JERRY LEWIS: “Pauline Kael. She’s never said a good thing about me yet. That dirty old broad. But she’s probably the most qualified critic in the world. Cause she cares about film and those who are involved in it. I wish I could really rap her. But I can’t. Cause she’s very very competent. She’s knows what she’s talking about.”
Editor’s note: I stumbled upon this at Roger Ebert’s site while searching in vain for Pauline Kael’s 1974 New Yorker review of Roman Polanski’s “Chinatown” – often referred to in lists of Kael’s most notorious “got it wrong” reviews. Because Chinatown (along with the Godfather series) sparked my interest in the 1970s renaissance in American filmmaking, I watched and studied Chinatown endlessly, I’m particularly interested in Kael’s contrarian view of it. I haven’t found yet, it may not be online. So unless I track it down in one of Kael’s books – or a reader is kind enough to point me to it – I’ll have to simply enjoy the things I found instead of what I was originally looking for.
Primarily, things other critics have said about Kael, and her book “I Lost it at the Movies”. In particular, this interview. On Ebert’s site I found this Jerry Lewis appearance on the Dick Caveat Show, and it’s marvelous! An unexpected show of admiration for film reviewers.
What impressed me is Jerry’s acceptance of even the harshest criticism of his movies, as long as the critic actually took the time to examine the work, and wrote a serious analysis of the movie he made. Otherwise, he had no patience for it. Read the rest of this entry »
“Refugees should stay where the hell they are. Hey, no one has worked harder for the human condition than I have, but they’re not part of the human condition. If 11 guys in the group of 10,000 are ISIS—how can I take that chance?”
Lewis then said that President Obama was “never prepared” for ISIS and suggested that he was not a real leader…
…The clip concludes with Lewis praising Trump for his “showmanship.”
“I think he’s great,” said Lewis of Trump. “He’s a showman and we’ve never had a showman in the president’s chair.”
“You can’t make do a comparison on Ronald Reagan because I can do three hours on him with just praise, he was so good.”
“Well, we had Ronald Reagan,” Arroyo interjected….(read more)
On his career, Trump, MDA, and the film that got away.
Raymond Arroyo writes:
…As writer and director of his own films, Lewis is responsible for some of the greatest slapstick gags in history. Just watch “The Nutty Professor,” “The Bellboy,” “The Errand Boy,” “Cinderfella” or “The Ladies Man,” and his particular comic genius is evident. In Europe, he has been named Best Director of the Year eight times since 1960.
He created Video Assist, a technology that allowed him to watch his on-screen performances, instantly, before the film was developed. Video Assist is still used by nearly every film and TV director to this day.
One Lewis project has been shrouded in mystery for decades: “The Day the Clown Cried.” It’s a World War II drama concerning a clown in Auschwitz. The film was mired in legal troubles, and Lewis has never allowed it to be seen.
Now, in an exclusive interview, he tells me why he has kept the film under wraps for so long.
Here’s a clip:
“That’s the problem, there was no artistry,” Lewis said. “The work was bad.”
This is just one of the many revelations he shared with me during a hilarious and moving interview that will air Thursday on “The World Over” on EWTN.
Roger Friedman writes: More from my hilarious interview with Jerry Lewis last week at the Museum of the Moving Image. Jerry had been interviewed earlier by his “The King of Comedy” director and old friend Martin Scorsese. Remember Jerry played Jerry Langford, a Johnny Carson-like talk show host in “The King of Comedy” who is kidnapped by Robert DeNiro and Sandra Bernhard.
Lewis, by the way, regularly guest hosted for Carson back in the day. He told me once did a six week stint for Johnny. When was that, I wondered?
“When Johnny went to have a sex change,” Lewis snapped back with glee. He is 89 and faster than you or I will ever be. Listening to him with Scorsese reminded me of the last time I saw Milton Berle perform– at Denise Rich’s famous original Angel Ball at the Sheraton circa 1999-2000. Berle was over 90, I think. I don’t know if anyone recorded it, but his 15 minutes at the podium were historic. Read the rest of this entry »
Jerry Lewis Never-Released Holocaust Film ‘The Day the Clown Cried’ Inches Closer to a Possible ScreeningPosted: August 7, 2015
Not much is known about the film’s plot except that Lewis plays a German circus clown named Helmut Doork who is sent to a concentration camp during World War II and ordered to entertain children.
Joe McGovern reports: Lovers of film history and legendary movies — even ones supposedly so tasteless that they’ve never been released—had their interest piqued this week when a piece of exciting news was dropped in the 21st paragraph of an Los Angeles Times article. The Day the Clown Cried, Jerry Lewis’ notorious unreleased Holocaust drama in which he stars as a clown playing with children before they are sent into gas chambers, has been acquired by the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.
“After I’m gone, who knows what’s going to happen? …The only thing that I do feel, that I always get a giggle out of, some smart young guy…is going to come up with an idea and he’s going to run the f—ing thing. I would love that. Because he’s going to see a hell of a movie!”
What does this mean? Well, that we might finally see the film, though we shouldn’t hold our collective breath. According to the article, Rob Stone, the moving-image curator at the library, received the one known print of the film as part of a larger collection of Jerry Lewis work. Stone did not respond to EW’s requests for comment, but told a group of movie buffs at a festival of “lost” movies that the library has agreed not to screen the film for at least a decade.
See clips from The Day the Clown Cried, as seen in a 1972 TV documentary that aired in Belgium, below:
[Also see – interview with Jerry about the film]
Lewis, now 89, made The Day the Clown Cried in Sweden in 1971. Read the rest of this entry »