Sunday, August 11, 2013

THE DAY THE CLOWN CRIED: ACTUAL FOOTAGE!


Ages ago I wrote a long blog post about the legendary unreleased film The Day The Clown Cried.


Jerry Lewis starred and directed in this film, which will never see the light of day for many reasons.  One, they just ran out of money, and two, it's stunningly WRONG.  The Day The Clown Cried is about a clown that entertains jewish children as they are led to the gas chamber at Auschwitz.

Yeah.

Only a handful of people have ever seen the existing film, one of whom was Harry Shearer.  Shearer basically confirmed every film geek's wildest dreams when he said: 

"With most of these kinds of things, you find that the anticipation, or the concept, is better than the thing itself. But seeing this film was really awe-inspiring, in that you are rarely in the presence of a perfect object. This was a perfect object. 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. 'Oh My God!' – that's all you can say."

Lewis owns all the right to the movie, and he will never release it.  For years he would get enraged if people would even bring it up, refusing to discuss the topic.  Recently, however, he was asked about it at a press conference, and he actually commented.  "No one will ever see it because I'm embarassed by the poor work.  It was bad." was his reply.

So here we sit, 40 odd years later, still having never seen the film.  Today on Aint It Cool News, however, they have posted a youtube clip that has honest to god actual footage from the film, including behind the scenes clips (and as a bonus, Serge Gainsbourg and Jane Birkin visiting the set).  This may be as close as we ever get to the film, so take it all in, kids.  Maybe some day we'll get to revel in the wrongness that is The Day The Clown Cried.

Shyboy

2 comments:

Chad said...

Very cool to see this. Now wait...what makes this any worse than Life is Beautiful?

SHUFFLE FUNCTION said...

The screenplay is online, but I haven't read it. Maybe the answer is in there.