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The Towering Inferno (1974)

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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 »
4,215 ( 163)
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)
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 <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"The Towering Inferno" Is Not Just The Story Of The World's Tallest Building In Flames, It's The Story Of People... See more »


Action | Drama | Thriller


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

1 January 1975 (Singapore)  »

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 HH-1N helicopters are in the original paint scheme used by NAS Lemoore's (CA) Search and Rescue Flight. Later on, they were painted red and white. Up until the unit's disbandment in 2004, the Flight was still pointing out it was their helicopters used in the movie. See more »


When William Holden and Robert Vaughan are at the party, the barman produces a case of wine on which is stamped 'Romanee Contie'. This wine is actually 'Romanee-Conti'. There is no 'e' on the end. See more »


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...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Home and Away: Episode #1.499 (1990) See more »


We May Never Love Like This Again
Maureen McGovern sings
Words and Music by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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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!

51 of 63 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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