In its first sequel, “The Golem and the Dancing Girl” (1917), a regular modern guy puts on a golem costume to scare the girl he loves. Wacky! But this film, originally titled “The Golem: How He Came Into the World,” is set in medieval times and is essentially the golem's origin story. Wegener, who wrote (with Henrik Galeen), directed (with Carl Boese) and stars as the title character, intelligently keeps the golem out of the love story this time.
Rabbi Loew (Albert Steinruck) of 16th century Prague, learns from consulting the stars that his people are in danger; to protect them, he decides to build a golem. His assistant (Max Kronert) helps, which requires some time out from romancing the rabbi's daughter Miriam (Lyda Salmonova, Wegener's frequent collaborator, and eventually his widow). This proves disastrous for him, since a foppish fellow named Knight Florian (Lothar Muthel) quickly takes his place in Miriam's affections.
Unaware of all this, the rabbi and his assistant take the golem to the emperor, who is threatening to expel all the Jews from Prague. With the help of the golem and his own “magic arts” (as the emperor dubs them), the rabbi turns the tables, threatens everyone in the castle, and gets the emperor to rescind the expulsion. While the Jews celebrate, the rabbi's assistant catches Miriam snogging with Florian and, enraged, sets the golem on them. Mayhem ensues!