Magnificent production, combined with excellent casting and direction, make The Day of the Locust as fine a film (in a professional sense) as the basic material lets it be. Nathanael West's novel about losers on the Hollywood fringe has lost little of its verisimilitude in adaptation.

Magnificent production, combined with excellent casting and direction, make The Day of the Locust as fine a film (in a professional sense) as the basic material lets it be. Nathanael West’s novel about losers on the Hollywood fringe has lost little of its verisimilitude in adaptation.

The Day of the Locust puts its focus on the loser, the never-was and the never-will-be. The story of destined failure features Karen Black in a fine performance as an aspiring, selfish would-be starlet, the daughter of broken down vaudevillian Burgess Meredith (a brilliant characterization). Donald Sutherland, laboring under the most striking burden of fuzzy writing, still evokes a good measure of pity as the hick whose immature love for Black is abused by her.

The principals are surrounded by a truly superb supporting cast: and the physical and technical support is beyond belief.

1975: Nominations: Best Supp. Actor (Burgess Meredith), Cinematography

The Day of the Locust

Production

Paramount. Director John Schlesinger; Producer Jerome Hellman; Screenplay Waldo Salt; Camera Conrad Hall; Editor Jim Clark; Music John Barry; Art Director Richard MacDonald

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1975. Running time: 144 MIN.

With

Donald Sutherland Karen Black Burgess Meredith William Atherton Geraldine Page Richard A. Dysart
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