CORE STORY: Controversial “Holocaust clown” Jerry Lewis movie surfaces online

Photo: YouTube

Photo: YouTube

Chris Luckett

When film buffs talk about completed films that the public will never see, like Leonardo DiCaprio’s Don Plum or the recent John Malkovich movie 100 Years, the one that’s always name-dropped as the Holy Grail of lost movies is the infamous The Day the Clown Cried.

In 1972, slapstick comedy star Jerry Lewis signed on to direct and star in The Day the Clown Cried, a drama about a circus performer accidentally sent to Auschwitz who is forced by the Nazis to use his entertaining skills to lure Jewish children into the camp’s gas chambers.

Many problems afflicted the production and once the film was completed, Lewis was so taken aback by the poor taste and quality of the film, he swore it would never see the light of day. Nearly 50 years later, it finally has. Continue reading