By Chris Kavan - 07/17/10 at 11:36 AM CT
Have you bought an old farmhouse lately? Do you like visiting garage sales, second hand stores and flea markets? Do you have grandparents who squirrel things away?
If so - you might make the next great cinematic discovery by uncovering a long-lost film. Case in point: A Thief Catcher. This 1914 Keystone Kop comedy was long-thought lost to history. A film historian, Paul Gierucki happened upon the 10-minute short at an antique sale in Taylor, Michigan. Even more important - it contained a brief cameo by Charlie Chaplin - a hence unverified cameo - and a bonus to Chaplin fans everywhere.
Case in point #2: Back in 2008 a contractor was about to demolish a barn in Nelson, New Hampshire when he came across seven reels of old nitrate film and along with an old projector. He donated them to the Keene State College Film Society who went through the damaged prints to discover one of the films was When Lincoln Paid. Lost for 97 years, the30-minute two-reeler by Francis Ford (older brother of John Ford), who also played Lincoln, was soon restored
Case in point #3: After 80 years, key scenes from Fritz Lang's Metropolis was found in a Buenos Aires museum. The movie flopped when it premiered in 1927, but is now considered a silent classic. The uncut film has been sent by request of the Terra film distribution company in 1928, and had been passed around ever since.
This all just goes to show that you never know when or where you will discover a piece of history long thought lost. This can go for art or important historical documents as well. So next time you visit grandma or wander into a antique shop or inherit some old property - check around, you might stumble across a piece of history.