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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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(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

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Paula Ramsay (as Sheila Mathews)
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Giddings (as Normann Burton)
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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 Tiny Spark Becomes A Night Of Blazing Suspense. 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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$116,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$139,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)| (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on two novels: "The Tower" by Richard Martin Stern, and "The Glass Inferno" by Thomas N. Scortia and Frank M. Robinson. After the success of The Poseidon Adventure (1972), disaster was hot property and Warner Brothers bought the rights to film "The Tower" for $390,000. Eight weeks later Irwin Allen (of 20th Century Fox) discovered "The Glass Inferno" and bought the rights for $400,000. To avoid two similar films competing at the box office the two studios joined forces and pooled their resources, each paying half the production costs. In return, 20th Century Fox got the US box office receipts and Warners the receipts from the rest of the world. See more »

Goofs

According to the building codes in effect, even at the time of the movie, there were standards required that were not met; therefore, the building would not have been allowed to be occupied by tenants by the Fire Department: G. Smoke Detection. Title 8 HEALTH AND SAFETY Chapter 8.28 FIRE PREVENTION AND SUPPRESSION Article II. Fire Prevention 1. Every high-rise building shall be protected with an approved, electrically supervised, automatic fire detection system having detectors which will respond to visible or invisible products of combustion in the following locations: a. In every mechanical equipment room; etc. Additionally, 1. Every high-rise building shall be provided with an automatic fire sprinkler system. 2. The fire sprinkler system shall conform to the National Fire Protection Association Pamphlet No. 13 and the following: a. The NFPA Pamphlet No. 13 used shall be the latest edition. b. Shutoff valves and water flow devices shall be provided for each floor. In addition to actuating a local alarm on the floor upon which the water flow is detected, operation of such valves shall transmit an alarm to a U.L.-certified central receiving station and to the fire control center if the fire control center is required by other subsections of this section., etc. See more »

Quotes

[about breeches buoy lottery]
Doug Roberts: We'll send the kids out first, and then the women. Number this up to, I don't know - a hundred or so.
Susan: High-rise roulette.
Doug Roberts: High-rise roulette. That's right.
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Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Rewind This! (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

The Morning After
(uncredited)
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 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!


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