Go Back  DVD Talk Forum > Entertainment Discussions > Movie Talk
Reload this Page >

Will we ever see Jerry Lewis's lost film?

Movie Talk A Discussion area for everything movie related including films In The Theaters

Will we ever see Jerry Lewis's lost film?

Old 01-15-03, 11:27 PM
  #1  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1,571
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Will we ever see Jerry Lewis's lost film?

I think it's called The Day the Laughter Died....

About a clown in a concentration camp...
Old 01-15-03, 11:32 PM
  #2  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Phoenix
Posts: 8,086
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Its called the Day the Clown Cried and no we won't. It isn't coming oot for several reasons:
1. Legal Troubles

2. From what I've heard(people who saw it or read the script) it was not very good at all. Actually quite bad. He tried to hard to make it a comedy.

3. Lack of intrest. Even if there were no legal troubles what would be the point to release it. It would be a huge loss of money for whoever released it.

This is a shame because the basic story has a lot of potential. I've always wanted to see this remade with Steve from Blue's Clues in the Jerry Lewis role.
Old 01-16-03, 12:08 AM
  #3  
DVD Talk Special Edition
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1,571
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Does it have any resemblance to Life is Beautiful?
Old 01-16-03, 12:22 AM
  #4  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
caligulathegod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Grove City OH
Posts: 3,761
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
Want to read the Script? As near as I can tell, this is the real thing. The link is a little down the page along with some reviews.

The Day the Clown Cried
Old 01-16-03, 12:31 AM
  #5  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 71,276
Received 61 Likes on 45 Posts
Was the film even completed?
Old 01-16-03, 09:04 AM
  #6  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Jaymole's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2000
Location: N.Y, N.Y
Posts: 9,698
Received 83 Likes on 50 Posts
It might be a bad film, but I would rather watch it than having to see Life is Beautiful again.
Old 01-16-03, 09:28 AM
  #7  
Banned
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Posts: 60
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
howard stern covers this topic a lot. he has interviewed 1 or 2 people who have actually seen it (it sits in someone's vault in their beverly hills home). jerry lewis will never let it be released. it turned out to be the worst piece of sh*t, and alomst made a mockery of the holocaust. jerry lewis plays a clown in a concentration camp who entertains kids on there way to the showers to try and cheer them up in line. whoever gave this the green light should be ashamed. trust me, this is supposed to be NO life is beautiful.
Old 01-16-03, 10:21 AM
  #8  
DVD Talk Legend
 
d2cheer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 10,211
Received 69 Likes on 48 Posts
Originally posted by blackfog
howard stern covers this topic a lot. he has interviewed 1 or 2 people who have actually seen it (it sits in someone's vault in their beverly hills home). jerry lewis will never let it be released. it turned out to be the worst piece of sh*t, and alomst made a mockery of the holocaust. jerry lewis plays a clown in a concentration camp who entertains kids on there way to the showers to try and cheer them up in line. whoever gave this the green light should be ashamed. trust me, this is supposed to be NO life is beautiful.
Didn't Jerry Lewis finance this himself?? That is why it won't come out? Not sure but that is what I thought.

Personally I have no interest in seeing this, it sounds horrible...
Old 01-16-03, 11:43 AM
  #9  
DVD Talk Platinum Edition
 
caligulathegod's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Grove City OH
Posts: 3,761
Likes: 0
Received 4 Likes on 4 Posts
The page I linked to has a history of the production, too involved to get into here. It's the link that says,"SHIRLEY TEMPLE IN AUSCHWITZ ".

The Gist is that he re-wrote the script to make the clown more sympathetic and "Emmett Kelly-like" instead of the self-centered talentless clown of the script. He went over to Europe to film and the Producer flaked and never showed or secured financing and let the option lapse. Jerry used his own money to finish the film and went on despite not having the rights to make it. He was counting on the author being impressed with the work and letting him have the rights. She saw how he's changed everything and was horrified and refused to renew the rights. Also, the film company held onto the negatives for unpaid debts. Jerry kept the last three days of shooting (including the climactic scene of him leading the children into the gas chamber) to prevent them from releasing it without him. He also had dupes of most of their footage and has a rough cut on VHS that he's shown to a few people.
Old 01-16-03, 12:17 PM
  #10  
DVD Talk Ultimate Edition
 
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Helsinki, Finland
Posts: 4,521
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I definitely want to see this film. It may be in bad taste, but it just sounds way too interesting to ignore. I wonder if Scorsese's seen it? I'm sure he at least asked Lewis while shooting The King of Comedy.
Old 01-16-03, 01:06 PM
  #11  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Heat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Central Illinois
Posts: 16,699
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
It definately looks... different. This is from http://www.filmthreat.com/Features.a...One.inc&Id=258

(I cut out a few paragraphs in the interest of brevity, click on the above link for the full review)

This comedic opus begins with a once great, now down and out clown by the name of Helmut Doork (played by Mr. Jerry Lewis) as he is fired from the circus where he is not appreciated. After being dropped, Doork heads to the local watering hole where he attempts to drown his sorrows. After a few pops, Doork begins to poke fun at Mr. Hitler, much to the chagrin of the Gestapo agents sitting in the bar. He is promptly arrested and sent off to a prison camp.

...

While Helmut is in solitary, the Nazis come upon a uniquely Nazi dilemma - they have to get the children to another camp, as they are no use in a work camp. They have the children rounded up in a boxcar awaiting the train that will take them away, however the cries of the children are an annoyance. Since they want to get rid of the children while drawing as little attention to themselves as possible, they decide to send Helmut to the boxcar to keep the children quiet. In exchange for his performance, they tell him that his appeal for release will be reviewed. Helmut agrees to perform for the children and does so, making them laugh and convincing them that they are going to a "better place." He is accidentally locked in with the children when the train arrives and arrives with the children the next day at Auschwitz.

...

[The Commandant at Auschwitz] goes on to tell Helmut that as he has lead the children this far and that he now has a special bond with them, almost as if he is "one of them," he should lead them for the remainder of their journey. It is then, in the last ten pages of the screenplay, that the true dementia of the film truly takes hold. Helmut replies "No... no! I'm not one of them. I'm not! I'm a German. A loyal German. You can't kill me, I'm not one of them. I swear it. I'm not." The Commandant explains that he doesn't have to die, "I'm just asking you to lead them." Helmut looks unwilling to comply. "Not... even to save your own life?" Helmut gives in. "I'm glad to see you're not a self-appointed martyr. Just think! Now you're really one of us."

Helmut asks for some time with the children and they grant him a half hour. He joins the children in the room where they are being kept. "Now I want everyone to put on a big smile and sit down, because we're going to have more fun than we've ever had." Once more Helmut Doork clowns with the children. The guards come to get the children. The children want to know what is going on. Helmut tells them "They... want us to move to another building... where we'll have more room... to play. Tell you what. Let's make it a big circus parade. Everybody get in line behind..." With that, Helmut marches the children through the prison yard, all the while hoping for some miracle, and to the open doorway of the gas chamber. He stops outside the door and reluctantly steers the children through. A little girl stops beside Helmut and puts out her hand for him to take. At first he hesitates and the child pulls away, but he then takes her hand and walks through the door with her. The guards lock the door behind them and Helmut gathers the children around him. They all begin to laugh "until the chamber resounds with gentle laughter."

CUT TO: INSERT: "IF ANOTHER MAN'S CHILD IS THREATENED AND YOU MOVE NOT TO PROTECT IT, THE CHILDREN OF ALL MEN ARE IN JEOPARDY AND YOU STAND AS GUILTY AS THOSE WHO THREATEN."
FADE OUT: THE END

Last edited by Heat; 01-16-03 at 01:12 PM.
Old 01-16-03, 01:10 PM
  #12  
Moderator
 
Groucho's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2000
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah
Posts: 71,276
Received 61 Likes on 45 Posts
Old 01-16-03, 01:34 PM
  #13  
Banned
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: "Sitting on a beach, earning 20%"
Posts: 6,154
Likes: 0
Received 1 Like on 1 Post
Marge, If I may play "The Devil's Advocate" for a moment.


In all fairness this material sounds like it could make a scathing alegorical indictment of the treachery that made the holocaust possible. Of course this would only be possible if it were handled with the right tone. A true artist might have been able to pull it off, but I have a feeling that in Jerry Lewis' hands it turned into a horrible mess. I think Life Is Beautiful, love it or hate it, proved that clownish antics in a consentration camp is possible (believe it or not) if done right.
Old 01-16-03, 04:10 PM
  #14  
DVD Talk Legend
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Location: Lower Gum Curve
Posts: 19,257
Likes: 0
Received 29 Likes on 21 Posts
On the surface, the idea sounds hideous, but the story outlined above has some unique possibilities. It would be very, very difficult to do right, but there wouldn't be a dry eye in the house at the end. Jerry Lewis could never pull this off, and I really have no idea who could.

It would have to be played completely seriously, and they would have to loose that stupid title.
Old 02-16-03, 09:32 AM
  #15  
DVD Talk Hall of Fame
 
Join Date: Jul 1999
Posts: 8,467
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
They probably saw Jakob the Liar and decided against it.

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.