Two Great Moments from The Day of the Locust (John Schlesinger, 1975

Eavesdropping at the Movies will be podcasting on John Schlesinger’s fascinating The Day of the Locust, so an evaluation of the film in greater depth will follow. For now, I just want to signal two moments in the film that I found beautiful and that I’d like to go back to:


The first: Faye Greener’s wishes, shot through with darkness and gorgeously back-lit by Conrad Hall. By the end, Karen Black appears with a halo as her face falls into shadow; Greener a saintly character clearly already lost and headed to murkier pastures:


The second: the glorious little tap-dance Burgess Meredith chooses for  his ex-vaudevillian character, now reduced to selling door-to-door but giving the day a bit of uplift with his heels:


José Arroyo

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