Footage of Jerry Lewis’ Infamous Holocaust Movie ‘The Day the Clown Cried’ Has Surfaced Online

the day the clown cried jerry
Courtesy: YouTube

Few films have captured the imagination of film buffs quite like Jerry Lewis’ unreleased 1972 holocaust drama “The Day the Clown Cried.”

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.

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  1. chris says:

    Jerr yLewis has said no one will ever see this movie and he hasthe rights to it. So how is anyone going to see it?

  2. Nick says:

    Harry Shearer is lying. He’s never seen the film. His having said he did only contributes to his being as unfunny as ever.

  3. Jo Mama says:

    Isn’t it curious how we know what isn’t so? That multiple bodies have offered large sums for proof that anyone died in a gas chamber, and have never had to pay since proof has never been produced.

  4. Nancy says:

    Looks better than that big critical, financial and artistic flop john carter. Talk about bad taste.

  5. John says:

    Everybody thought that “Life is beautiful” had a tasteless concept until they saw the final movie…This could be a small masterpiece, waiting to be discovered by a new generation. There have been some rather tasteless films about the Holocaust, but Jerry Lewis’ take seems to be well-intentioned, poetic and humanistic, like all his work. I’m pretty sure, there is nothing to be ashamed of and he should release it earlier in a remastered 4k-version. This was shot in 70mm, so you could still produce a fantastic-looking UltraHD-BluRay. This film is so famous now, it would sell like crazy…And please put the documentaries, that were made about it, on the disc. This is an important piece of film history!

  6. qwerty777 says:

    Yet another internet hack who thinks “intact” is two words — “in tact,” as though it were similar to “in its entirety.”

  7. Greg says:

    From what I’ve seen of the movie so far its really good. I enjoyed it and can’t wait to see the rest of it :)

  8. jhs39 says:

    The film has always existed in Jerry Lewis’ own private vault but after a test screening went badly he pulled the movie from Cannes and only screened it privately for a handful of people, including his biographer. Jerry Lewis apparently couldn’t bring himself to destroy the movie but probably doesn’t want it publicly screened until after his death. Reaction when people finally do get to see it will be interesting. Culture has changed so much since 1970 that was once considered unbelievably tasteless and offensive back then might yield an entirely different reaction today.

    • H.M.L. says:

      True. Natavistism, wit challenged belligerence and soul crushing hate are making a strong comeback today. Internment camps returning seem a desire for many today. Many would be entertained by a bad film where children are slaughtered. Anti-semites might make it a popular part of their Blu-ray collection.

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