Now, plenty of fine movies have wacky-sounding premises:
Does “intrepid archaeologist keeps Nazis from using the Ark of the Covenant as a laser beam” sound like a beloved box office blockbuster?
Does “Vietnam vet commits movie history’s most tedious bank robbery to pay for his boyfriend’s sex change operation” scream “critically acclaimed classic”?
(Then again, sometimes “all midget Western” really is just an “all midget Western.”)
So some people might object:
Is the plot of The Day the Clown Died really that berserk?
There were concentration camp orchestras, right?
What about Maus? What about Hogan’s Heroes?
If Mel Brooks can make The Producers, what’s so crazy about this?
And no discussion of The Day the Clown Cried since 1997 fails to bring up the Oscar-winning Life is Beautiful as evidence that:
a) it’s possible to make a tasteful film about a man clowning around during the Holocaust, or
b) it’s impossible to make a tasteful film about a man clowning around during the Holocaust.
Then there’s the Jerry Lewis factor…