Chief Michael O'Hallorhan
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Quotes for
Chief Michael O'Hallorhan (Character)
from The Towering Inferno (1974)

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The Towering Inferno (1974)
James Duncan: [smiling genially, sure that he can smarm his way out of the situation] Everything under control?
Chief O'Hallorhan: You've gotta move all these people out of here.
James Duncan: Aw, now, just how bad is it?
Chief O'Hallorhan: It's a fire, mister, and all fires are bad.

[last Lines]
Chief O'Hallorhan: You know, we were lucky tonight. Body count's less than 200. You know, one of these days, you're gonna kill 10,000 in one of these firetraps, and I'm gonna keep eating smoke and bringing out bodies until somebody asks us... how to build them.
Doug Roberts: [looks up at the smoky building] Okay. I'm asking.
Chief O'Hallorhan: You know where to reach me. So long, architect.

Doug Roberts: [picks up ringing phone] Roberts.
Chief O'Hallorhan: It's out of control, and it's coming your way. You got about fifteen minutes. Now, they wanna try somethin'. They wanna blow those water tanks two floors above you. They think it might kill the fire.
Doug Roberts: [surveys room] How're they gonna get the explosives up here?
Chief O'Hallorhan: [after already having been given the task] Oh, they'll find some dumb son of a bitch to bring it up.

Chief O'Hallorhan: [sighs] Architects.
Doug Roberts: Yeah, it's all our fault.
Chief O'Hallorhan: Now, you know there's no sure way for us to fight a fire in anything over the seventh floor, but you guys just keep building 'em as high as you can.
Doug Roberts: Hey. Are you here to take me on, or the fire?

[about setting the charges for the tanks]
Chief O'Hallorhan: How do I get back down?
[long pause]
Chief O'Hallorhan: Oh shit! Huh...

Chief O'Hallorhan: [picking up a security phone] This is O'Hallorhan, who am I speaking to?
Flaker: [into the phone] Chief Flaker, sir. US Navy Air Rescue.
Chief O'Hallorhan: It's about time, we can use your rescue choppers.
Flaker: I've ordered them right away. I'd like to set up communications next to the forward command center.
Chief O'Hallorhan: No no, too dangerous! Stay out of those elevators!
Flaker: Well then, sir, we'll just trot right up the stairs.
Chief O'Hallorhan: Yeah, you'll just trot right up to 79, huh?
Flaker: [chastened] Standing by in the lobby, sir.
Chief O'Hallorhan: Thank you.

Chief O'Hallorhan: For what it's worth, architect, this is one building that I figured wouldn't burn.
Doug Roberts: Either did I.
[O'Hallorhan starts to walk toward Roberts's office on the 79th floor, so Roberts decides to add the kicker]
Doug Roberts: And they're celebrating! A party.
Chief O'Hallorhan: Party? What party? Where?
Doug Roberts: In the Promenade Room. 300 people.
Chief O'Hallorhan: Well, why didn't you get them the hell out of there?
Doug Roberts: Why don't you go on upstairs and talk to Duncan? He ain't exactly listening to me.
Chief O'Hallorhan: I will.

[the firemen are trapped in an elevator shaft]
Chief O'Hallorhan: We'll go down by rope. We're gonna rappel down to 65, get on top of that elevator, use it as an exit.
Young Fireman: I can't make it. I'll fall. I know I'll fall.
Chief O'Hallorhan: Okay. Then you better go first. That way when you fall, you won't take any of us with you.

[O'Hallaran is getting his air tank changed]
Chief O'Hallorhan: Why do they make these goddamned things so heavy?
Kappy: You want it easier, Chief?
Chief O'Hallorhan: I don't know why they couldn't design a survival suit for us like they did for football players.
Kappy: Who pays to see us play?

Chief O'Hallorhan: All right. It's your building, but it's our fire. Now, let's get these people the hell out of here.
James Duncan: Now, I don't think you're listening, Chief. There's no way for a fire on 81 to reach up here, not in this building.
Chief O'Hallorhan: OK. I'll do it.
[He prepares to announce an evacuation]
James Duncan: [stops him] Hold it, hold it. The Mayor's out there. Do you want me to pull rank on you?
Chief O'Hallorhan: When there's a fire, I outrank everybody here. Now, one thing we don't want is a panic. Now, I could tell them, but you ought to do it. Just make a nice cool announcement to all your guests and tell them the party's being moved down below the fire floor. Right now.

[Chief O'Hallorhan has just found out the fire is heading towards the elevator shaft]
Chief O'Hallorhan: You'd better call Duncan, tell him to stop those people in the car room from using that express elevator, or somebody's going to get killed.
[Roberts picks up the phone to comply]
Chief O'Hallorhan: [addressing a colleague] OK, Kappy... ring in a third alarm. I want some rescue squads here and I also want choppers. We're going to need them if we're going to get those people. - All right, come on, firemen. I'll be on 81.
Doug Roberts: [on the phone to Duncan as injured firemen are brought into the office to get medical help] The fire's moving towards the main shaft. Use the scenic elevator - don't overload.
James Duncan: OK, Doug.
[Duncan hangs up the phone and turns to do so but is confronted by Roger Simmons]
Roger Simmons: I don't like the way you talked to me.
James Duncan: You drunk?
Roger Simmons: Not yet.
James Duncan: Well then, get out of my way!
Roger Simmons: You didn't talk like this two years ago, did you? Running over budget and out of money? Did you ask me then how I could shave two million dollars off our electrical costs?
James Duncan: [making his way to the elevators] Shut up and help me with these people!
Roger Simmons: And let me ask you, my dear father-in-law! Am I the only subcontractor you encouraged to cut corners?
James Duncan: [addressing people in the crowd] Excuse me.
Roger Simmons: Where did you save the other $4 million in Doug's original budget?
[Duncan reaches the front of the crowd and pushes past Simmons]
James Duncan: [Addressing the crowd at the elevators, and lying to save his own life:] Please, please. Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry. You'll have to move back into the Promenade Room, and we'll be taking you down by the scenic elevator. Now, these express elevators can be activated by fire, and with the probability of short circuits, the cars might stop on the floor where the fire is. So please, we'll use the scenic elevator. It's over here.
[Suddenly an elevator door opens behind Duncan, and several people surge past him into it. Duncan tries to stop them but is unable to, and the door closes behind him and the elevator starts down. Duncan hits the button to try to stop the elevator but it does not return]

Chief O'Hallorhan: How long before you can give me a complete list of your tenants?
Harry Jernigan: Oh, you don't have to worry about that, we're moving them out right now.
Chief O'Hallorhan: Not live-in. *Business* tenants.
Harry Jernigan: Well, we kind of looked up there, too. The majority of them haven't moved in yet, and those that have aren't working tonight.
Chief O'Hallorhan: I want to know *who* they are, not *where* they are.
Harry Jernigan: [perplexed] But what does that got to do with anything, who they are?
Chief O'Hallorhan: [patiently] Do you have any wool or silk manufacturers? You see, in a fire, wool and silk give off cyanide gas. Do you have any sporting goods manufacturers, like table tennis balls? They give off toxic gases. Now, do you want me to keep going down the line?
Harry Jernigan: [now understanding] No. One list of tenants coming right up.
Chief O'Hallorhan: Thank you.