As unseen, unreleased movies go, it's pretty hard to top the legend of The Day the Clown Cried, a film directed by and starring Jerry Lewis that was meant to hit screens in the early 1970s. Why didn't it hit screens in the early 1970s? Well... because.... eh, I'll let IMDB's succinct plot synopsis answer that question: "A circus clown is imprisoned by the Nazis and goes with Jewish children to their deaths."

You want more? Okay, fine, here's how Wikipedia says the thing reportedly ended:

Knowing the fear the children will feel while being led to their deaths, he begs to be allowed to be the one to spend the last few moments with them. Leading them to the "showers", he becomes increasingly dependent on a miracle, only to learn there is none. After all the children go into the chamber, he is so filled with remorse that he goes into the room himself to entertain them. As the children laugh at his antics, the movie ends. (Via.)

Just about no one—not even local film writer Shawn Levy, who wrote a biography of Lewis—has ever been able to track down a copy of the infamously awful film. But over the weekend, Mondo Film + Podcast found footage from some sort of Dutch behind-the-scenes TV show that looks to be a making-of segment on Lewis' really, really ill-advised film. The good news is that the footage shows Lewis taking himself very seriously indeed as an Important Grown Up Director, which is, naturally, funnier than the actual comedic antics Lewis performs for the film itself. If you're looking for kids laughing inside of a gas chamber while a singe tear rolls down Lewis' cheek, well, you aren't going to get it; all in all, this footage is actually pretty boring. What it represents, though—that even the crappiest of crappy films can't be hidden in an age of information—brings hope that, one day, all of us will be able to choose whether or not to endure the entirety of The Day the Clown Cried.