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The Day the Clown Cried (1972)

7.0
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 192 users  
Reviews: 15 user | 7 critic

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

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(screenplay), (story), 1 more credit »
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Title: The Day the Clown Cried (1972)

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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 ...
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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

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Drama

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2.20 : 1
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Trivia

The concentration camp scenes were filmed at a Swedish military compound. See more »

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User Reviews

I WISH I could see this one!
16 December 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am fascinated by this film and the story behind it.

Allegedly Lewis has the only copy (or copies) in existence.

It is unknown who is truly keeping the film under raps. Some believe Lewis hides the film because of the reaction he received to it. Some believer O'Brien will not accept payment in any way to sign over the rights. What's certain is that neither will discuss it publicly.

Either way it is likely we will never be fortunate (or unfortunate) enough to see it like Harry Shearer and other noted exceptions.

For Joan O'Brien, it must have been a nightmare. She supposedly was horrified to the point of tears upon seeing one screening of the film.

I suppose it could never live up to the hype of how truly awful it is.

It's probably better that the tastelessness remains in our imaginations.


5 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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It will NEVER get released, no complete copy ever existed. theNomadz
Jerry FINALLY Talks About the Film unclesporkums2
NOT FAIR sa56357
Is it really that bad? SuGaRkAnE_1959
DVD?? please!! filmgeek_70
if... bountyhunterseven2000
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