IMDb > The Day of the Locust (1975)
The Day of the Locust
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The Day of the Locust (1975) More at IMDbPro »

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The Day of the Locust -- An art director in the 1930's 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 acoholic father.


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Up 24% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Nathanael West (novel)
Waldo Salt (screenplay)
View company contact information for The Day of the Locust on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
22 August 1975 (France) See more »
By train. By car. By bus. They came to Hollywood... In search of a dream. See more »
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations See more »
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User Reviews:
"...a forgotten masterpiece of 70's cinema" See more (67 total) »


  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

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 ... Mrs. Loomis (as Gloria Le Roy)
Jane Hoffman ... Mrs. Odlesh

Norman Leavitt ... Mr. Odlesh (as Norm Leavitt)
Madge Kennedy ... Mrs. Johnson
Ina Gould ... Lee Sisters
Florence Lake ... Lee Sisters
Margaret Willey ... The Gingos
John War Eagle ... The Gingos

Natalie Schafer ... Audrey Jennings
Gloria Stroock ... Alice Estee

Nita Talbot ... Joan
Nicholas Cortland ... Projectionist
Alvin Childress ... Butler
Byron Paul ... Guest
Virginia Baker ... Guest
Roger Price ... Guest
Angela Greene ... Guest
Robert O. Ragland ... Guest
Abbey Greshler ... Guest
Ann Coleman ... Girl
Gyl Roland ... Girl

Paul Stewart ... Helverston

John Hillerman ... Ned Grote

William Castle ... Director (as William C. Castle)
Fred Scheiwiller ... 1st Asst. Director
Wally Rose ... 2nd Asst. Director

Grainger Hines ... French Lt.
DeForest Covan ... Shoe Shine Boy (as De Forest Covan)
Michael Quinn ... Major Domo

Robert Pine ... Apprentice
Jerry Fogel ... Apprentice

Dennis Dugan ... Apprentice

David Ladd ... Apprentice

Bob Holt ... Tour Guide
Paul Jabara ... Nightclub Entertainer
Queenie Smith ... Palsied Lady
Margaret Jenkins ... Choral Director
Jonathan Kidd ... Undertaker
Kenny Solms ... Boy in Chapel
Wally K. Berns ... Theatre Manager (as Wally Berns)
Bill Baldwin ... Announcer at Premiere
Dick Powell Jr. ... Dick Powell
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Robert Jon Carlson ... Actor (uncredited)
Brent Dunsford ... Fan (uncredited)
Arlene Harris ... Aging bar customer (uncredited)
Vince Trankina ... Looter (uncredited)

Directed by
John Schlesinger 
Writing credits
Nathanael West (novel)

Waldo Salt (screenplay)

Produced by
Jerome Hellman .... producer
Sheldon Schrager .... associate producer
Original Music by
John Barry 
Cinematography by
Conrad L. Hall  (as Conrad Hall)
Film Editing by
Jim Clark 
Casting by
Marion Dougherty 
Production Design by
Richard Macdonald 
Art Direction by
John J. Lloyd  (as John Lloyd)
Set Decoration by
George James Hopkins  (as George Hopkins)
Rick Simpson (uncredited)
Costume Design by
Ann Roth 
Makeup Department
Del Armstrong .... makeup artist
Lynn Del .... hair stylist
Graham Meech-Burkestone .... hair stylist (as Graham M. Birkstone)
Pascal .... hair stylist
Marlene D. Williams .... hair stylist (as Marlene Williams)
Michael Hancock .... makeup artist (uncredited)
Production Management
Sheldon Schrager .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Arne Schmidt .... second assistant director (as Arnie Schmidt)
Barry Stern .... second assistant director
Charles Ziarko .... second assistant director
Tim Zinnemann .... assistant director
Art Department
Allan Gordon .... property master
Adam John Backauskas .... property maker (uncredited)
Gary Fettis .... carpenter (uncredited)
L. David Gordon .... draper (uncredited)
Carl Hansen .... leadman (uncredited)
Roger Irvin .... construction foreman (uncredited)
Robert Krume .... construction coordinator (uncredited)
Johnny Lattanzio .... stand-by painter (uncredited)
James F. McGuire .... set designer (uncredited)
Harold Michelson .... illustrator (uncredited)
Dean Edward Mitzner .... set designer (uncredited)
Gary Myers .... set designer (uncredited)
Ernie Sawyers .... assistant props (uncredited)
Rick Simpson .... leadman (uncredited)
Bill Sully .... assistant art director (uncredited)
Sig Tingloff .... set designer (uncredited)
J. Dennis Washington .... set designer (uncredited)
Ward Welton .... paint foreman (uncredited)
Sound Department
David Campling .... sound editor
Gerry Humphreys .... sound mixer
Dennis Johns .... sound assistant
Tom Overton .... sound recordist (as Tommy Overton)
Tennyson .... sound assistant
Special Effects by
Tim Smyth .... special effects
Visual Effects by
Albert Whitlock .... special photographic effects
Phil Adams .... stunt coordinator
Jeannie Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Lila Finn .... stunts (uncredited)
James M. Halty .... stunts (uncredited)
Tommy J. Huff .... stunts (uncredited)
Gene LeBell .... stunts (uncredited)
Maurice Marks .... stunts (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
Robert Edesa .... assistant camera
Dave Friedman .... unit still photographer (as David Friedman)
Daniel R. Jordan .... key grip (as Danny Jordan)
Thomas Laughridge .... camera operator (as Tom Laughridge)
Rick Martens .... gaffer (as Richard Martens)
Danny Marzolo .... best boy
Ronald Vidor .... assistant camera (as Ron Vidor)
Thomas Del Ruth .... camera operator (uncredited)
Don Farnsworth .... second grip (uncredited)
Robert Jason .... electrician (uncredited)
Robert Moore .... dolly grip (uncredited)
Casting Department
Dianne Crittenden .... additional casting (as Diane Crittenden)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Robert De Mora .... wardrobe (as Robert de Mora)
G. Tony Scarano .... wardrobe (as Tony Scarano)
Patrick Cummings .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Alan Hoffman .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Carol Lunsford .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Donna Roberts .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Bill Slattery .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Don Vargas .... wardrobe (uncredited)
Editorial Department
Don Beckwith .... assistant editor
Christopher Greenbury .... assistant editor
Mary Kessel .... assistant editor
Barry McCormick .... assistant editor
Donald Freeman .... final colorist (uncredited)
Alan L. Shefland .... assistant editor (uncredited)
Music Department
John Barry .... conductor
Robert O. Ragland .... composer: additional music
Michael J. McDonald .... score remixer (uncredited)
Transportation Department
Edward Baken .... driver (uncredited)
John Brumby .... driver (uncredited)
Jerry Cipperly .... transportation co-captain (uncredited)
Alan Falco .... driver (uncredited)
Bill Gray .... driver (uncredited)
Ed Heboian .... driver (uncredited)
Ben Reade .... driver (uncredited)
Jean Spray .... driver (uncredited)
James Thornsberry .... transportation captain (uncredited)
Dennis Yank .... driver (uncredited)
Other crew
Marge Champion .... dance supervisor
Michael Childers .... production associate
Karen Hale Wookey .... script supervisor (as Karen Wookey)
Michael Maslansky .... unit publicist
Dan Perri .... title designer
Ronald Shedlo .... presenter
Bruce Weintraub .... production assistant
Harry Winer .... observer: AFI
Noreen Beasley .... assistant: Dan Perri (uncredited)
Sam Bernstein .... controller (uncredited)
Melissa Clark .... secretary to producer (uncredited)
Charles W. Geiger .... location manager (uncredited)
Joanie Laine .... accounting clerk (uncredited)
Ruben Martinez .... craft service (uncredited)
Jane Raglan .... secretary to director (uncredited)
Barbara Spitz .... production secretary (uncredited)
Joanne W. Strangman .... teacher (uncredited)
Crew verified as complete

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
144 min
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Dustin Hoffman was briefly attached to project.See more »
Errors in geography: The film opens at a sightseeing/tourist spot and parking area at the foot of the "H" in the Hollywoodland sign. No such facility has ever existed as that part of the hill is too steep for road construction. The real road passes behind the sign and above it.See more »
[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. Alrighty. I hope you'll be very happy here.
See more »
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35 out of 42 people found the following review useful.
"...a forgotten masterpiece of 70's cinema", 15 May 1999
Author: Mark Randall ( from Hollywood, CA

Many critics consider The Day of the Locust by Nathaniel West to be the best novel ever written about Hollywood. The screen version directed by John Schlesinger and written by Waldo Salt is one of the most faithful adaptations of a book to film ever made. Initially overlooked upon it's release in 1974 (to mixed reviews), it has since developed a huge cult following and is now considered to be a forgotten masterpiece of 70's cinema.

It tells the story of Todd Hackett who comes to Hollywood in the 1930's (but it might as well take place in the present) hoping for a career in set design, he soon finds that the road to success in the film industry is a difficult one and his journey takes a downward spiral as he falls in with the users and abusers of Hollywood, the desperate, disillusioned souls who, consumed by boredom and their own emptiness, search out any abnormality in their insatiable lust for excitement - drugs, perversion, crime.

Aside from top-notch direction, the film contains gorgeous (Oscar nominated) cinematography by Conrad Hall, a haunting score by John Barry, authentic period costume and art design, and outstanding performances from the entire cast. Notably: William Atherton as Todd, Karen Black (her finest role) as Faye Greener, a selfish, wannabe actress and extra, Burgess Meredith (also Oscar nominated) as her alcoholic father and former vaudeville star, and an almost unrecognizable Donald Sutherland as the sensitive, socially retarded misfit who is torn apart by those around him and triggers the films much talked about finale.

One thing is for certain, anyone who has seen the last 20 minutes of this disturbing film will never forget it. A must-see for film students, art directors, and anyone interested in the "golden" years of Hollywood.

Related reading:

Hollywood Babylon by Kenneth Anger

Play it as it Lays by Joan Didion

Less than Zero by Brett Easton Ellis

Was the above review useful to you?
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