The Day of the Locust Reviews

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November 24, 2011
What a strange film. I just don't get it, it must be one of those films too much of its time and place. As a satire it's really muddled and confusing. Really unenjoyable in every way.
½ April 7, 2014
What a climax... 4-7-2014.
February 24, 2014
Transformative performances by Karen Black and Donald Sutherland, both of whom keep the film centered on its theme of morality skewed between self-righteousness and wantonness. Conrad Hall's photography is beautiful as ever; the lighter colors glisten in gold hues which ornament the Hollywood dreamscape, but the more earthly colors follow through in the uglier scenes. The ending was the only bit I had a huge problem with. Schlesinger would have done better to follow the book in that regard. Otherwise, a brilliant made film with what seems to be a genuine appreciation and respect for West's novel.
June 20, 2013
Hollywood as Dante's Inferno. A perfect double bill with "They Shoot Horse, Don't They?"...if you are feeling truly suicidal.
June 13, 2013
Unexpectedly weird and wonderful.
March 10, 2013
Pityless to its characters, some linking images act like daydreams and voice what the caracters are unable to voice themselve. And Karen Black nails it like she was born to play this role.
April 19, 2013
Laughable to see all these bad reviews of this brilliant film. I get the feeling that the people saying the film 'misses the point of the book' have never actually read it. A lost classic that deserves rediscovery. And don't be a twat about the cockfighting scenes; the film is almost 40 years old and the director is long dead. This film is larger than our PC squeamishness.
March 28, 2013
Good acting and good cinematography. A bit too disturbing for my taste, though. The ending is one of the traumatizing, terrifying things I have ever witnessed.
February 20, 2013
Seductive and profound. Time for a new generation to view it!
January 28, 2013
Schlesinger's film is a portrayal of a 1930's Hollywood that circles around the uncomfortable love affair between a struggling actress married to a simple minded rich man and a production designer for a film studio. His work carefully balances poetic madness and morbid glamour, tinted with the reputation and mystery of the scandals of the time and place it is set in. As well as that, anyone that has seen this film will count its ending among the most memorable and shocking ever experienced.
½ August 16, 2012
great movie with an awesome ending!
½ June 7, 2012
A truly haunting look at Hollywood--A Film for Film Lovers!!
June 7, 2012
Unmistakable seedy movie highlighting the lower quaility of glamourous Hollywood and its citizens. truly well done, beautiful in its design and, costumes and sets, its feels like the depression of the 30's and is remarkable how it was made in the 1970's and portrays an uncanny resemblance to the current system today. Amazing cast of characters and empathy for the leads. Excellent film, fantstic score but truly not for everyone's taste. Today's movie going public sure as hell wouldn't get this movie today.
April 16, 2012
Seminal momentary bliss, even if it took half of my life..
April 10, 2012
Schlesinger's wonderful film adaptation of Nathaniel West's shocking novel. an insightful view of characters in 1930's Hollywood with an ending that will blow you out of the water
March 19, 2012
Rambling and overlong, but sticks the landing
February 4, 2012
Utterly depressing but uncompromisingly realistic. THIS IS HOLLYWOOD.
½ December 15, 2011
Weirdness reaches new heights in this film from Hollywood-land. Sutherland gives a truly amazing performance and outshines his co-stars.
Super Reviewer
April 23, 2011
Wow, what an ugly film. Presumably, this cynical tale of Hollywood wannabes was green-lit following the success of "Chinatown." Not one likable character in the cast -- even the lead Tod (William Atherton), with his shallow love for Faye (Karen Black), is hard to embrace. Donald Sutherland gives a remarkable performance as repressed neurotic Homer Simpson (now why does that name sound familiar?), but should have entered the story much earlier. Burgess Meredith? Wonderful, but wasted in a minor part.

As if the other depravities weren't enough, there's even a repulsive cockfighting scene needlessly thrown into the mix. Meanwhile, the surreal climax is like an entirely different movie (shades of "The Wall"?) and goes way, way over the top.

Interesting to see the often villainous Atherton as an innocent, William Castle in a cameo as a fictional director and the pubescent Jackie Earle Haley as an insufferable child-star brat.
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