7.1/10
4,455
73 user 39 critic

The Day of the Locust (1975)

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)
Reviews

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

ON DISC
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Drama | History | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Bathsheba Everdene, a willful, flirtatious, young woman, unexpectedly inherits a large farm and is romantically pursued by three very different men.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Julie Christie, Peter Finch, Alan Bates
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Divorced working woman Alex and well-to-do Jewish family doctor Daniel Hirsh share not only the same answering service but also the favours of young Bob Elkin who bed-hops between them as ... See full summary »

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Peter Finch, Glenda Jackson, Murray Head
Billy Liar (1963)
Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A lazy, irresponsible young clerk in provincial Northern England lives in his own fantasy world and makes emotionally immature decisions as he alienates friends and family.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Tom Courtenay, Julie Christie, Wilfred Pickles
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After his girlfriend's pregnancy forces him to marry her, a young man must adjust to his new life and contend with his domineering mother-in-law.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Alan Bates, June Ritchie, Thora Hird
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Bohemian Alex Morrison has just finished directing his first feature length movie. In its previews, the movie is considered a critical, artistic and surefire commercial success. As such, ... See full summary »

Director: Paul Mazursky
Stars: Donald Sutherland, Ellen Burstyn, Meg Mazursky
Marathon Man (1976)
Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A graduate history student is unwittingly caught in the middle of an international conspiracy involving stolen diamonds, an exiled Nazi war criminal, and a rogue government agent.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Dustin Hoffman, Laurence Olivier, Roy Scheider
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Hollywood in the Golden Age See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

12 June 1975 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Como plaga de langosta See more »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Using diffusion filters and camera angles that often let sunlight deflect off of characters and objects within the frame, Locust is one of the most beautifully photographed films of the 1970s, and Conrad Hall received one of its two Oscar nominations, for Best Cinematography. 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

Edited into The Kid Stays in the Picture (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

JEEPERS CREEPERS
Music by Harry Warren
Lyrics by Johnny Mercer
Sung by Louis Armstrong
Courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

"Mulholland Drive" with more blood.
7 July 2003 | by Muffy-5See all my reviews

I first saw "Day of the Locust" because I thought Karen Black was keen. I liked the film, but I can't say I understood its point at the time. What's with the faceless people, Sutherland's hands, and the angry dwarf? Sounds like David Lynch to me, especially in light of "Mulholland Drive" and its scathing, unsympathetic view of Hollywood (it even has a cowboy!)

I finally got around to reading the Nathanael West novel -- which is absolutely brilliant -- and decided to watch the film again. And I need to say that, as much as I still appreciate and enjoy the movie, it really missed the boat, trying to cram bits and pieces of ideas from the novel (the strange, artificial relationship between Faye and her father, the barely-restrained violence of those who "come to Hollywood to die," the anachronistic and cold facade of Hollywood and the people in charge of it), meanwhile stuffing in some 70's ideas, reflecting back on the beginnings of WWII (which wasn't an issue in the book at all), and -- strangely enough -- adding warmth and humanity to characters whose sole characteristic (in the novel) was that they had NO warmth or humanity whatsoever.

And that's the weird thing about this movie. I remember, when I first saw it, I was amazed at how unlikeable all the characters were. After reading the book, however, I can say that the characters in the movie are FAR TOO likeable to support any of the book's themes. This is most notable when it comes to Faye's little breakdowns, letting the viewer know that she's really a good person who wants to be loved, turning her into a VICTIM of the star system. But the point of the book -- as I gathered, anyway -- was that these people aren't victims at all. They're greedy people who victimize each-other, and usually in sloppy, stupid ways ("Jeepers, Creepers!") Faye isn't capable of an unaffected tender moment, all she can do is pretend. The same goes for her father: even his moments of genuine sickness and pain are filtered through his never-ending vaudeville routine.

Homer Simpson, as well, is portrayed (in the film) as a sort of unfortunate lump, and a bible-thumper to boot, taken advantage of by Faye. But that destroys one of the great levels of nastiness in the novel: Homer is just as much as an opportunist as Faye, and he deserves everything he gets. Why is he being so generous, letting her stay with him and hold cock-fights in his garage? Because he's a pathetic, incapable human being who barely has a human feature to him: he's just a collection of nervous ticks. He lusts after her, and he seems to delight in his thwarted lust. He's got less going for him than that lizard on the cactus, eating flies.

The film suffers from an attempt to make the characters likeable, almost without exception. The only person who escapes this "Hollywood-ization" of the book is Adore, the horrible child star whose fate nobody who has seen the movie (or read the book) will ever forget. Jeez!

If you find yourself watching this movie and "just not getting it," do yourself a favour and read the book. It won't make the movie any clearer, but you can at least view the movie as a clear-cut example of the sort of thing the book was pointing out and railing against, way back in 1939 when this idea was still a novel one: Hollywood films are manipulative and full of fakery, and so are humans in general, and people in general are also ghoulish and horrible, and no amount of eyelash-fluttering or smooth tango-dancing will disguise that. You might be the owner of a big studio and have an inflatable dead horse in your pool, but you still can't relate to your wife, and the only thing left in your life is pathetic thrill-seeking (cock-fights, cheesy stag flicks).

(Incidentally, I'm amazed at how many quirky things ended up in the screenplay that WEREN'T part of the book! Kudos to the scriptwriter for that at least!)


31 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 73 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Comedy Titles With Prime Video

Explore popular comedy titles available to stream with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed