In the early ’70s, Jerry Lewis directed and starred in a holocaust comedy about a circus clown imprisoned in a concentration camp, ultimately used to lead children to their deaths into a gas chamber. Perhaps unsurprisingly, The Day the Clown Cried has yet to see the light of day, aside from reportedly being shown to a few people. In recent years, Jerry Lewis has deemed the movie “bad, bad, bad,” and said that “he didn’t quite get it. It will never be seen. Sorry.”
Or maybe it will. Lewis has reportedly given the negative of The Day the Clown Cried to the Library of Congress, on the condition that it not be shown publicly for at least 10 years. (Lewis, for what it’s worth, is now 89 years old.) So perhaps in a decade or so, Lewis fans, historians, and curious film lovers alike will be able to judge the film’s artistic merits on their own. For now, you can take a look at this footage and behind-the-scenes documentary that live online, thanks to some diligent YouTube users.