palace suddenly crumbles. As the building collapses around them, the Golem intervenes and props up the falling ceiling, saving the court. As a sign of gratitude Luhois pardons the Jews and allows them to stay in the city.

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