Cinema: The 8th Plague

THE DAY OF THE LOCUST

Directed by JOHN SCHLESINGER Screenplay by WALDO SALT

Hollywood making a movie out of The Day of the Locust is like the Lilliputians mounting a production of Gulliver's Travels. The scale is off; the distance is wrong.

Nathanael West's cool, cruelly funny novel, first published in 1939, has become a classic vision of the heart of Southern California. West, who did some screenwriting himself, knew the raw fringes of the movie world. He saw the kind of anxiety that led people to Los Angeles and the gaudy madness that was nurtured there. He used Los Angeles, and particularly the...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!