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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Did You Know?
In 2009, Jerry Lewis
agreed to be interviewed about the film for Entertainment Weekly. He stated that while he was proud of the film, there were more scenes that he wished that he could add which were never filmed. He felt that the legend had grown so much around the film that releasing it would be unfair to everyone involved. The part of the article that concerned the film was later published in 2013. See more