A circus clown is imprisoned by the Nazis and goes with Jewish children to their deaths.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Helmut Doork
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Peter Ahlm ...
1st New Prisoner
Lars Amble ...
Guard
...
Ada Doork
Jonas Bergström ...
Franz
Carl Billquist ...
Gestapo Officer #2
...
Circus Band Conductor
Tomas Bolme ...
Adolf
Curt Broberg ...
Galt
...
Ludwig
Johnny Cacao
Anton Diffring ...
Captain Curt Runkel
Nils Eklund ...
Bartender
Victor Fratellini
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Storyline

Helmut Doork, a once great and famous clown, is fired from the circus. Getting drunk at a local bar, he pokes fun at Hitler in front of some Gestapo agents, who arrest and send him to a prison camp. Helmut angers his fellow prisoners by refusing to perform for them, wanting to preserve his legend. As times passes, Jews are brought into the camp, with fraternizing between them and the other prisoners strictly prohibited. Eventually, Helmut is forced by the others to perform or be beaten. His act bombs and he leaves the barracks depressed, trying the routine out again alone in the prison yard. He hears laughter and sees a group of Jewish children watching him through a fence. Happy to be appreciated again, he makes a makeshift clown suit and begins to regularly perform. His audience grows, but a new prison Commandant orders Helmut to stop. When he refuses and continues to perform, he's beaten and thrown in solitary confinement. But the Nazis soon come up with a use for Helmut, keeping ... Written by Jonathan D. H. Parshall <parshall@citcom.net>

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2.20 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

in February 2016, the discovery of an unfinished documentary by Traces Films was mentioned in several relevant YouTube comment threads. The documentary makers are Australian based and posted their six minute teaser on Vimeo.com in 2012. It includes exceptionally candid and emotional interview excerpts with Jerry Lewis discussing his experience making "The Day the Clown Cried". See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tasteless but human.
11 November 2002 | by (manchester, england) – See all my reviews

I'd like to take issue with some of the negative comments made about this film. It is indeed tasteless and poorly written, the dialogue at points is embarassing and maybe the rough cut of the film skews the script toward being a shameless star vehicle, (i can't comment as i've only read the script) but it is humanistic and undeserving of such vitriol. The character of Doork is arrogant and self obsessed but his motivation for entertaining the children in the camp is denial of the horrors around him rather than collusion. There isn't a large ammount of subtlty involved in the plot but how do you deal with the murder of children in a subtle and tastefull way?


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It will NEVER get released, no complete copy ever existed. theNomadz
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