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 <email@example.com>
Did You Know?
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