!!Examples of type 1 (characters involved in production)

* ''Film/SoulsForSale'' is a rather unique instance of this trope. It is a straight type 1, as the heroine is an actress who gets a big part in a movie about a circus. However, additionally to this, the heroine visits the sets of several ''real films'' that were in production at the same time ''Souls for Sale'' was. Among the sets she visits are ''A Woman in Paris'' (where she's an extra directed by Creator/CharlieChaplin himself) and ''Film/{{Greed}}'' (where she fails to get a part in Erich von Stroheim's production).
* The plot of ''Film/TheCallbackQueen'' (2013) is set in London's film industry and hinges on a film adapatation of a fictional fantasy novel, 'Prince of Chaos', with which the characters are involved.
* ''Film/{{Matinee}}'' (1993) which counts in all four categories due to being structured around the premiere of the atomic monster movie ''[[BMovie MANT!]]'' in Key West -- during the ''[[ColdWar Cuban Missile Crisis]]!''
** It's a complete film-within-a-film made by Creator/JoeDante of ''Film/{{Gremlins}}'' fame. See it [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6y2Lbhwl23M here]] and [[http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aT8hzyE_CRI here]].
* The film version of ''RosencrantzAndGuildensternAreDead'' has the players acting out ''Theatre/{{Hamlet}}'' for the title characters, while acting out ''The Murder of Gonzago'' with puppets who are themselves acting out the play-within-a-play with finger puppets. A show within a show within a show within a show.
* During ''Film/ThreeAmigos'', characters watch one of the title character actors' silent films.
* ''Theatre/KissMeKate''
* ''Theatre/NoisesOff'' probably has the highest ratio of Show Within A Show to, well, show in the history of film.
* ''The Running Man'' TV show is the setting of most of ''Film/TheRunningMan'' film.
* ''MoulinRouge'' is a musical movie depicting a stage performance of a movie about a man singing about a man writing the story of his involvement in a musical about a man whose involvement in a musical mirrors the writer's. Honestly.
* In the 1998 film ''Lucia'', the protagonists simultaneously prepare to perform the opera, ''Lucia di Lammermoor'', while reliving the roles of their characters.
* The film version of ''Film/{{Bewitched}}'' is about a remake of the original TV series and the people in it -- one of whom is an actual witch.
* The fictional ''Galaxy Quest'' TV show in the real movie ''Film/GalaxyQuest'' falls under each type of this trope, including Type 1; the film centers on the washed up cast members of the show.
* Done in ''{{Ararat}}'', a movie about someone making a movie about the Armenian genocide. Most critics and viewers agreed that it represents a rare case of the "movie within a movie" actually being better than the rest of the movie.
* In the Adam Sandler movie ''FunnyPeople'', Jason Schwartzman's character acts in a TV comedy series called ''Yo Teach''.
* In ''FindingNeverland'', the main character and several secondary characters are working on ''FindingNeverland''. Also a Type 3 (see below).
* ''Film/VForVendetta'' has both Lewis Prothero's and Gordon Deitrich's shows, the former being the Voice of London, a part of the facist regime controlling the city, and the latter being a comedy SketchShow.
* Porn movie ''Fly Girls'' is about the guerilla shooting of a porn film on a plane. The actors and actresses all play parodies of themselves. It's actually really funny.
* ''Film/TheAdventuresOfBaronMunchausen'' begins with a play about the eponymous Baron, performing his {{tall tale}}s in a burned out city; when the real Baron von Munchausen shows up to "correct" their portayal of him and his erstwhile companions, to whom the actors bear a striking resemblance.
* ''Film/TheTallGuy'' features Creator/JeffGoldblum as a struggling actor who quits his job as sidekick to popular, and abusive offstage, comedian Ron Anderson (Rowan Atkinson in a hilarious [[SelfEffacingHumor self-parody]]). He auditions unsuccessfully for parts in several plays, and finally lands the lead role in a musical version of ''TheElephantMan'' entitled, according to his agent, "'Elephant', I think; with an exclamation point, presumably".
* ''Film/RoboCop1987'' has three:
** One an action show about a lawman, ''T.J. Lazer'', which is the favorite show of Murphy's son.
** ''It's Not My Problem'', is a comedy of sorts.
-->"I'd buy that for a dollar!"
** ''Media Break'', which also appears in the sequels.
* ''Film/ForgettingSarahMarshall'' where Sarah is the star of ''Crime Scene - Scene of the Crime''. Jason Segel's character also writes music for the show.
* ''Film/TheHoliday'' features a movie trailer for a fictional film called "Deception" starring James Franco and Lindsay Lohan
* ''Friends with Benefits'' features a romantic comedy starring Jason Segel and Rashida Jones.
* ''InlandEmpire'' centers([[MindScrew ?]]) around the production of the movie ''On High In Blue Tomorrows'', an alleged romance that starts to mess with the main character's mind.[[spoiler: possibly due to a curse]] Certain sections of the film deal with ''Rabbits'', another project by David Lynch. As you'd expect from the man, it isn't cute. The absolutely deranged plot of both the show, the fake movie and the Film as a whole ensures you're not sure what level of reality they're on, and makes it hard to distinguish as types 1,3 or 4.
* In ''Film/HalloweenIIISeasonOfTheWitch'', the main character is watching tv in a bar and asks the owner to change the channel. The owner does so, and the movie playing next is ''Film/HalloweenII1981''.
* ''Film/BlazingSaddles'' has ''itself'' as the show-in-a-show: [[spoiler: at the end of the film, Sheriff Bart, the Waco Kid and Hedy "that's Hedley!" Lamarr go to a cinema to see [[MindScrew how their own film ends]].]]
* ''Film/TropicThunder'' begins with a series of trailers for fictional movies starring the film's main characters.
* The ''Franchise/{{Scream}}'' series has the ''Stab'' series, which act as ''Scream''[='=]s analogue to itself in terms of their influence. The first ''Stab'', featured in [[Film/{{Scream 2}} the second movie]], is [[PlotParallel based on the events of the first film]] (albeit with some artistic embellishment and [[HotterAndSexier extra titillation]]), is directed by Creator/RobertRodriguez[[note]]Who, in real life, directed ''Film/TheFaculty'', another film written by Kevin Williamson.[[/note]], and stars [[BeverlyHills90210 Tori Spelling]] as Sidney, Luke Wilson as Billy, [[Series/{{Friends}} David Schwimmer]] as Dewey, and HeatherGraham as Casey. [[Film/{{Scream 3}} The third film]], meanwhile, revolves around the production of ''Stab 3'', which the masked killer is trying to sabotage. By the events of ''Film/{{Scream 4}}'', the ''Stab'' series has become a FranchiseZombie with seven films, having abandoned all pretense of being BasedOnATrueStory after the third (Sidney sued to prevent any further use of the original characters) and gone into straight-out fantasy by the fifth (which included a TimeTravel plot). ''Scream 4'' begins with 2 characters watching ''Stab 7'', which begins with the characters watching ''Stab 6'', just to add to the MindScrew. This also means that for ''Stab 3'', there would have been new actors playing the actors who were in ''Scream 3'', new actors playing Sidney, Gale, and Dewey, and would have been about them trying to make the failed ''Stab 3''. It would have been [[UpToEleven a show within a show within a show]], and couldn't have made much sense.
* ''TopsyTurvy'' is about the writing and production of ''The Mikado''.
* ''TheTrumanShow'' is about the production of a TV show about the life of a man who doesn't realise he's on TV. Whilst he doesn't know, the rest of the "cast" do.
* ''Film/BadEducation'' is about two old friends/lovers, Ignacio and Enrique, who work together to film a script one of them wrote called "The Visit". "The Visit" chronicles the story of a {{transvestite}} named Ignacio/Zahara who attempts to {{blackmail}} a PedophilePriest who molested him/her. The script also includes [[WriteWhoYouKnow an account of Ignacio's and Enrique's boyhood love]].
* ''Film/{{Contempt}}'' (original French title: ''Le Mépris'') involves the troubles in making a film version of Homer's "Odyssey".
* ''Film/LivingInOblivion'' depicts the making of a low-budget independent film in the middle of New York City.
* In ''MulhollandDrive'' they audition for a movie called ''The Sylvia North Story''.
* ''ThePlayer'' depicts "Habeas Corpus" being pitched by writers to a producer, a detailed pitch almost as long as the film clip the audience ultimately sees.
* In ''Film/{{Super8}}'' a bunch of kids are producing an amateur film called "The Case".
* The kids in ''SonOfRambow'' are remaking ''[[{{Rambo}} First Blood]]''.
* ''Seven Psychopaths'' is the name of the screenplay Marty's writing in ''Film/SevenPsychopaths''.
* ''Salome's Last Dance'' presents the bulk of Oscar Wilde's play ''Theatre/{{Salome}}'' as a production mounted for Wilde himself by the staff of a London brothel, with the wild and wooly goings-on onstage entwining themselves with the offstage relationships between Wilde and two of the actors. Also a Type 3.
* The 1989 Meta-BMovie ''LobsterManFromMars'' is about an aspiring writer/director/producer's attempts to sell his homemade BMovie, "[[TitleDrop Lobster Man From Mars]]", to a studio. This is a rare example where the [[ShowWithinAShow Movie Within a Movie]] takes up the majority of the movie.
* The title character in ''Film/DickieRobertsFormerChildStar'' became famous on the show ''The Glimmer Gang'' and wants to star in Creator/RobReiner's upcoming movie ''Mr. Blake's Backyard''.

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!!Examples of type 2 (characters are fans)

* In ''Film/{{Idiocracy}}'', the idiotic populace of 2505 watches ''Ow, My Balls'', which is one GroinAttack after another. We see the unfortunate star of the show twice during the movie (other than in his show), and on both occasions, he suffers very painful "tributes" from fans who attempt to emulate the show.
* ''HomeAlone'' has the gangster movies ''Angels with Filthy Souls'' and ''Angels with Even Filthier Souls''.
* ''Starcrossed'' is a spoof, NoFourthWall-type SpeculativeFiction series loosely based on ''[[Franchise/StargateVerse Stargate]]'', in the independent movie ''A Dog's Breakfast'', written and directed by actor David Hewlett, who is better known for his role as Rodney [=McKay=] in ''Series/StargateAtlantis''. Hewlett intends to turn ''Starcrossed'' into a real web series.
* In ''{{Hairspray}}'', Tracy and Penny are huge fans of the Corny Collins Show, a regional American Bandstand-type show. This overlaps with Type 1 when Tracy gets a part on the show and supports Corny's dreams of integrating the show(instead of only permitting black performers to appear on "Negro Day").
* In the film version of ''Film/{{Matilda}}'', Matilda's family is a huge fan of ''Million Dollar Sticky'', a game show hosted by (or whose host is played by) Jon Lovitz, where contestants are painted with honey and then invited to roll around in money. Whatever cash sticks to them they get to keep.
* The plot of the film ''Film/GalaxyQuest'' involves certain "fans" of the show, namely a race of aliens who erroneously believe the show is real and worship the characters as heroes. Incidentally, the actions of said aliens are also what cause the film to fall under the other three types of this trope.
** The film also has a couple of traditional fanboy types. [[spoiler:They later turn out to be [[ChekhovsGunman Chekhov's Gunmen]]]]
* ''Film/CSATheConfederateStatesOfAmerica'' has several. "Runaways" is a parody of ''Series/{{Cops}}'' where police track down escaped slaves. "Leave it to Beulah" is a parody of old black-and-white sitcoms.

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!!Examples of type 3 (SWAS is plot point)

* The movie ''Film/SinginInTheRain'' is all about actors learning to cope with 'talkies'. Quite possibly the first movie to ever feature a movie within a movie (1952).
* In TheViewAskewniverse, there is ''Bluntman and Chronic'', a fictionalized superhero comic book version of Jay and Silent Bob. The two went to Hollywood in ''Film/JayAndSilentBobStrikeBack'' in order to prevent its leap to the big screen.
* All of Christopher Guest's mockumentaries follow this trope: the musical ''Red, White, and Blaine'' in ''Waiting for Guffman'', the dog show in ''Best in Show'', the memorial concert in ''A Mighty Wind'', and the ''Home for Purim'' movie in ''For Your Consideration''.
* ''Film/{{Zebraman}}'' is a Japanese film that features a cancelled television series by the same name.
* The very premise of the film ''Film/GalaxyQuest'' revolves around the fictional show of the same name. The plot centers around the cast members of the eponymous show, who are abducted by a race of aliens erroneously believing the show is real and worshiping the cast members as heroes.
* ''Nation's Pride'', a pro-Nazi movie, is a plot point in ''Film/InglouriousBasterds'', as it serves as a draw to top Nazi officials [[spoiler:including Hitler]] being in a certain movie theater in Nazi-occupied France... making them the perfect target for not one but ''two'' assassination plots.
** Interestingly enough, ''Nation's Pride'' is also included as BonusMaterial on the DVD, directed by Creator/EliRoth, one of the actors in the movie. (Does it count as Type 1 if the ''actors'' are connected, but not the characters?)
* In ''Film/FindingNeverland'', the production of ''PeterPan'' ends up marking a turning point for the characters, both on opening night (for James and Peter) and as part of a later, special production (for Emma, Sylvia, and Sylvia's other sons). Also a Type 1 (see above).
* German director Sönke Wortmann took this UpToEleven with the movie he made at film school. It's about a film student who makes a movie about a film student who himself makes a movie at film school. Appropriately, it's called "Drei D" (Three D). The Movie within the movie is called "Zwei D" (Two D).
* In ''Film/NurseBetty'' the main character witnesses a murder and experiences a fugue state, escaping into the comforting fantasy of a soap opera called "A Reason to Love". In her mind, she assumes the identity of one of the nurse characters in the daytime drama.
* In ''Midnight Movie'' the main killer comes from out of the Show Within A Show.

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!!Examples of type 4 (PlotParallel)

* The opening credits of ''ButchCassidyAndTheSundanceKid'' feature a silent film of the Hole in the Wall gang's exploits.
* The film ''Film/GalaxyQuest'' is something of a literal inversion of this in that the characters find themselves in a real life situation eerily resembling the show they starred in. Though there doesn't appear to be any direct PlotParallel.
* ''SherlockJr'' (1924) stars Creator/BusterKeaton, who falls asleep and dreams while working as a theater projectionist -- the movie plays a more upscale version of a real life theft he's wrongly accused of. He walks into the movie through the screen, and plays the brilliant detective he aspires to be.
* ''SevenPsychopaths'' is a combination of this and the third category. The main character, Marty, is writing a screenplay called ''Seven Psychopaths''. He and the other two mains spend most of the film discussing the screenplay (and in turn the film they're in), effectively deconstructing their own movie. The problems start when Marty's friend, Billy ([[spoiler:one - in fact ''two'' - of the titular psychopaths]]), takes a little too much control of the plot.
* Wu Luan puts on a play for the Empress's coronation in ''Film/LegendOfTheBlackScorpion'', ala ''Hamlet'', showing a dramatized version of the murder of his father. This doesn't just get the Emperor, the tension in the room implicates that everyone knows what he's on about.
* ''Film/CabinByTheLake'' was about a movie writer who started killing girls to get inspiration for his work. ''Return to Cabin by the Lake'' features the production of a movie based on the same killer's exploits. He commandeers the production by [[DeadPersonImpersonation impersonating an Assistant Director that he murdered]] to get creative control over his story and starts gradually killing off the crew.

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