Cool Videos: Extremely rare footage from Jerry Lewis' infamous Holocaust film The Day the Clown Cried
At first I wasn't sure if I should add this to "Cool Videos" because obviously there was nothing "cool" about the Holocaust, however as a movie buff I've always been fascinated by THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED. The film was written and directed by Jerry Lewis (he's also the lead), and is about a circus clown who is imprisoned by Nazis after publicly humiliating Hitler. The clown is sent to concentration camps where he is then forced to entertain Jewish children.
THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED is notorious for being incredibly bad in quality and taste, the main reasons why the film has never been shown in public. A big issue for many of the people who have seen the film (there are bootlegs floating around) is the climax (SPOILERS!) when Lewis leads a group of laughing children to a gas chamber, and then decides to stay and die as well because he is so overcome with grief. Doesn't that just make you feel kind of ikcy on the inside? Like your heart needs a shower? Comedian Harry Shearer once described his experience watching the film as, "If you flew down to Tijuana and suddenly saw a painting on black velvet of Auschwitz. You'd just think 'My God, wait a minute! It's not funny, and it's not good, and somebody's trying too hard in the wrong direction to convey this strongly-held feeling." Ouch.
Jerry Lewis has said before that he's very ashamed of the film and has promised to keep it buried. However, it's a little hard to keep things hidden now with the internet, and some very rare footage from THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED has surfaced on Youtube. It was first discovered on a Flemish site earlier this year, and it appears to be a Dutch documentary on the making of THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED. Like Disney's SONG OF THE SOUTH, Jerry Lewis' THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED is a controversial and hard to find film, and if Jerry Lewis really wants to keep the movie buried he'll probably have the clip taken down soon, so watch it while you can.
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|Extra Tidbit:||Another poorly received film about a circus entertainer and Nazis is 2008's ADAM RESURRECTED starring Jeff Goldblum and Willem Dafoe.|