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The Towering Inferno (1974)

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.

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Won 3 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Lisolette
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Jernigan
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Bigelow
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Paula Ramsay (as Sheila Mathews)
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Giddings (as Normann Burton)
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Mayor Ramsay
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

You are there on the 135th floor, no way down, no way out. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 January 1975 (Singapore)  »

Also Known As:

Flammendes Inferno  »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$116,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Over at Fox Back Lot, A crew constructed a Three Story Replica of The Scenic Elevator Explosion. LB Abbott and AW Flowers were in charge of the Elevator Explosion. Some of the Cast Members was inside the Elevator, including Faye Dunaway, Jennifer Jones, and including the Future Mrs. Irwin Allen, Shelia Matthews. Allen was Directing the Blast Sequence. It was shot at night, and when the massive explosion went off, with the Stars inside the Scenic Elevator, they could feel the massive heat coming from the explosion. So much so, the explosion caught other parts of the outdoor set on fire, and including the trees behind the set. Matthews told Allen, that they were all wearing chiffon clothing and could feel the heat. The Massive Explosion was the only take that Allen did, and used in the Film. See more »

Goofs

Mike asks Doug if there was anything dangerous on the 81st floor, where the fire started, that would make the fire worse. Doug (the architect) inconceivably forgot about the gallons of paint thinner and dozens of cans of spray paint (unforgivably placed) in that electrical room. See more »

Quotes

Senator Parker: At this rate it's going to take a couple of hours to get everyone down. So, I would suggest that those of us with stout hearts and trim waistlines start using the stairs.
James Duncan: That's 135 floors.
Senator Parker: All downhill.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

We May Never Love Like This Again
Maureen McGovern sings
Words and Music by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

McQueen and Newman create sparks
13 December 2003 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Your typical dumb disaster flick, produced by the king of the genre, Irwin Allen, made notable by the presence of Steve McQueen and Paul Newman who finally agreed to share the screen as equals, something they almost did in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid." The ever competitive McQueen made his film debut with a bit part in "Somebody Up There Likes Me" in which Newman starred, and one of his ambitions was to finally get top billing over his number one rival. Even with the so-called "diagonal billing" employed in the film and its advertising (with Newman's name elevated slightly above McQueen's), those of us who read from left to right can see that McQueen got his wish. He also got the best role. He's the firefighter, a tight jawed man of action, while Newman is saddled with the less sympathetic role of the architect. But the real star is the burning building. It burns, and impressively at that, but there's something very claustrophobic about this situation which results in less action than Allen's previous smash, "The Posiedon Adventure."

But the acting is better. In addition to McQueen and Newman, the cast includes Richard Chamberlain (particularly good), William Holden, Faye Dunaway, and Fred Astaire. That's an improvement over Carol Lynley and Eric Shea, both of whom Gene Hackman had the misfortune of emoting with two years earlier. Whatever one thinks of this particular genre, "The Towering Inferno" is probably the best of the bunch.


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