A 1914 silent film, A Thief Catcher, featuring Charlie Chaplin, has been discovered at an antiques fair. American cinema historian Paul Gierucki found a can of an old film marked ‘Keystone’ at a Michigan sale. Months later, he was amazed to see Chaplin emerging from the bushes in a too-big police uniform, armed with a nightstick.
The 10-minute movie was made by Mack Sennett for his Keystone film company, which produced a series of films about a group of incompetent policemen, the Keystone Cops, between 1912 and 1917. The film will be screened for the first time in nearly a century at the annual Slapsticon Film Festival in Arlington, Virginia.