A film that many thought would be lost forever could be finding new life…but we will have to wait awhile to see it.
The Los Angeles Times reported on Wednesday that The Library of Congress would be adding multiple films from the career of Jerry Lewis as part of a retrospective. Among those films is the famous The Day the Clown Cried, a movie that Lewis has violently been against releasing. But there is a catch — we won’t be able to see the movie for 10 years.
According to the report, the Library has put a 10-year wait on the release of the film, which should be awhile after Lewis passes away. Once that happens, the only person who has been against showing it will be out of the way.
Lewis spoke to The Cinefamily about the movie back in 2013 and was still completely against anyone seeing it.
“In terms of that film, I was embarrassed. I was ashamed of the work, and I was grateful that I had the power to contain it all and never let anyone see it. It was bad, bad, bad.”
The film finds Lewis playing a German circus clown arrested by the Gestapo after mocking Hitler, and who is eventually forced by the Nazis to perform and help lead Jewish children to concentration camp gas chambers.
Another rumor is that Harry Shearer claims to have seen the movie back in 1979 with Birth.Death.Movies showing his reaction from back then.
“With most of these kinds of things, you find that the anticipation, or the concept, is better than the thing itself. But seeing this film was really awe-inspiring, in that you are rarely in the presence of a perfect object. This was a perfect object. This movie is so drastically wrong, its pathos and its comedy are so wildly misplaced, that you could not, in your fantasy of what it might be like, improve on what it really is. ‘Oh My God!’ – that’s all you can say.”
If you are interested in the film, don’t fret! We have until 2025 to debate whether it will be any good or not.