in 1972 Jerry Lewis finished a french/swedish holocaust film called Tears of the Clown. He played the part of the clown who had displeased Hitler and found himself on the fast track to Auschwitz. This bum ticket was on a train filled with children also en route to the big A.
The clown tries to amuse and distract this terrified group of children who're going straight to the gas chambers.
Sounds like a good idea for a film right? To the french it did...many things sound good to the French and one of those inexplicable things is Mr. Louis himself.
Now before you tangle yourself in the absurdity of this true farce, keep in mind the film was never released. Wise me thinks. So the French are smarter than they look? Apparantly so.
The American cottage industry of ridiculing the French love affair with Mr. Lewis, doesn't even need this little stinky brown nugget of info. But it gets you wondering what might have been? If only....
Fast forward to 1997 and a certain lovable Italian comedian wins an Oscar for best actor in Life is Beautiful. hmmmm? A film where a comedian tries to use his physical brand of humor to distract and ultimately save the life of his son in a Nazi death camp.
One movie destined to be ridiculed...the other destined for international success and Academy award fame.