Cinema: The 8th Plague


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...

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