Although Donald Sutherland has top billing in the credits and posters, he doesn't appear until roughly 40 minutes into the film. Similarly, the prominently billed Burgess Meredith only appears in the first half of the movie.
The name of Donald Sutherland's character is "Homer Simpson" which is also a lead character name in The Simpsons (1989) and its spin-offs. Apparently, the naming is purely a coincidence, as the cartoon character was named after real people that cartoonist Matt Groening knew. As a gag, Donald Sutherland voiced a guest character in The Simpsons: Lisa the Iconoclast (1996) who meets the more famous Homer Simpson.
This picture, about faded dreams in the Hollywood of the 1930s, actually garnered two Academy Award nominations, for Best Cinematography (Conrad L. Hall) and Best Supporting Actor (Burgess Meredith), but failed, like the film's major characters, to be successful.
The faith-healing evangelist Big Sister (played by Geraldine Page) is based on Aimee Semple McPherson, a.k.a. Sister Aimee. Born in Canada, McPherson came to Hollywood in 1919, and founded the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel. As depicted in the film, she was one of the first evangelists to use the new medium of radio to reach a widespread audience. In 1923, McPherson led the construction of Angelus Temple in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles. The temple, which still stands today, originally included two radio towers to broadcast her revival sermons. McPherson's revivals at the temple were regularly attended by thousands of people. She often employed faith healing during her sermons, and donations for the church were taken with the admonishment, "No coins, please." McPherson continued her revival broadcasts until 1944, when she died from an accidental drug overdose while on a tour in Oakland, California. She is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Glendale in an elaborate grave adorned by white marble angels.
Millicent Lilian "Peg" Entwistle is the name of the woman who committed suicide by leaping off the 'Hollywood" sign. She is being talked about by a Tour Guide while Tod Hackett (William Atherton) & Faye Greener (Karen Black) are on a date.
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.
The Buccaneer (1938) was the name of the big epic film being launched at the big premiere towards the end of this movie. This was a real life film made by Paramount Pictures in the 1930s, the studio that made this movie. Most of the titles which are referred to in this film in some way are actual Paramount titles from their 1930s period, others being Blonde Venus (1932) and I'm No Angel (1933).