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The Towering Inferno (1974)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 26,068 users  
Reviews: 189 user | 89 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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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

Taglines:

One minute you're attending a party atop the world's tallest skyscraper. The next... you're trapped with 294 other guests in the middle of a fiery hell. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

20 December 1974 (USA)  »

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
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original script the role of the fire chief (known at the time as Mario Infantino) was considerably smaller. According to director John Guillermin, the role was offered to Ernest Borgnine with Steve McQueen playing the architect. McQueen later said, "If somebody of my caliber can play the architect, I'll play the fire chief," and Paul Newman was brought onto the project as the architect. See more »

Goofs

In all of the outside shots of the burning tower the flames are moving too fast (as they would if the building were a miniature). In larger fires the flames move much slower due to their size. See more »

Quotes

Lorrie: There never were any firemen, were there?
Dan Bigelow: I said that to make it easier on you. I switched off the phones. There's no way to call out. Nobody knows we're up here.
Lorrie: [smiles bravely] Well, I always did want to die in bed.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Be Kind Rewind (2008) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
One of my all-time favorites
9 July 2005 | by (Wooster,OH) – See all my reviews

I've seen a lot of great films during my life. However, somehow, The Towering Inferno holds its place near the top of my list of great films, and is at the top of my list of favorite films.

While Irwin Allen's films often have many flaws, they're always entertaining. You won't feel cheated by an Irwin Allen film. This holds true especially for The Towering Inferno. There is something for almost everyone in this film, drama, romance, disaster, and good vs. evil are all present in this epic film.

The plot of the film is pretty well known to anyone who has at least heard of the film. During opening night ceremonies at the Glass Tower, the 138 story skyscraper located in the heart of San Francisco catches fire. What starts as a small electrical fire soon turns into "a night of blazing suspense", with fires breaking out all over the building.

The hard work put into this film is obvious. While the script is rather melodramatic at times, this does not take away from the feeling of peril in the film. The cast may be the best cast ever assembled in Hollywood history. The special effects, for the most part, stand the test of time.

Don't ask me why this film has gotten such a bad rep over the years. The film was nominated for best picture, and won Oscars for best cinematography, best special effects, and best song. The film grossed over 116 million dollars, and with adjusted totals, that is still more than films such as The Passion of the Christ, and Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers.

I recommend that this film be seen. It is well worth renting, or if you can find it, buying.


39 of 52 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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