ⓘ Le Golem


ⓘ Le Golem

In a Prague ghetto, poor Jews find themselves oppressed by Rudolf II, Holy Roman Emperor Harry Baur which leads to talk among the Jews of re-awakening the Golem who is being held in an attic by Rabbi Jacob Charles Dorat. During a food riot Rudolphs mistress, the Countess Strada Germaine Aussey, is rescued by the enamored De Trignac Roger Cuchesne, who gets hurt in the process. De Trignac is taken to Rabbi Jacobs house by his wife Rachel Jany Holt. When Rudolph gets engaged to his cousin Isabel of Spain, it angers Strada who charms De Trignac to steal Jacobs Golem.

Friedrich Gaston Jacquest, the prefect of the police informs Rudolph of the Golems disappearance. Rabbi Jacob is brought into the palace by Rudolph and told if any Jews are found in relation with the Golems disappearance, then they will be hung. Rachel seeks De Trignac to aid Jacobs escape from the castle. De Trignac offers what he claims to be Charlemagnes sword for Jacobs release. After Jacob and De Trignac leave, Rudolph wanders his palace where he meets up with the Golem. After a failed polite gesture to the statue, Rudolph attacks it with his sword and has it chained to the walls of his dungeon. Rudolph then demands all Jewish leaders be imprisoned and executed, including Jacob. Rachel had learned previously from her Jacob that when a beast roars the Golem will awake. As people enter the palace to honour Rudolph, Rachel gets the lions near the Golems cell to roar. Rachel carves the Hebrew word "emet", meaning truth on the Golems forehead which brings the creature to life.

The Golem snaps his chains and causes panic through the palace along with the released lions. Chancellor Lang, Friedrich and many other of Rudolphs other advisors are attacked and killed by the Golem while Rudolph escapes the palace. Jacob erases the first Hebrew letter on the Golems head which now spells "dead" making the Golem disintegrate while Rudolphs benevolent brother Mathias approaches Prague.


1. Production

The original screenplay was written by Jiei Voskovec and Jan Werich based on their play Golem. Duvivier turned down their script, wrote his own screenplay, but kept parts of the original in, for which he was successfuly sued by Voskovec and Werich. The film was shot at Barrandov Studios in Prague.


2. Cast

  • Germaine Aussey as Countess Catherine Strada
  • Stanislav Neumann as Daniel
  • Harry Baur as Rudolph II
  • Charles Dorat as Rabbi Jacob
  • Roger Duchense as Trignac
  • Raymond Aimos as Toussaint
  • Roger Karl as Chancellor Lang
  • Ferdinand Hart as the Golem
  • Gaston Jacquet as Friedrich
  • Karel Schleichert as Alchemyst
  • Truda Grosslichtova as Madame Benoitova
  • Jany Holt as Rachel

3. Release

The French premiere was in Le Paris cinema at Champs Elysees, Paris. The movie is a sequel to Paul Wegeners 1920 film The Golem: How He Came into the World. The film opened in Britain in 1937 with a running time that was cut to 83 minutes. It was then reissued the next year under the title The Legend of Prague with a running time of 70 minutes.

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