“Her Friend the Bandit”: The Only Missing Chaplin Film
It is a testament to the popularity of Chaplin that this is the only one of his dozens and dozens of films to now be lost. His films were so popular that they proliferated and remained in constant circulation. This is the only that has seemingly fallen through the cracks. (There are a few spurious online hoaxes misidentified as Her Friend the Bandit, but those have all been quickly debunked. They’re all either Billy West clips or clips from other Chaplin films. )
The best sources say this film was directed by Mack Sennett (ignore speculations that it was co-directed by its two stars). The plot has Chaplin as a bandit usurping the identity of Count de Beans (Charlie Murray) in order to make a play for Mabel. And truly what more do ya need?
For more on silent and slapstick comedy don’t miss my new book: Chain of Fools: Silent Comedy and Its Legacies from Nickelodeons to Youtube, just released by Bear Manor Media, also available from amazon.com etc etc etc
To find out about the history of vaudeville, consult No Applause, Just Throw Money: The Book That Made Vaudeville Famous, available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and wherever nutty books are sold.