“When Uranus enters the house of the planets, Asteroth will reclaim his instrument. Then the lifeless clay will turn against the master, intent on deceit and destruction.” Don’t you hate it when lifeless clay does that? Join this episode’s Grue-Crew – Whitney Collazo, Chad Hunt, Daphne Monary-Ernsdorff, Joseph Perry, and Jeff Mohr – as they investigate the mythology of The Golem (1920).
Decades of Horror: The Classic Era
Episode 99 – The Golem (1920)
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In 16th-century Prague, a rabbi creates the Golem – a giant creature made of clay. Using sorcery, he brings the creature to life in order to protect the Jews of Prague from persecution.IMDb
- Directors: Carl Boese, Paul Wegener
- Writers: Henrik Galeen, Paul Wegener
- Cinematography: Karl Freund
- Art Direction: Hans Poelzig, Kurt Richter
- Art Department: Edgar G. Ulmer, set designer (uncredited)
- Albert Steinrück as Rabbi Loew
- Paul Wegener as The Golem
- Lyda Salmonova as Miriam, the Rabbi’s Daughter
- Ernst Deutsch as Loew’s assistant
- Lothar Müthel as Knight Florian
- Otto Gebühr as Emperor
- Dore Paetzold as The Emperor’s Mistress
- Hans Stürm as Rabbi Jehuda
- Max Kronert as The Gatekeeper
- Greta Schröder as A Lady of the Court
- Loni Nest as Little Girl
- Fritz Feld as A Jester
The Golem is the Classic Era Grue-Crew’s seventh passage into the realm of silent screams. Like many silent films, there are several different versions of The Golem available. Your Grue-Crew focused on the 75-minute restored edition with some discussion on the 102-minute version. Daphne enjoyed The Golem, pointing out how many of its themes have affected subsequent films. Whitney sees it as a magical and beautiful story about a megalomaniac and, oh yeah, you know The Golem is part of the zeitgeist when it’s been featured on an episode of The Simpsons “Halloween Treehouse of Horror.” The film takes Joseph back to the days of clandestinely checking out a book on monster movies from the bookmobile, his first encounter with The Golem. He now loves the movie and had forgotten the size of the rampage on which the creature goes. Chad recalls seeing stills in Famous Monsters of Filmland and now sees the Golem as the first superhero. And as we all know, Chad loves a monster-on-the-rampage film. Jeff is impressed with the village and the sets the filmmakers built and was engrossed with the creature’s mythology.
Your Decades of Horror Classic Era Grue-Crew highly recommends this film. As of this writing, The Golem is available to stream from various platforms and on a Blu-ray disc from Kino Lorber.
Gruesome Magazine’s Decades of Horror: The Classic Era records a new episode every two weeks. In the next episode, their 100th episode, they will discuss a movie chosen by all the members of the Grue-Crew, Frankenstein (1931). What could be better?
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