Katchem Kate

Created by Dell Henderson

Silent film star Mabel Normand starred as KATCHEM KATE in the eponymously titled comedy short Katchem Kate (1912), directed by Mack Sennett.

As private eye stuff goes, don’t get too excited — it’s essentially a typical silent era piece of fluff. The meagre plot — some amiable silliness about laundry girl Kate quitting shucking her dead end job to become a private eye, after answering a newspaper ad — is essentially an excuse for a lot of running around, while cramming in a few bits about Kate learning the ropes at a rather dubious detective school, and the pursuit of some nasty anarchists. There’s also  a fake mustache, a suspicious melon, some crossdressing and a mad bomber. It doesn’t really make much sense, but it all flies by pretty fast.

Whaddya expect for 11 minutes?


  • Does this count as a Canadian film? Both the director and Jack Pickford (Mary’s brother) were Canadian.


  • KATCHEM KATE | Watch it now!
    (aka “Katcherm Kate: Private Detective)
    (1912, Biograph Company)
    Premiere: June 25, 1912
    Silent, black & white
    11 minutes
    Written by Dell Henderson
    Directed by Mack Sennett
    Starring Mabel Normand
    Also starring Jack Pickford, Fred Mace, Vivian Prescott, Anthony O’Sullivan, Sylvia Ashton, Charles Avery, Edward Dillon, Frank Opperman
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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