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August 13, 2013 10:52 am

Footage of Controversial, Never-Released 1972 Jerry Lewis Holocaust Film Surfaces (VIDEO)

avatar by Zach Pontz

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Jerry Lewis in 2005. Photo: Wikipedia.

Scenes from a controversial never before released Jerry Lewis film are finally seeing the light of day, forty-one years after they were initially filmed, the BBC reported Monday.

The veteran actor and comedian canned the film “The Day The Clown Cried” after it was completed in 1972. In the film, Lewis plays a failed clown name Helmut Doork who, after being locked up in a Nazi camp for drunkenly mocking Adolf Hitler, is made to entertain Jewish children on their way to Auschwitz.

Speaking of the film at the Cannes Film Festival in May, Lewis told reporters: “No one will ever see it, because I’m embarrassed. I believed in the work and the way it should have been, and it wasn’t.”

According to the BBC, the footage apparently first surfaced on a Flemish website last year, has now been published on YouTube, and shows scenes of Lewis in clown costume giving backstage direction.

Watch the YouTube scenes of Jerry Lewis’s film below.

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  • Lynne Marton

    I would give anything – just about – to see this film! I have always admired and respected his work and it really is a shame that it did not turn out the way he wanted it to, and making him that unhappy that he won’t let it be shown.

  • dawnvickye

    The story does not detail what Lewis found embarrassing. what was the point of view? why was it canned? How come he did not re-shoot if he did not like parts of the footage? This is somewhat useless as a report.

    • I think the implication is that his performance didn’t please him, and that the whole production didn’t measure up to his expectations of himself as an actor.

      An actor needs to move on, and likely would not indulge in analysis of what he considered an inferior work. Probably doesn’t much want to be reminded again in interviews…