One of Charlie Chaplin’s earliest works returned to the big screen Saturday evening after being forgotten for decades.
The short, silent film, “A Thief Catcher,” from 1914, holds only a brief cameo by the legendary actor shot before he became a household name in later silent films. But he is there nonetheless, playing the role of a Keystone cop with all his familiar twitches and his trademark mustache.
Film historian Paul Gierucki found the film by a fluke: The movie buff happened to be browsing an antiques shop in Taylor, Michigan, when he found the 16 mm reel hidden inside a chest.
“A Thief Catcher” will be released on DVD later this year, and will be historically preserved in the Library of Congress.