Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Hollywood or Bust

One of the best films from the erratic but often brilliant John Schlesinger, The Day of the Locust shocked a lot of viewers in '75 with its vision of the early days of Hollywood as a breeding ground for corruption, depravity, and despair, with a finale that veers straight into horror territory. Paramount probably didn't make much money from it despite the impressive cast (Karen Black, Donald Sutherland, Geraldine Page, etc.), but it's well worth seeking out and features stunning photography by the late Conrad Hall. However, one of its strongest attributes is the haunting, restrained score by John Barry, who had just come off his reunion with James Bond for The Man with the Golden Gun. A mixture of elegiac instrumentals and quirky period song adaptations, it still holds up as a solid soundtrack; and if you've seen the film, track 12 will definitely make you shudder.

The Day of the Locust
1. Jeepers Creepers
2. The Storyteller / Garden Of The Locust
3. Isn't It Romantic (Vocal: Michael Dees)
4. The Flying Carpet
5. A Picture Of Love
6. I Wished On A Moon (Vocal: Nick Lucas)
7. Soft Shoe Salesman
8. Fire And Passion
9. Hot Voodoo (Vocal: Paul Jabara)
10. Fashion And Fantasy
11. Sing You Sinners (Vocal: Pamela Myers)
12. The Day Of The Locust
13. Finale

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Blogger gspeedlace said...

Thanks for more great Barry.

The book the film is adapted from (by Nathanael West) is well worth reading, too. And don't forget, LOCUST is the unlikely birthplace of "Homer Simpson"!

11:59 AM  
Blogger ISBUM said...

I lived in West's old apartment building, 1817 N.Ivar, "Parva Sed Apta" for 14 years. Moved there about a year after the film came out but didn't know about the West connection until later.
Top of "Lysol Alley" has the Alto Nido apartments, first shown in "Sunset Boulevard" and now featured in DePalma's "The Black Dahlia".

BTW: two more Barry scores are up at The Slaughtered Lamb site.

Big Thanks!!:)

2:08 PM  
Blogger ISBUM said...

This is so good, I have to thank you twice!!

11:14 AM  
Anonymous deeky said...

i rented this one on your recommendation and have to say i didn't really like it. was i the only one happy when that little girl (?) got hers in the end?

2:45 PM  
Blogger H. Michael Karshis said...

What? No mention of 2006's Hollywood comeback of the decade - Jackie Earle Haley?

All the King's Men & Little Children.

He played the freaky kid, Adore!

Thanks for the hook-up!

1:56 PM  

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