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Movie Madness: “The Day the Clown Cried” (unreleased)

December 28, 2015

The 1972 Holocaust drama “The Day the Clown Cried” by infamous writer-director Jerry Lewis will be inducted into the National Film Registry, according to the New York Post.  The Library of Congress acquired the film from Lewis contingent upon the film remaining under lock and key for another decade.

dayclowncried

IMDB.com sums up the plot of the film in one sentence:  “A circus clown is imprisoned by the Nazis and goes with children to their deaths.” Wikipedia.com and RollingStone.com clarify the clown is of German origin, imprisoned in Auschwitz for making fun of Hitler, and forced to keep Jewish children quiet prior to leading them to gas chambers.

The film is thought to be a quintessential example of (probably) the worst film ever made.  And, that could be the reason for its induction.  Lewis has described it as “embarrassingly bad” and never screened it, much less released it.  Then again, in all fairness, he has also said “it’s too small of a piece ” and that “it isn’t large enough to have a dynamic impact.”

Film buffs who revel in the filmmaking of the 70s and 80s, like myself, will have to wait until at least 2025 to watch it.  If still alive, Lewis will be 99.

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