The Day of the Locust
The Day of the Locust (1975)

One of the most grim assessments of Hollywood life during the '30s, this cynical drama is adapted from a novel by Nathanael West and tells the tale of a talentless beauty's desperate struggle to become a star. The story, unfolding… More

Directed By:
Rated: R
Running Time:
Release Date: May 7, 1975
DVD Release Date: June 8, 2004
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Critic Score: 64% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Variety Staff

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.

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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader

A painfully misconceived reduction and simplification.

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Jamie Gillies
Apollo Guide

The casting choices are brilliant but the production is let down by a haphazard screenplay that misses the novel's point, and weak direction.

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Geoff Andrew
Time Out

The narrative is often confused and confusing.

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TV Guide

Accurately captures the intent of West's dark masterpiece.

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Luke Y. Thompson
New Times

Much has been made of the climactic riot scene, which may have seemed novel when Nathanael West first wrote it back in the '30s, but it's just plain goofy when viewed today

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

Schlesinger has conceived his film as an epic, which was a daring thing to do with such slender material.

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Emanuel Levy

John (Midnight Cowboy) Schlesinger's version of Nathanael Hawthorne's powerful novel about Hollywood and its dreamers and losers in the 1930s is not always effective, but it's ambitious, daring, and very well acted.

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Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Blistering film version of the novel. One of Schlesinger's best works.

More reviews for The Day of the Locust

Flixster Audience Score: 75% Flixster User Reviews
jay nixon
Profoundly sad view of the lower rungs of Hollywood life in the 30's. Disturbing and unsettling. The climatic sequence is both horrifying and mesmerizing.
Ivan Descartin
Allegorical film that depicts the moral decay of 1930's Hollywood. Donald Sutherland gave an unusual performance as Homer Simpson. The epic, horrifying… More
Robert C
An often surreal but always intriguing morality tale. This film has it's sights set mostly on "Hollywood", with a few "pop shots" at… More
Quinto Wallight
Eric Broome
Wow, what an ugly film. Presumably, this cynical tale of Hollywood wannabes was green-lit following the success of "Chinatown." Not one likable… More
Wu Chouin
Fantastic film. I was really blown away the first time I saw this one.