Jerry Lewis once made a movie so embarrassing that he’s blocked its release for over 40 years. However, ‘The Day The Clown Cried’ will soon be available! Well, ‘soon’ is a relative term as Jerry has donated the movie with the caveat that it won’t be released to the world until 2025.
Here at Laser Time, we like to talk about the hidden parts of pop culture that creators tend to brush under the carpet, whether it’s movies kept off DVD or unknown sequels. One of the most mysterious movies ever filmed is Jerry Lewis’ “The Day The Clown Cried,” a film about an clown forced to entertain kids while at a concentration camp. Yeah. We briefly discussed the situation during an episode of Laser Time in 2013 (listen to it here).
Late last week, Indiewire passed along information from an LA Weekly feature about films donated to the Library of Congress. One recent acquisition is Lewis’ movie, once believed to be so buried that Lewis would keep the copy of the movie with him at all times so that it couldn’t be taken and distributed.
The catch behind Lewis’ donation? That the film won’t be shown for 10 years (the exact date isn’t known right now since the Library of Congress didn’t state the exact date of their procurement). Jerry Lewis is 89 right now, so the odds of the actor surviving a decade to be around during the premiere is quite low (and that might be part of the reason he donated it with that caveat). Regardless, for a film we never expected to see at all, we’re glad to learn we’ll finally get to see this unique bit of cinema history in around 10 years. If you want to see some brief snippets of it below, check out this making-of clip:
You can bet if Laser Time’s Patreon is still going strong in 2025 that we’ll make it a priority for Monday Night Movies once it becomes available. For now, you can check out the other oddities of cinema we’ll cover soon via the Monday Night Movies schedule.