Jerry Lewis will be remembered as one of the greatest entertainer's in showbiz history but even he made career mistakes.

The comedian, who died this morning from natural causes aged 91, was so ashamed of a movie that he wrote, directed and starred in that he banned it from ever being released.

The film is called The Day The Clown Cried and Lewis made it back in 1971.

"I was embarrassed," the legendary entertainer said about the film in 2013.

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"I was ashamed of the work and I was grateful that I had the power to contain it all and never let anybody see it. It was bad, bad, bad."

So what's the movie about? Strap yourself in, it's a doozy.

In the film, Lewis plays a German clown named Helmut Doork who is sent to a WWII prison camp after mocking Hitler in public.

Once inside he ends up performing for Jewish kids who are also imprisoned and ultimately ends up trying to keep them entertained as he guides them into the gas chambers at Auschwitz.

Heavy, huh?

Jerry Lewis is honored with a hand and foot ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on April 12, 2014 in Hollywood, California. Photo / Getty
Jerry Lewis is honored with a hand and foot ceremony at TCL Chinese Theatre IMAX on April 12, 2014 in Hollywood, California. Photo / Getty

One of the only people to have seen the finished product apart from Lewis is Simpsons star, Harry Shearer, who wrote about the film in Spy magazine in 1992:

"With most of these kinds of things, you find that the anticipation, or the concept, is better than the thing itself. But seeing this film was really awe-inspiring, in that you are rarely in the presence of a perfect object. This was a perfect object.

"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!' - that's all you can say."

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Jerry Lewis had said "it'll never be seen" but in 2015 it was revealed the star had sold a copy to the Library of Congress and gave permission for it to be screened in 2025.