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On the set of 'The Day of the Locust'

On the set of ‘The Day of the Locust’

A 1930s-era premiere is filmed on Hollywood Boulevard for the 1975 movie “Day of the Locust.”

The photo above by Larry Bessel appeared in the April 28, 1974, edition of the Los Angeles Times.

“The Day of the Locust” received mixed reviews. The premiere scene, during which a riot occurs, turned off some viewers.

In the May 13, 1975, edition of the Los Angeles Times, columnist Art Seidenbaum wrote:

Not being a critic, this is more movie revulsion than movie review.

I walked out of “The Day of the Locust” trying to amuse myself, needing fresh air, the sight of real people and some sense that civilization was still there.

I’d just watched what must be the crowning mob scene in movie history. First, Donald Sutherland, morose and miscast, rises in fury and stomps a child to death. Then the crowd, angry and annoyed, stomp and tear Sutherland to shreds. Finally, the mob, hysterical, turns on the rich and the poor and itself in a orgy of beast-eat-beast.

A disaster film of the human spirit.

“If you can miss one movie this year,” I thought to myself heading for exit and sanity, “you must miss ‘The Day of the Locust.’”

In the 1976 Oscar competition, actor Burgess Meredith received a supporting actor nomination and Conrad L. Hall received a cinematography nomination for their work on “The Day of the Locust.”

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