German stage and film star Paul Wegener appeared in three different screen versions of the Gustav Meyrink story The Golem. The second, filmed in 1920, was subtitled Wie er in de Welt (How He Came into the World). The film is based on the old European legend concerning a rabbi who, wishing to protect the people of his Ghetto from Christian persecution, builds a Frankenstein-like monster out of clay. The Golem comes to life, only to fall in love with the rabbi's daughter. The creature also goes on a rampage against the Gentiles in the community, but is thwarted by a little girl who immobilizes him by removing the Star of David amulet around his neck. The anti-Semitic elements of The Golem are not as pronounced here as they would have been had this German/Russian film been lensed during the Hitler regime. Visually, the film is a garden of delights, with superb sets and stunning photography by Karl Freund. The story would be filmed again in France in 1936 and in Czechoslovakia in 1953.
- Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide