Wednesday, July 12, 2006

The Day The Clown Cried

The news is out that Paul Schrader is set to direct Adam Resurrected - an awful title for what, I imagine, will be an awful film. Jeff Goldblum is to star in this period piece, as a Jewish Clown who entertains Nazi death camp victims as they are rounded up to be murdered. In the source novel, the character ends up in an asylum, and very possibly that will give Schrader a framing mechanism for the film.

Now, as far as I can tell, this could be the exact same story as that in The Day The Clown Cried. They may both be versions of the same true events.

The Day The Clown Died was directed by and starred Jerry Lewis, and is, in any real terms, lost to the world. Perhaps when Lewis has died, we'll get to see it. In the meantime, all I can offer are two different drafts of the script - a lesser, rougher draft and the final shooting script - and also some rare on-set footage.

Stories abound that the Lewis film went unreleased because it was at once tasteless and very badly constructed. Neither of those things would surprise me.

And I expect nothing less of the Paul Schrader film.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just want to say that "Clown" is absolutely nothing like this film. I've read the book and it is a very, very dark story, nothing like the Lewis movie in the least. (thank goodness.) They just happen to have similar themes but as we well know, context is everything.

This is not a "Life is beautiful--laugh through the tears" schmaltz fest like Jakob the Liar, etc...but an extremely disturbing story of a man who is FORCED by the Nazis to "entertain" the prisoners so that they die with less fuss. He is Jewish as well and sees his wife and daughter die. He is also tortured and humiliated by the Camp Commandant, who forces him to humiliate himself. Bascially these two things drive him literally insane.

It deals with madness, death, tradgedy, inhuman atrocities. It's also lot like A Beautiful Mind as well, since the title character is also schizophrenic and spends a lot of time talking to someone who isn't there. Let me repeat: this is NOTHING like that Jerry Lewis movie! :P Just so you know. ;)