The English-language title of this German musical satire is The Man Who Was Sherlock Holmes. That immensely popular German star Hans Albers plays Morris Flint, a slaphappy private detective who enjoys pretending to be Holmes; likewise, Flint's assistant, Macky McPherson (Heinz Rühmann), gets a charge out of posing as Dr. Watson. During the 1936 World Exposition in Paris, "Holmes" and "Watson" come to the aid of two young ladies in their efforts to retrieve a valuable stamp. Morris Flint is arrested in the course of his investigation, on a charge of impersonating Sherlock Holmes (evidently a grave offense in Paris, given the solemnity of the subsequent trial). Our hero is saved at the last minute by a mysterious "Laughing Man" who has been weaving in and out of the picture. The mystery man turns out to be Arthur Conan Doyle, who jovially gives Flint permission to continue impersonating Holmes -- so long as he makes it clear that he's an impostor. Interestingly enough, The Man Who Was Sherlock Holmes was filmed without any permission of any kind from the Conan Doyle estate.
by Hal Erickson synopsis