Engineer Jake Holman arrives aboard the gunboat U.S.S. San Pablo, assigned to patrol a tributary of the Yangtze in the middle of exploited and revolution-torn 1926 China. His iconoclasm and... See full summary »
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 <email@example.com>
As a member of the special effects crew working on the film and personally involved in all of the scenes with water falling from the exploding tanks above the party / restaurant area, Gary L. King related that the special effects crew used a series of fire hoses connected to a quick-action valve that, when opened, squirted the water forward towards Paul Newman, Fred Astaire and Steve McQueen. The water was diverted by a plywood ramp located about ten feet on the floor ahead of the actors. The deflector caused the water stream to go upwards and fall down on each actor. None of the actors were injured by the special effects rigging during any of those shots filmed. See more »
A helicopter lowers O'Hallorhan onto the damaged scenic elevator. In order to set him directly and vertically onto the elevator car (he did not swing to it), the helicopter blades would have to be no more than a foot wide to get that close to the building - or the cable would have to reach to the top of the building to accommodate the width of the helicopter blades, which would be impossible. See more »
[picks up ringing phone]
It's out of control, and it's coming your way. You got about fifteen minutes. Now, they wanna try somethin'. They wanna blow those water tanks two floors above you. They think it might kill the fire.
How're they gonna get the explosives up here?
[after already having been given the task]
Oh, they'll find some dumb son of a bitch to bring it up.
See more »
The 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. Pictures logos don't appear in the beginning. See more »
"Disaster Movies" were a big hit in this era, with airplane crashes, earthquakes, fires, etc. This one made huge fires and firemen fashionable for awhile. It certainly had people talking, and it may have been the best of those "disaster" flicks.
The movie certainly had an all-star cast: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire, Susan Blakely, Richard Chamberlain, Robert Vaughn, Robert Wagner and (gulp) O.J. Simpson. Even Jennifer Jones came out of a long retirement to return to films. It was really nice to see her again.
What really surprised me about this film when I watched it earlier this year was that the special effects were still good, and the film is almost 40 years old. It was also good to see Steve McQueen being the good guy again. He was the best character in the film. The worst was William Holden, who turned out to play a lot profane-spewing nasty people as soon as the Hays' code was totally abolished in 1967. Same thing for Paul Newman. McQueen, meanwhile, kept his class as did Jones, of course, and Astaire.
The film is almost three hours long but, a few soap opera scenes aside, it's a solid adventure story that holds up well and it served a good purpose, making hotel owners more aware of potential fire hazards.
43 of 64 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?