How do you follow up a newly found John Ford film?
How about a newly found Charlie Chaplin film sound?
That’s just what was found at an antique sale in Michigan. The film, A Thief Catcher, doesn’t star the silent legend, but it features a rather extensive cameo from him, as he reprises his legendary role as the Keystone Cop in this Keystone comedy clocking in at just around 10 minutes.
The film was originally released in 1914, and was, like many films from that era, thought to be lost to history. It stars Ford Sterling, Mack Swain and Edgar Kennedy, and as the Palm Beach Post put it, ‘finding a lost Chaplin appearance can be roughly compared to finding a lost Beethoven quartet.’
I second those sentiments.
While not quite as massive a find as a full length John Ford film, this is still one hell of a discovery, and one that should have any cinephile jumping for nerdy joy. I know I sure as hell am. What does this mean for the Janus release of Chaplin’s filmography? Does this film count as part of that deal? I sure hope so, because if there is any group that I would trust with this film, no one beats out Janus. Here’s hoping it gets picked up, because this would be a mighty fine addition to any possible Criterion release.
Source: Palm Beach Post