Lost Chaplin Film To Be Screened At Virginia Film Festival
A 16MM print of a 1914 Keystone Cops short, purchased last year at a Michigan antiques sale, turned out to contain an early ‘lost’ 3 minute appearance by Charlie Chaplin as a bumbling Keystone Cop.
Film historian Paul Gierucki thought the Keystone short ‘A Thief Catcher’ he bought was of no particular significance and did not watch it for months after acquiring it. When he finally did lace it up it he was startled to see a figure emerge from the bushes whom he was quite certain was Chaplin, and consultation with another historian confirmed the mustachioed cop’s identity.
The discovery is the first new addition to Chaplin’s roster in 60 years. The film screens this weekend at the annual Slapsticon festival at the Rosslyn Spectrum Theater in Arlington, VA, just outside Washington, DC. Gierucki, head of restorations for CineMuseum LLC, plans to make ‘A Thief Catcher’ available to other festivals and on DVD. Hopefully, he’ll keep digging and will turn up that darned elusive director’s cut of ‘The Magnificent Ambersons’.