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Lost Charlie Chaplin film found at antiques fair

London: A long lost silent Hollywood film featuring legendary actor Charlie Chaplin has been discovered at an antiques fair.

The comedy, called `A Thief Catcher`, was made in 1914 and has Chaplin playing a buffoon policeman.

The 10-minute movie was discovered by the American cinema historian, Paul Gierucki, who bought a can of old film marked `Keystone` at an antiques sale in Michigan, a news daily reported.

He assumed it was just another Keystone Cops movie and didn`t watch the 16mm reel for months. When he finally looked at the film, which is in good condition, he was amazed to see what looked like Chaplin emerging from the bushes in a police uniform, several sizes too big, armed with a nightstick.

He showed it to a fellow film collector, Richard Roberts, who said, "I looked at it two seconds and said `Yep, it`s Chaplin.` Even though he`s dressed as a cop, the rest of the character is still there ? the moustache, the walk, the mannerism. This is a character he`d been doing for quite a while."

The movie was made by Mack Sennett for his Keystone film company which produced a series of films about a group of incompetent policemen, the Keystone Cops, between 1912 and 1917.

`A Thief Catcher` is to be screened for the first time in nearly a century, at the annual Slapsticon film festival in Arlington, Virginia.

PTI

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