Jerry Lewis' over-the-top clowning doesn't appeal to everyone, but in his prime he was an excellent physical comedian, not to mention being a skilled filmmaker with quite a few technical innovations to his credit. Lewis directed and starred in over twenty films, but one from 1972— The Day the Clown Cried — was intentionally never finished.
The story centered around a clown arrested by the Nazis and forced to merrily lead children to the gas chamber. Admittedly, pulling this off is no easy task, though Robert Benigni did something similar with Life is Beautiful (1997) and won an Academy Award for best foreign-language film. But Lewis freely admits his effort simply didn't work: “It was bad, and it was bad because I lost the magic. You will never see it. No one will ever see it, because I’m embarrassed at the poor work.”
Of course if something is unattainable, everyone wants it, so the mystery has grown over the years. And now there is a 7-minute behind-the-scenes clip that comes to us by way of Caroline Simonds, thank you very much! There's nothing gruesome about this segment, nor is it super illuminating, but it does provide an interesting enough look at Lewis on the set playing with various comic bits.
UPDATE (1-2-13): Here's more video footage that has recently surfaced:
When is a Dead End Not a Dead End? - Riddle me this: when is a Dead End not a Dead End? Answer: when it’s Sidney Kingsley’s seminal 1935 play, being given an invigorating new revival by the Ax...
4 hours ago