CINECON 9/2-6 Featuring Lost Chaplain Film!



A Thief Catcher (Keystone, 1914), featuring a previously unknown performance by silent comedy star Charlie Chaplin, will have its west coast re-premiere during the 46th annual Cinecon Classic Film Festival at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood California over Labor Day Weekend, September 2-6, 2010

Chaplin is officially credited with appearing in thirty-five films during his year at Keystone in 1914, but he claimed in various interviews that he had also played bit roles as a cop and a barber while at the studio–but he did not name the films, and although there has been some speculation about the possibility of additional Chaplin-Keystone appearances, none has turned up until now. Film collector Paul Gierucki found a 16mm film print in a trunk at a Taylor, Michigan, antique store last year. “I could tell it was a Keystone comedy, so I haggled and got it for $100,” says Gierucki, but he didn’t get around to looking at the print for several months. When he did put it on a projector this past March, he was astonished when Chaplin appeared as a cop about six minutes into the film for an extended two-minute cameo. “My heart stopped,” Gierucki recalls. “I recognized him immediately.”

Starring Keystone’s famed comic villains Ford Sterling and Mack Swain, with support from Edgar Kennedy, A Thief Catcher was in production between January 5-26, 1914, soon after Chaplin arrived at the Keystone studio, and it represents the second or third screen role for the soon-to-be world famous comedy star.

A Thief Catcher is one of nearly forty rare and unusual films to be screened during the five-day Cinecon film festival, and will be shown on Saturday afternoon during a themed film preservation segment of the program. Other titles scheduled include Harold Lloyd’s campus comedy The Freshman (1925); The King of Burlesque (1936) starring Alice Faye and Warner Baxter; The Sea Wolf (1930) the last film of screen star Milton Sills before his untimely death at age 48; Tennessee’s Pardner (1916) with “eternal flapper” Fannie Ward; and Cadet Girl (1941) a pre WW II romp starring tragic pinup girl Carole Landis.

In addition to the film screenings, Cinecon offers a movie memorabilia and collectibles show during the festival at the Renaissance Hollywood Hotel, 1755 North Highland Avenue in Hollywood.

For more details and registration information visit the Cinecon Classic Film Festival web site at

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