Am I so wrong. I really loved the edit. i don’t know what is in Jerry Lewis’s suitcase where he keeps the print… but i really loved the fan edit. perhaps one day i can get my criterion edition .
While the full film may not be particularly good (hard to tell from the edit), the idea of the movie itself isn’t as awful as the synopsis of “a clown in Auschwitz who convinces children to go to their deaths” makes it sound. The basic idea of attempting to shield children in concentration camps from the horror of their situation was the basis of “Life is Beautiful”, which was generally well received.
I wonder where he got the idea for life is beautiful?
Wait. I don’t understand. I thought this was never released at all. Even privately. How did one make an edit from material not out there?
I confess, I really want to see this. I love the concept of dark humor. I know some people find it tasteless (and it can be).
If done RIGHT, I think it helps destroy the evil that created the dark thing you are referring to.
I don’t know. . . reading the synopsis on Wikipedia I was struck with how everything about the plot is an attempt to make the most depressing movie of all time, as if that’s how one measures artistic value. There is difference between a sad movie and a pathetic movie.
There was a documentary about the film shown on German licence funded TV a while ago. You can see the German broadcasters logo in the right corner of this edit most of the time. Basically the uploader cut up the documentary and did not even bother to use the HD version of the channel…
I still have the full HD version of the doc sitting on my DVR…
Edit: Just checked, it ran on Feb 3rd 2016 in context of Jerry Lewis’ upcoming 90th birthday and was a native HD production: “Der Clown - Film von Eric Friedler”
i agree. after watching the fan edit, i was struck by how the basic story is really good, and heartbreaking – and even bolder than the similar story told in “Life Is Beautiful” – i mean, Roberto Begnini didn’t lead children to the gas chamber!
EDIT: i was also really struck most by the footage of the actors (?) rehearsing on stage, with the sharply contrasting lights swinging overhead. i thought, “jeez, someone could really do this as a play, with a spare set like this, and it would be pretty amazing.”
This looks like it could be the one Jerry Lewis movie I actually want to see. Seriously.
Milton Berle would also have been an interesting choice. He had a certain level of acidity in his personality that seems to suit the character.
You’re French aren’t you? You typed that with a French accent.
A 35 minute Jerry Lewis film sounds about one hour too long.
Taken down? Link broken anyway.
Mike White at The Projection Booth has some pretty detailed and interesting information on this:
The script(s) has been out there for a while.
The idea of the film is as bad as it sounds. Lewis starts off as a mediocre clown who ends up in a concentration camp for making a crude Hitler joke. As he is essentially a political prisoner, there is no rush to execute him at the camp. But as his situation gets more grim, he ends up at the death camp. Where he does as you fear, lead children to the gas chambers, and joins them.
TWO SHOT - HELMUT (Lewis’s character) AND THE LITTLE GIRL
She gets only as far as the threshold, as Helmut stops her, takes her hand, looks back at the Sgt and the Guards, and smiles a smile he hasn’t exposed possibly his lifetime … and he enters the doorway and into the room with her!
WIDER SHOT - AS WE PULL BACK
To reveal the door closing just as Helmut clears the archway with the little girl, we are far enough back in Camera position to see where we are, as the door swings full and SLAMS (with the sound of a 1000 pound sheet of steel dropping onto the floor of any tunnel) … as the guards move in quickly and drop the bolt bar and snug the door tightly …
But what makes it worse is the script available online has various times when Lewis’s character is making silly jokes and pratfalls.
Kind of reminds me of the Billy Crystal joke:
2 cannibals are cooking a clown, one says to the other, “does this taste funny to you?”
That seems like a fairly touching ending to me. Granted, it is possible that Lewis (who wasn’t much of a dramatic actor) could have screwed it up by his performance, but it seems to be that would be the most noble act that the character could perform. Of course in a typical Hollywood blockbuster it would be revealed that the clown was actually an American agent who had smuggled in a machine gun and would proceed in mowing down Nazis while chanting “USA! USA! USA!”, but sacrificing his life in order to make a death of a child less frightening seems pretty satisfying as a realistic act that a failure like the mediocre clown could perform.
I am sure that it could have been a touching ending for a film. But I also see how Jerry Lewis can have screwed it up royally.
Can’t see it now, link broken. To be fair, a lot less editing than that could ruin a perfectly good film. Might be the worst film of all time, but it doesn’t seem fair to judge it on such small pickins. I actually kind of like the idea of the film and I think it’s kinda mind blowing that it actually got made, so I hope someday it gets leaked in its entirety.
I’m not a fan of Lewis or slapstick comedy in general, but I thought he was wonderful in Scorsese’s King of Comedy and showed potential for more serious acting.
I’m a big fan of dark comedy and for many years I have had curiosity regarding TDTCC. Looking at the final script that’s been posted online there’s potential flashes of brilliance but as @stinkinbadgers says, the script is only part of the overall package.
If anything, it could not be any more groanworthy than Life is Beautiful. Roberto Benigni always annoyed me. As far back as Night on Earth.