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The Towering Inferno (1974)

PG  |   |  Action, Drama, Thriller  |  16 December 1974 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 28,235 users  
Reviews: 192 user | 91 critic

At the opening party of a colossal, but poorly constructed, office building, a massive fire breaks out that threatens to destroy the tower and everyone in it.



(novel), (novel), 2 more credits »
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Paula Ramsay (as Sheila Mathews)
Giddings (as Normann Burton)
Jack Collins ...
Mayor Ramsay


Doug Roberts, Architect, returns from a long vacation to find work nearly completed on his skyscraper. He goes to the party that night concerned he's found that his wiring specifications have not been followed and that the building continues to develop short circuits. When the fire begins, Michael O'Halleran is the chief on duty as a series of daring rescues punctuate the terror of a building too tall to have a fire successfully fought from the ground. Written by John Vogel <>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


The world's tallest building is on fire. You are there on the 135th floor... no way down... no way out. See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

16 December 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Flammendes Inferno  »

Box Office


$14,000,000 (estimated)


$116,000,000 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System) (5.0) (L-R)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The scenic elevator is actually one of two in the Hyatt Regency Hotel in San Francisco. This elevator was used in numerous movies including Time After Time (1979), High Anxiety (1977), Telefon (1977), and Freebie and The Bean (1974). See more »


A crew member shadow is visible in the stairwell as the water cascades down. See more »


James Duncan: Give me the architect that designed you, and who needs Doug Roberts?
Susan: I do.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. Pictures logos don't appear in the beginning. See more »


The Morning After
Written by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
Played at the party when Roberts is first reporting the fire to Duncan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

The Towering Inferno
15 June 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

What a movie! it has an all star cast including Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden and many more.

The basis for this movie is the opening of the worlds tallest building, but things aren't as perfect as they seem as architect Paul Newman discovers inadequate electrical wiring in the building which could result in dangerous concequences. He then reports this to the buildings owner James Duncan but he doesn't think that it is a problem and still decides to go on with the opening ceremony which puts 300 peoples lives in the balance while trapped on the top of the 138 storey skyscraper when the building goes on fire due to the poor wiring, this results in unpredictable explosions and fires breaking out everywhere in the building. It is now up to fireman Steve McQueen his crew and the aide of the Navy to rescue the 300 people on top of the building and put out the fire.

By far the best disaster movie ever made with a terrific all star cast. Not to be missed!

49 of 61 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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