Now, about a 30 minute cut of the film has surfaced online, as reported by ScreenCrush.
The film, was written, directed and stars Lewis. In it, the actor, known for physical comedy, plays a German clown during World War II named Helmut Doork, who keeps children entertained before leading them into gas chambers.
Harry Shearer, of “Simpsons” fame, is one of the few people to have seem the movie in its entirety. In a 1992 interview with Spy magazine, he called the film “so drastically wrong… so wildly misplaced, that you could not, in your fantasy of what it might be like, improve on what it really is.”
The rough compilation of clips on YouTube was made by grabbing footage from a German documentary about the film, while other sections are filled in with title cards.
“The Day the Clown Cried” was shot in Paris and Sweden in 1972 and, at one point, was expected to play at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival. The entire film archive exists in tact: In August, it was revealed that the Library of Congress acquired it, only on the condition that it would not be shown until June of 2024.