The Day of the Locust - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Day of the Locust Reviews

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½ February 20, 2017
As filthy, dirty and depressing as its source material. Easily one of finest book to silver screen adaptations ever made. Screw its critics
November 16, 2015
brilliant behind the scenes look at studio system Hollywood gr8 third act performance from burgess meredith
½ May 28, 2015
I'd like to tell you what the Day of the Locust is about, but that would take quite awhile since it doesn't follow a traditional narrative structure. Instead the film appears to be a series of scenes mashed together in order to give the viewer a look at the seedy underbelly of 1930s Hollywood. The film mostly centers around a woman who is one of the most annoying and obnoxious characters ever captured on celluloid. Somehow, despite being mentally unhinged and ridiculously manipulative, most of the males in the film are drooling all over her. The males include an art director who tries to rape her, a sexually-repressed accountant who is almost as charming as a block of wood, and a pair of guys who run cock fights and seem to bicker over who gets to sleep with her first. I realize, based on the focus of the film, they don't feel the need to include any characters that are likable. However, I think just one character who I didn't utterly despise would be helpful in keeping me from the boredom this film inevitably brings. I suppose if the aim was to make me hate the world of Hollywood in the 30s then this was moderately successful, because I wanted to just shut this movie off and stop watching. But, luckily, I did hang on and watch as the film literally goes down in flames. In the final 20 minutes the movie strays even further from a traditional narrative and just becomes a series of off-the-wall images that could haunt the viewers' nightmares. I loathed The Day of the Locust, it was easily my least favorite movie I have seen this year, and may be in competition for the most unbearable movie I've seen this decade.
September 10, 2014
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.
June 6, 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
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