Ford Sterling

Int.: Ford Sterling, Mack Swain , Edgar Ken-nedy, Charles Chaplin, William Hauber, George Jeske (?), Rube Miller; Prod.: Mack Sennett per Keystone Film Company; Pri. pro.: 19 febbraio 1914. 35mm

T. it.: Italian title. T. int.: International title. T. alt.: Alternative title. Sog.: Story. Scen.: Screenplay. F.: Cinematography. M.: Editing. Scgf.: Set Design. Mus.: Music. Int.: Cast. Prod.: Production Company. L.: Length. D.: Running Time. f/s: Frames per second. Bn.: Black e White. Col.: Color. Da: Print source

Film Notes

A Thief Catcher is a Ford Sterling comedy that features Chaplin in a brief appearance as a Keystone Cop. Production on this comedy took place from January 15-26, 1914; Chaplin’s scene was filmed after the completion of Kid Auto Races at Venice, Cal. and Mabel’s Strange Predicament, but before Between Showers. In 1915, with Chaplin’s great fame at the Essanay Film Manufacturing Company, A Thief Catcher was reissued and billed by several cinemas as a Chaplin comedy. For reasons that remain unclear, A Thief Catcher was deemed an erroneous entry in Chaplin’s filmography by H.D. Waley, Technical Director of the British Film Institute, who published his pioneering research in 1938. The American film historian, Theodore Huff, subsequently created his important Chaplin filmography based on Waley’s work. Huff’s Charlie Chaplin, published in 1951, was the standard biographical work on Chaplin for decades. Subsequent Chaplin filmographers have followed Huff in many respects, despite the knowledge that Chaplin himself recalled that he had once appeared as a Keystone Cop early in his tenure with the company.
A Thief Catcher fascinates as Chaplin’s policeman anticipates his early masterwork Easy Street (1917). A 16mm print of the film was acquired by film collector Paul E. Gierucki in June 2010.

Jeffrey Vance

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