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The Towering Inferno (1974)

 -  Action  -  14 December 1974 (USA)
6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 24,828 users  
Reviews: 185 user | 86 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.

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(novel), (novel), 2 more credits »
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Title: The Towering Inferno (1974)

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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:
...
...
...
...
...
...
Patty
...
Simmons
...
Lisolette
...
Jernigan
...
...
Bigelow
...
...
Paula Ramsay (as Sheila Mathews)
Norman Burton ...
Giddings (as Normann Burton)
Jack Collins ...
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

Plot Keywords:

fire | party | trapped | architect | skyscraper | See more »

Taglines:

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

Genres:

Action

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 December 1974 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Towering Inferno  »

Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$116,000,000 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(35 mm magnetic prints)| (35 mm optical prints)| (70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Screenwriter Stirling Silliphant took seven main figures from each novel and incorporated them into the screenplay, as well as the major climax of each novel: the lifeline rescue to an adjacent rooftop from "The Tower", and the exploding water tanks from "The Glass Inferno". See more »

Goofs

The spread of the fire never matches the exterior shots. See more »

Quotes

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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the comic magazine MAD's version of the film, there is a question asked by the character played by Fred Astaire, that does NOT appear in the film, but by logic should have been asked: "Ten minutes ago we couldn't get down from the building. Now we all are down on the street. How did that happen?" See more »


Soundtracks

The More I See You
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played as the group is heading to the elevator after the tower's lighting ceremony
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The more I think about it, the less I enjoyed it.
27 March 2002 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I saw "The Towering Inferno" when it was first released in theaters in 1974. I was about 12 years old. I thought it was really cool to see all of this death and destruction. I felt sorry for the so-called innocent or heroic characters who met their doom and hissed at the villain(s) who met their makers. It was big and bombastic, with, as a voice-over artist would say in the trailer "...an all-star cast" (long-term stars, has-beens, and the ones who are stars only from the eyes of their agents). I thought the movie was the best film I saw in my short life.

I've seen the movie several times since then and it's like watching a bad wreck. A semi-entertaining one but still a wreck.

I was looking at the list of other disaster movies Irwin Allen produced (which includes "The Poseidon Adventure", "The Swarm", "When Time Ran Out", etc.) and it's interesting how quickly the genre became a cliché:

***POSSIBLE SPOILERS***

1. If your name is above the title, you will survive.

2. If your name is below the title, you might die.

3. If you are a precocious child and you have a sibling, you'll survive.

4. If your role is to save a number of people from disaster in earlier scenes, very likely, you will die later in the movie. No worry, the audience will have "genuine sympathy" because you sacrificed your life so that others can live.

5. If you play the villain, YOU WILL DIE!!!!

6. If your character is a jealous spouse or is having an illicit affair, YOU WILL DIE A HORRIBLE DEATH!!!!!

7. If you're an extra, no matter which movie you're involved in, YOU WILL DIE A VERY, VERY HORRIBLE DEATH!!!!!!!!!


24 of 39 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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