Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

An Oscar Nite Sidebar…

Noting that there was going to be a “special” Academy Award given to Jerry Lewis tonite for years of humanitarian service Chairning the National Muscular Dystrophy Society (decades of telethons!), I started reading articles and found several that mentioned his “lost film”, “The Day The Clown Cried.” This was his Holocaust movie shot in 1971 in Sweden, primarily, and never finished beyond rough cut.  

Lewis doesn’t discuss it when questioned and the few people who have seen the rough cut (Harry Shearer, for one, interviewed with others in a Spy Magazine article in 1992,commented: “ This movie is so drastically wrong, its pathos and its comedy are so wildly misplaced, that you could not, in your fantasy of what it might be like, improve on what it really is.

Oh My God! – thats all you can say.
“)don’t seem to give it much of a chance of ever being shown even in part.

No clips are available, but this was on You Tube showing Jerry and cast off-camera:

That got me looking around at the general topic of “Lost Films” and the one that I was most curious about, and which at his death was in no way finished, was Orson Welles’ doomed production of “Don Quixote” The pieces were assembled a couple of years ago for a CD, but not much came of it. You Tube, again, has this widely viewed clip which came from a source in Spain that takes the Quixote story so far out of context with the original novel that it is hard to think of what Welles would have done with it. The pigtailed blonde girl in the piece, btw, is Patty McCormick, the child actress back in the 50s famour for “The Bad Seed”):

Terry Gilliam tried making a Don Quixote film around ten years ago. This film, an altered telling of the classic story, starred Johnny Depp as Don’s “sidekick”. After only one week of shooting, too many problems forced production on the film to stop. Even though this film has been his biggest dream, Gilliam, to this day, has never been able to sucessfully restart the project:

Finally, I discovered this clip from a lost Laurel and Hardy flick, “The Rogue Song” (1932):

This early sound film was probably their first color film, was directed by Lionel Barrymore, and has disappeared with the exception of this clip and a few stills.

Under The LobsterScope


  1. this reminds me of my last year in university.  i took a course on the films of robert altman, most of us thought for sure that the exam film would be m.a.s.h since we had pretty well covered all the rest.  so most of us were laboriously studying it feeling pretty smug.

    well – to our shock(!) the professor pulled out a made-for-tv altman film at the exam called “Secret Honor” about nixon.  v. obscure, but excellent film and worth a look.

    so psyched for tonight!

  2. rfahey22

    It sounds laughably bad.  I hope that it is unearthed someday.

    I don’t have any real Oscar favorites this year – I’m pulling for Heath Ledger and probably for Mickey Rourke, but that’s it.  I didn’t see Revolutionary Road, Gran Torino, or Slumdog Millionaire, I honestly don’t get the love for The Reader, and Benjamin Button was well made but was a little too Gump 2.0 for my taste (the screenplay was written by the same person).

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