New York Times - 05/08/1975
"...In many ways remarkable....A panoramic movie..."
Uncut - 08/01/2004
"Bristling with brilliant scenes....It lurches between satire and the truly horrifying."
Description by OLDIES.com:
Nathanael West's novel about Hollywood decadence in the late '30s is a brilliant piece of filmmaking. A deeply insightful work that is powerful in its presentation, staggering in its vision. Director John Schlesinger is masterful in creating a world of platinum blondes, cockfights, glamour and broken dreams. And throughout, he plays on the edge of sexual and physical danger which finally erupts in the shocking climax. Oscar nominations went to Burgess Meredith and cinematographer Conrad Hall.
Based on Nathanael West's satirical novel, John Schlesinger's THE DAY OF THE LOCUST is an absorbing look at the desperate characters who populate the Hollywood film industry. Idealistic young set designer Tod Hackett (William Atherton) travels to 1930s-era Hollywood to find fame and fortune but encounters a dismal world of broken people, shattered dreams, and phoney healers pandering to the lost. He soon falls in love with aspiring actress Faye Greener (Karen Black), a cruel, manipulative woman who lives with her drunken father (Burgess Meredith, in an Oscar-nominated performance) and loves the strange man-child Homer Simpson (Donald Sutherland). Their passions collide at a disastrous Hollywood premiere that remains one of the most horrifying and tragic climaxes in film history.
Based On A Novel |
Cult Film |
Film About Film |
Period Piece |
"The Day of the Locust" was originally a project for Warner Bros., but was picked up and released by Paramount Pictures. Original producer Ronald Shedlo received a presentation credit in the finished film.
The San Bernardino Arms apartment complex seen in the film is a studio set for a structure that is just two blocks from the Paramount lot.
Additional cast: Dick Powell Jr. (Dick Powell).
Color by Technicolor, though Movielab is credited for the print work.