I’ve been a big fan of Charlie Chaplin’s for a long time, since reading his autobiography in high school. Recently I’ve been collecting his feature films on DVD and getting reacquainted with the genius that created the Little Tramp and The Great Dictator.
And now it seems that last year a silent movie buff found a copy of a lost early movie short called The Thief Catcher featuring a pre-tramp Chaplin filmed in 1914. Some very lucky festival lovers this weekend will be watching the film that probably hasn’t been viewed for a little under 100 years.
It’s very exciting, not just for fans like me, the rediscovery of this early gem changes movie history and given valuable insight into the creation of the beloved Tramp character.
“Even though he’s dressed as a cop, the rest of the character is still here – the mustache, the walk, the mannerism. …this is a character that he’d been doing for quite a while.”
What amazes me is that even though Charlie Chaplin is so well-loved and everything about him from early on was well documented and kept, still things like The Thief Catcher can be discovered in antique shops, garage sales and car boot sales for $100. I guess there’s always hope of for me of finding some amazing gem out there, I just have to keep looking.