The Day the Clown Cried Footage Surfaces on YouTube [Video]
Some things are better left unfound.
There are a lot of reasons a movie could be made but never released. Sometimes that reason is that it’s a movie about a clown leading children to the gas chamber in a concentration camp. That’s the case with Jerry Lewis’ 1972 film The Day the Clown Cried. It’s not “lost” so much as it is “buried,” but some footage just surfaced on YouTube.
The footage that turned up is a behind-the-scenes look at the film and Lewis’ process as both star and director. What we see of the actual film is clips of Lewis as his character Helmut performing some clown routines. Besides the film footage we also see Lewis talk about lenses and the importance of having music on set.
There’s some narration to the clip, but according to the YouTube description it’s in Flemish, so we really have no idea what they’re saying besides hearing someone calling out “couper la lumiere” which means “Cut the light” in French, and possibly also Flemish.
Here’s the clip from YouTube user “unclesporkums”
The Day the Clown Cried is a bit of a white whale in terms of “lost” films, due largely to the fact that Lewis has worked so hard to make sure the film stays buried. It’s unlikely we’ll ever get to see, and by all accounts that’s probably for the best.