To put it simply, Jerry Lewis‘ “The Day The Clown Cried” is unmatched in the realm of unseen movies. In case you’re just catching up, the movie is the legendary comedian’s 1970s effort that he directed, in which he plays a German circus clown arrested by the Gestapo after mocking Hitler, who is eventually forced by the Nazis to perform and help lead Jewish children to concentration camp gas chambers. The result (which was never completely finished due to production and financial problems) has been kept from public view by Lewis, and only a handful of people in the world have managed to witness the misfire. But that day will end soon. Last summer, “The Day The Clown Cried” was selected for the Library Of Congress, and while it will be under a ten-year embargo from anyone viewing, it does mean that within your lifetime, there will be some kind of opportunity to watch the picture.
Until then, however, BBC has produced a new look at the movie, with their documentary “The Story Of The Day The Clown Cried” (via No Film School). The half-hour show dives into the history of Lewis’ movie complete with previously unseen material from the movie.
After that, check out Studio 360‘s chat with Harry Shearer, one of the few people to have ever seen “The Day The Clown Cried.” He first gave his comments about Lewis’ movie in a great 1992 Spy magazine piece, and chatted with Howard Stern in 2011 about it as well — check out both below too.