[[quoteright:350:http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/Sherlock_Jr_5082.jpg]]
[[caption-width-right:350:Buster [[ReadTheFreakingManual reads the manual]] and tries out a [[MasterOfDisguise disguise]].]]

->''While employed as a moving picture operator in a small town theater he was also studying to be a detective.''
-->-- '''intertitle'''

This 1924 Creator/BusterKeaton film is an oddity -- longer than the average comedy short but not long enough to be a feature film, it's an AffectionateParody of the 1922 Creator/JohnBarrymore film ''SherlockHolmes'', with Buster playing a movie projectionist and would-be sleuth. Framed for theft by a romantic rival and unable to prove his innocence, the protagonist goes back to the movie theater where he works, dozes off next to the projector, and dreams that he is Sherlock, Jr., the World's Greatest Detective.

Today, the movie is best remembered for the sequence in which the projectionist's ghostly dream avatar walks into the movie screen, where a series of jump cuts places him in embarrassing and dangerous situations. These scenes may have inspired or influenced Creator/WoodyAllen's ''Film/ThePurpleRoseOfCairo'' (in which a character from a Depression-era romantic comedy steps off the screen into the real world), the Creator/ArnoldSchwarzenegger film ''Film/LastActionHero'' (in which a young boy enters an action movie and brings the hero into reality), and the [[WesternAnimation/LooneyTunes Merrie Melodies]] short "WesternAnimation/DuckAmuck" (in which DaffyDuck is tormented by an animator).

The dream concept gave Keaton leeway to push the boundaries of his filmmaking. He takes the opportunity to recreate some classic vaudeville stunts, including one startling moment when he appears to jump through another actor's torso. The high-society setting of the dream also gave him an excuse to use more luxurious sets and costumes than was usual in his films.

This film is available through [[http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=3147358394537366471#docid=-8074699069179823154 Google video.]]
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!! ''Sherlock Jr.'' provides examples of:
* AffectionateParody: Buster's dapper detective is based on JohnBarrymore's portrayal of SherlockHolmes in his eponymous 1922 film.
* AllJustADream
* BabiesEverAfter: The end of ''Hearts and Pearls'', the film within the film.
* BadAss: Creator/BusterKeaton, in real life. When they filmed the shot where [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nT5vNb7NBk the stream from a railroad water tower washes him off the spout and onto the tracks]], he landed badly and got up complaining of a headache. After a drink and a short lie down, he continued filming. Years later, an X-ray revealed that he had broken his neck without noticing.
** Also see DeadFootLeadfoot, below.
* BadGuysPlayPool
* BananaPeel: causes Keaton to do an enormous pratfall
* BeyondTheImpossible: Sherlock Jr. appears to jump ''through'' both his disguised assistant and the wall behind him, and Gillette spins around and walks away immediately afterward. This, like the quick change, is a stunt Keaton learned in vaudeville, but unlike the quick change this gag is not fully explained within the film.
* BrickJoke: The exploding "13" ball.
* ButYouWereThereAndYouAndYou: All of the characters in the framing story appear in the dream sequence in analogous roles.
* TheButlerDidIt
* ChangingClothesIsAFreeAction: The hero [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WLfKI99oYw performs a quick change on camera]] by literally [[spoiler: jumping through a hoop]], but we watch him set it up in advance (though most first-time viewers probably won't realize what they're seeing until the payoff).
* ChaseScene
* ChekhovsGun: The 13 Ball.
* ClearTheirName: The Girl succeeds in discovering who stole her father's watch.
* DeadFootLeadfoot: Sorta -- the hero hops onto the handlebars of a motorcycle. Shortly afterward the driver (still alive) falls off, but the 'cycle keeps going. Keaton rides a speeding motorcycle while perched on the handlebars for this sequence, without realizing that the driver fell off until shortly before the crash.
* DeathTrap: The villains rig a billiards room with an exploding pool ball, a poisoned drink, and a falling ax controlled by a hidden trigger.
* DoubleTake: Sherlock Jr. performs an epic take when he realizes he's riding the handlebars of a driverless motorcycle.
* DreamSequence: Most of the film.
* DynamicEntry: Sherlock Jr. arrives at the shack where the girl is being held captive.
* FadeToBlack: At the end, the hero watches the [[ShowWithinAShow movie within the movie]] for tips on how to treat his sweetheart. Imitating the onscreen action, he gives the girl a ring, kisses her ... and is left scratching his head in bewilderment when a fade to black is followed by BabiesEverAfter.
* [[ShowWithinAShow Film-Within-A-Film]]: The hero falls asleep watching a melodramatic film, ''Hearts and Pearls; or, The Lounge Lizard's Lost Love'', which influences his dream.
* {{Frameup}}: The projectionist takes the fall for the local sheik's misdeed.
* FramingDevice: The "waking life" sequences that introduce the characters and scenario of the hero's dream, and to which we return for the film's end.
* IHaveYouNowMyPretty
* IncrediblyObviousTail: When the book said "Shadow your man closely," it didn't mean ''that'' [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ech3Syf41LE closely]].
* InstantCostumeChange: the vaudeville quick-change gag jumping out the window.
* TheKlutz: In both his waking and dream life, the hero has a tendency to walk into doors.
* LiteralMinded: "Shadow your man closely."
* LoveTriangle: The Projectionist, the Girl, and the Local Sheik
* MadeOfExplodium: I don't know what the 13 ball is made of, but dropping it is a bad idea.
* MasterOfDisguise: Subverted with the hero in both waking and dream life.
** Played straight with Gillette.
* MirrorRoutine: A variation -- Sherlock Jr. appears to be standing before a full-length mirror, then walks through what is actually a doorway between two identical rooms.
* PinballProjectile: The hero performs amazing trick shots while playing pool with the bad guys in order to '''miss''' (sometimes just barely) the 13 ball.
** [[spoiler:And then he actually hits the 13 ball... which doesn't explode, because he's switched it back with the real one.]]
* PoisonedChaliceSwitcheroo
* ThePratfall: when Keaton slips on a BananaPeel.
* PunchedAcrossTheRoom: Possibly justified, since the assailant had just been flung off a speeding motorcycle.
* RailroadTracksOfDoom
* ReadTheFreakingManual: Subverted -- the projectionist [[LiteralMinded faithfully]] [[IncrediblyObviousTail obeys]] the dictates of ''How To Be a Detective.''
* SomebodySetUpUsTheBomb: The bad guys' exploding pool ball is turned against them during the climactic chase.
* StealthPun: The title card introducing Sherlock Jr.'s helper. To get the whole joke, you need to know that [[spoiler: Gillette, Gem, and Ever-Ready are brands of razor blades, and the first actor to play SherlockHolmes on the stage was named William Gillette]].
-->His assistant --
--->Gillette.
-->A Gem who was Ever-Ready in a bad scrape.
* StickySituation
* TakeTheWheel: Sherlock Jr. briefly hands the steering wheel off to the girl so he can throw the exploding pool ball at his pursuers.
* ThirteenIsUnlucky: The exploding pool ball.
* TrappedInTVLand: The projectionst dreams that he walks through the theater and into the movie screen, where he becomes part of the film.
* WhatHappenedToTheMouse: What happened to the detective that the thugs had hanging in their hideout?
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