In a dystopian world, the people are split into two groups. The working class live underground, working arduous, back-breaking shifts in a giant factory before trudging home to their identical, depressing homes. The affluent upper class live lives of luxury, spending their time frolicking in the pleasure gardens amongst fountains and peacocks and attending shows, utterly oblivious to the hardship that keeps their way of life going, just beneath their feet. This world is run by Joh Frederson, a successful businessman who created this society. One day Joh’s son – brilliantly named Freder Fredersen – sees a strange girl showing a group of children from the working district what life is like on the surface. Freder heads below to find the girl and, upon seeing the horrific lifestyle of the workers, he sets about assisting a revolution. Meanwhile, Rotwang – an eccentric inventor who loved Freder’s deceased mother before Joh married her – has built a robotic Machine-Man who can be configured to look like anyone. Joh hopes to use this creation to quell the mutinous rumblings below.