Filmed in Czechoslovakia, this French-language adaptation of the oft-filmed Jewish folk tale The Golem was one of the most expensive productions ever made in that country. The story, which some have cited as a precursor to Frankenstein, is set in Prague's Jewish Ghetto. Fearing an anti-Semitic pogrom at the hands of Emperor Rudolf (Harry Baur), Rabbi Jacob (Charles Dorat) magically brings a statue to life to protect his people from harm. Known as "Die Golem," the living statue (Ferdinand Hart) does indeed save the Jews from destruction, but in so doing becomes a creature of destruction itself -- until it is tamed by the one person who does not fear him. The American release print of The Golem retained most of its spectacle, but several of the more bloodcurdling scenes -- including a lengthy torture-chamber episode -- were removed.
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