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08/12/2013 09:24 am ET

Jerry Lewis' 'The Day The Clown Cried' Footage Surfaces (VIDEO)

Footage from Jerry Lewis' infamous 1972 film "The Day The Clown Cried" has surfaced online. Written by Joan O'Brien and Charles Denton and Lewis -- who also directed -- "The Day The Clown Cried" is about a German circus clown named Helmut Doork who winds up performing for Jewish children at a concentration camp. Doork's routine is used to help lead the children to their deaths in the gas chamber. "The Day The Clown Cried" was never released because Lewis was unhappy with the final product.

"It was all bad and it was bad because I lost the magic," Lewis said about "The Day The Clown Cried" during this year's Cannes Film Festival. "You will never see it, no-one will ever see it, because I am embarrassed at the poor work."

One person who has seen Lewis' lost film is comedian Harry Shearer. "If you say, 'Jerry Lewis, clown in a concentration camp,' and you make that movie up in your head, it's so much better than that. By better, I mean worse. You're stunned," Shearer told Howard Stern in an interview in 2011. (Listen to the full segment below.)

For more on "The Day The Clown Cried," check out Drew McWeeny's rundown of its history over at HitFix. Watch the lost footage in the window above.

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