The Day Of The Locust 
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The dark side of Hollywood in the 1930's is revealed through the confict-filled lives of a novice art director, an ambitious hustler and an accountant. Burgess Meredith was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Based on Nathaniel West's novel .
Nathanael West's The Day of the Locust is by consensus the great Hollywood novel, a poison-pen letter aimed squarely at the tinsel heart of the movie biz. Only in the 1970s could Hollywood actually hazard a film of this story, and the result is suitably corrosive. William Atherton is the observer Tod, Karen Black the blond starlet Faye, and Donald Sutherland the hulking Homer--but they are easily out-acted by the colorful supporting cast. In particular, Burgess Meredith's exhausted showbizzy salesman and Billy Barty's strutting dwarf are superbly crafted gargoyles in this Hollywood wax museum. Director John Schlesinger piles on the rancid atmosphere and rampant hypocrisy until the movie fairly drowns in its own grotesque vision. Long before the climactic apocalyptic riot, the film has torn itself up. There's no substitute for West's wicked prose, so the adaptation comes across as a literal-minded screech rather than a true bonfire of the vanities. --Robert Horton
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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?