The Day The Clown Cried was never supposed to see the light of day. The Jerry Lewis movie was deemed so offensive when it was created in 1972 that it was locked up in a vault and hidden from the public eye.
Lewis, who also directed the film, said that he was embarrassed by how the movie turned out and was never planning on releasing it. An official version of the film hasn’t been released but a few clips leaked to the internet this week.
Lewis said during the Cannes Film Festival this year: “It was all bad and it was bad because I lost the magic… You will never see it, no-one will ever see it, because I am embarrassed at the poor work.”
The movie centers on a pretty grim subject. Lewis plays a German circus clown named Helmut Doork who gets put into a concentration camp. Doork’s job is to entertain the children and lead them to the gas chambers. The movie ends with Doork becoming so overcome with grief that he stays in the gas chamber with the children.
Unsurprisingly, the movie was deemed pretty offensive.
Harry Shearer, one of the only people who has ever seen the film, said: “This movie is so drastically wrong, its pathos and its comedy are so wildly misplaced, that you could not, in your fantasy of what it might be like, improve on what it really is.”
Here’s a clip from The Day The Clown Cried.
Do you think Jerry Lewis should release the final version of the film? Are interested to see what all of the fuss is about?