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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another of my favorites
I'm a big Schlesinger fan--all his films: "Midnight Cowboy," to "Madame Sousatzka" (yes, I know, not his best, but watch it anyway for the details). However, "Day of the Locust" may just be his second best film (Cowboy is the first). In "Locust" we get to see the underbelly of Hollywood and just how desparate and sleazy it can be. This is a terrifying movie, full of raw...
Published on 12 Jun 2008 by Randy F.

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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good film, lousy DVD print.
This ranks with "Midnight Cowboy" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" as one of John Schlesinger's great films. Unfortunately Paramount do not seem to think it necessary to restore the picture quality on their DVD releases. The colours are faded and washed out, red and yellow dominates every frame and the image is grainy. This film needs to be seen in better quality. Better wait...
Published on 21 May 2008 by Max Fournier


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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another of my favorites, 12 Jun 2008
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This review is from: Day Of The Locust [DVD] (DVD)
I'm a big Schlesinger fan--all his films: "Midnight Cowboy," to "Madame Sousatzka" (yes, I know, not his best, but watch it anyway for the details). However, "Day of the Locust" may just be his second best film (Cowboy is the first). In "Locust" we get to see the underbelly of Hollywood and just how desparate and sleazy it can be. This is a terrifying movie, full of raw emotions, desparation, cruelty, hate, and greed. While the main cast is great, the supporting cast may be even better. I do agree with another reviewer that the print was not so good on this, but then I remember seeing the original and thinking that even then the colors looked faded and out of date. Was this perhaps intentional? I know Schlesinger is a stickler for details so I don't know what could have happened. At any rate, focus on the story. As with all his films, the ending will blow your mind. You won't be able to get Sutherland out of your head and what he does--you'll keep seeing that horrible image over and over.

Hollywood has cannibalized itself before ("All About Eve"--actually more theater than Hollywood, but you get the idea), but "Locust" takes this idea to the extreme. See this movie, if for nothing else, the incredible rawness of Hollywood. This makes a perfect partner to "Chinatown" which is not only about Hollywood, but how it got to be the town it is. Also recommended: The Turning Point, Sunday, Bloody Sunday, and Midnight Cowboy.

Day of the Locust--one of the best films of the last century.

R. Farnsworth
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good film, lousy DVD print., 21 May 2008
This review is from: Day Of The Locust [DVD] (DVD)
This ranks with "Midnight Cowboy" and "Sunday Bloody Sunday" as one of John Schlesinger's great films. Unfortunately Paramount do not seem to think it necessary to restore the picture quality on their DVD releases. The colours are faded and washed out, red and yellow dominates every frame and the image is grainy. This film needs to be seen in better quality. Better wait for Paramount to get their act together.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An incompetent, misogynist mess, 5 Dec 2013
This review is from: Day Of The Locust [DVD] [1974] EU IMPORT ENGLISH AUDIO (DVD)
John Schlesinger's film-directing career never really recovered from this fiasco; nor did it deserve to. It cost a fortune and took ages (shooting began in 1973, and it was the Spring of 1975 before it opened) and it was a box-office disaster. In an all-too-obvious effort to rescue his career, Schlesinger (who usually made a film only every two or three years) rushed straight into a sure-fire commercial enterprise, "Marathon Man", the sort of blatant nonsense he had previously affected to despise, and he did a lousy job of directing that, too. It was, however, a modest hit - but its very success meant that Schlesinger was now perceived by the Hollywood money boys simply as another hack, albeit one with more pretensions than most. In later years, he kept doing terrible projects like "Pacific Heights" and "An Eye For An Eye", films he'd never have considered in earlier days. The mess he made out of Nathanael West's corrosive, terrifying 1930s novel apparently surprised the many who had over-rated his British hits, but its faults are in fact pretty typical of his work. Schlesinger liked to portray himself to interviewers as a gentle, compassionate man with deep sympathy for life's unfortunates. Phooey - his films are merely obsessed with squalor and nastiness, and are informed mostly by contempt. The working-class characters of "A Kind Of Loving" and "Billy Liar" are mostly viewed with Olympian disdain - especially the women. There's no avoiding the suspicion that Schlesinger really hated women, for, in film after film, they're either dreadful harpies or just pathetic, and he invariably hints strongly that young men would do best to avoid them altogether. This is especially true of "The Day Of The Locust", where the savage leftist social satire of West's novel is debased into a truly shameless misogyny and condescension. West's heroine is supposed to be a pretty nasty piece of work, but also gorgeous - Karen Black, who plays her, is at least a dozen years too old, and is encouraged to shrill and shriek whilst being most unflatteringly photographed and presented. All the other characters are also presented as grotesques (save, of course, for William Atherton's handsome hero), but Schlesinger's eye for them is not merely pitiless, it's actively cruel. This is most especially true of the story's poor, desperate victims of the American dream. The film is miles too long (the novel is quite short) and displays an alarming incompetence. The spectacular riot at the end is apocalyptic, but to no purpose, and we are told that it takes place at the L.A. opening of Cecil B. DeMille's 1938 film "The Buccaneer" - "starring Fredric March and Anthony Quinn". Quinn actually has a tiny bit part in that film, made when he was an unknown newcomer - a simple enough detail to get right, one would have thought. One has to say that Burgess Meredith, as an old vaudevillian reduced to hawking shoe-polish door-to-door, is pretty good and Donald Sutherland works very hard in what has become, in Schlesinger's hands, an impossible part. The set designer, Richard Macdonald, does an excellent job. Just possibly, the film may have encouraged people to seek out the novel. That's about all you can say its favour.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing Classic, 15 April 2013
By 
Aron Ramna (Porto,Portugal) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Day Of The Locust [DVD] [1974] EU IMPORT ENGLISH AUDIO (DVD)
I bought this dvd for my Karen Black collection. Its worth the money & was the cheapest purchase available,the back cover is in French,i don't like it but its okay,at least the front is in English. Buy it & watch if u like classics with quality stars on it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars The dark side of now, 15 Feb 2014
By 
Anna C (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Day Of The Locust [DVD] [1974] EU IMPORT ENGLISH AUDIO (DVD)
A great intelligent movie about the madness of crowds and the values of capitalism that looks increasingly like a documentary about today's collective id. The book by Nathanael West and set in early Hollywood's Sodom and Gommorah is amazing and director John Schlesinger has been faithful in the transition onto the screen.
Tod Hackett is an artists employed by one of the studios in 1930s Hollywood. While he's working on the major epic, Waterloo, he meets and hangs out with ("befriends" is too strong a word) the local characters, mostly deluded and in the gutter but jealously looking up at the stars.
Donald Sutherland is the perfect Homer Simpson. (My friends thought he was too young, I thought he was just right as a man entering middle-age. After all, Matt Groening's Homer Simpson is supposed to be 38.) Like the other men in the movie, Sutherland's HS fall in love with a flighty 17-year old wannabe starlet, played by Karen Black who, despite a valiant effort, is too old to play this lost teenager. Black is beautiful and a terrific actress but far too womanly to play the fey child-woman, Faye Greener.
There's a bitterly funny surreal element to the movie and you are made well aware that the author and filmmakers do not like Hollywood, a bubbling cauldron distilling the worst of America. The centre cannot hold and it goes spinning into deadly lunacy.
The set-piece scenes of the studio accident and the resulting cover-up, and the cockfight are powerful and disturbing. The nightmare scene at the end is brilliantly done and will stay with you for a long time.
Note who's playing Adore, the spoilt brat who's part Shirley Temple, part demon imp. It's Jackie Hayley who plays Rorschach in Watchmen!
If you like this move, you must read the book. There's at least one sequence left out of the movie: Tod's search through the myriad studio backlots in search of Faye. It's stunning and pretty unfilmable but it plays vividly in your imagination.
I would twin this movie with The Shoot Horses, Don't They?
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good quality, 3 Jun 2013
By 
David H. Bebbington (Kent, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Day Of The Locust [DVD] [1974] EU IMPORT ENGLISH AUDIO (DVD)
Nice to find this film again - one of the great Hollywood dystopias alongside Sunset Boulevard and The Player. Dutch packaging but plays in English fine. Some extras on the DVD would have been nice - can't complain about the image quality as some others seem to have done.
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