A young projectionist sits in his booth reading a book detailing the craft of detective work, hoping to one day leave his current profession to become a private sleuth. After his shift, he buys some small gifts for his girlfriend. When he arrives at her house, he is soon framed by a rival suitor for stealing a necklace and is prohibited from seeing her again. Returning to his job dejected, he falls asleep during the feature and leaps onto the screen becoming the hero of the detective story in which his dream girl and his rival are players. Sherlock, Jr. showed the genius of the silent clown Buster Keaton where he jammed a narrative full of inspired comic gags into a 45 minute movie. His delightful gem of a movie inspired countless whimsical filmmakers, most clearly Woody Allen's The Purple Rose of Cairo, and cemented Keaton's status as one of the most talented movie maker of the silent era, even if it is not fully realized today.