7.1/10
4,521
73 user 41 critic

The Day of the Locust (1975)

R | | Drama, Thriller | 12 June 1975 (UK)
An art director in the 1930s falls in love and attempts to make a young woman an actress despite Hollywood who wants nothing to do with her because of her problems with an estranged man and her alcoholic father.

Director:

John Schlesinger

Writers:

Nathanael West (novel), Waldo Salt (screenplay)
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ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Donald Sutherland ... Homer Simpson
Karen Black ... Faye Greener
Burgess Meredith ... Harry Greener
William Atherton ... Tod Hackett
Geraldine Page ... Big Sister
Richard Dysart ... Claude Estee
Bo Hopkins ... Earle Shoop
Pepe Serna ... Miguel
Lelia Goldoni ... Mary Dove
Billy Barty ... Abe Kusich
Jackie Earle Haley ... Adore (as Jackie Haley)
Gloria LeRoy Gloria LeRoy ... Mrs. Loomis (as Gloria Le Roy)
Jane Hoffman Jane Hoffman ... Mrs. Odlesh
Norman Leavitt ... Mr. Odlesh (as Norm Leavitt)
Madge Kennedy ... Mrs. Johnson
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Storyline

Life's flotsam and jetsam turn up at late 1930's Hollywoodland's door, once more, in this insightful tale of wannabes and desperadoes. Tod Hackett, artist, has inspirations to become noticed until he meets Faye Greener, blonde bombshell, and is immediately smitten. She has other ideas. She has Homer Simpson, victim, in her sights and cruelty and loneliness takes new meaning as all three are slowly sucked into the Hollywood system of sycophants, diggers and parasites, sucking the life from others as the life, and soul, is slowly sucked from them. Written by Cinema_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

It happened in Hollywood. But it could have happened in hell. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 June 1975 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Como plaga de langosta See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$17,793,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The name of the small Pekingnese dog that belonged to Audrey Jennings (Natalie Schafer) was "Froufrou". See more »

Goofs

At the premiere of The Buccaneer, the announcer calls special attention to Anthony Quinn's bit part. In 1938, Quinn was a little-known 23-year-old at the start of his career, and his presence in that film would only be of widespread interest looking back a few decades later. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Mrs. Odlesh: It isn't as splashy as some other places, but we pride ourselves on being a little classier.
Tod Hackett: [referring to a large crack in the plaster wall] Hmmm, the crack's real.
Mrs. Odlesh: Oh yes. We call this our earthquake cottage. Mrs. Porter had occupancy then. During the big one in '33. Property damage ran into the millions.
Tod Hackett: Will you fix it if I stayed for a while?
Mrs. Odlesh: Oh no! No! This is our showplace. Mrs. Porter wouldn't let us touch that wall. She worked that sampler herself to cover over the hole. ...
[...]
See more »

Alternate Versions

Although the UK cinema release was uncut the 2004 DVD version was cut by 46 secs by the BBFC to remove scenes of cockfighting. See more »

Connections

Features Ali Baba Goes to Town (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

Isn't It Romantic?
Music by Richard Rodgers
Lyrics by Lorenz Hart
Sung by Michael Dees
See more »

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User Reviews

 
All that glitters is not always gold.
11 October 2008 | by SpikeopathSee all my reviews

The Day of The Locust is an adaptation of the highly powerful novel from Nathanael West, it focuses on the seamy underbelly of Hollywood in the 1930s. Pot boiling with pacey precision, director John Schlesinger crafts what is still to this day one of the hidden pieces of art from the 1970s.

We are witness to an assortment of odd characters on the outskirts Hollywood and it's big shiny star, fringe characters driven on by less than stellar ideals. The centre of it all is Karen Black's sexy but untalented actress, Faye, she lives with her father, Harry {a fabulous Burgess Meredith}, who was once a fine stage performer but now is old and dying and forced to peddle potions on door steps. Faye realises that her limitations are getting in the way of her starry ambitions, so thus she becomes the assembly line hump on the casting couch, she believes it's a small price to pay for the price of fame.

Caught up in Faye's maelstrom of shallow conniving worthlessness is William Atherton's art director, Tod, and Donald Sutherland's sympathetic dolt, Homer Simpson {Sutherland stunning and Atherton a career best}. All three of them will come crashing together as the story reaches it's cynical and terrifying conclusion. The Day Of The Locust failed at the box office, mid seventies audiences were clearly not ready for this unsavoury and stark look at the flip side of the industry we all follow with relish. Many of the characters featured in the piece are believed to be based on real life Hollywood figures, now here in this modern age the public embrace such titillation with glee, back then they clearly wasn't ready for it.

Conrad Hall's cinematography was rightly nominated for an Academy Award, as was Burgess Meredith in the Best Supporting Actor category, but Sutherland, John Lloyd {Art} and Ann Roth {Costumes} were criminally ignored, but it matters not for now this film can be viewed by a wider more open thinking audience, and hopefully as the finale grips you round the throat {and it should do}, you will be forced to think about it for some time after. 9/10


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