BBC release documentary on comedian Jerry Lewis’s unseen Holocaust movie


The BBC has made a documentary about a Holocaust film made by the American comedian Jerry Lewis.

Mr Lewis wrote and directed “The Day the Clown Cried,” in 1971, but it has never been released.

BBC Radio Solent's online documentary shows behind-the-scenes footage of production, stills from the film and narration by comedian David Schneider. It can be viewed on the BBC iPlayer.

The Day the Clown has been described as a drama with comedic elements and tells the tale of a fictional clown named Helmut Doork who is imprisoned by the Nazis and forced to lead children into the gas chambers.

Swedish film critic Jan Lumholdt told the BBC: “This is a very interesting film because very few people have seen anything from it.

“He’s a comedian and this is his most serious film ever. This gives it a very interesting energy and dynamic.”

Despite his passion for the project Mr Lewis said he had hidden all of its footage, out of fear it was not good enough.

In 2013 he told the Reuters news agency: “It was all bad, and it was bad because I lost the magic.

“You will never see it. No one will ever see it, because I am embarrassed at the poor work.”

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