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The Towering Inferno (1974)

6.9
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Ratings: 6.9/10 from 25,262 users  
Reviews: 187 user | 88 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)

The Towering Inferno (1974) on IMDb 6.9/10

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

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:

14 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:

(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

The fox fur trimmed pink satin cape worn by Sheila Matthews as Mayor Ramsey's wife during the dedication ceremony of the Glass Tower was a leftover costume originally worn by Jean Simmons in the 1954 Fox film Desiree. See more »

Goofs

When the first woman is lowered to the Peerless Building using the breeches buoy, the downward shot of her moving away from The Glass Tower does not show the outside elevator, even though at this point of the story the elevator is "hanging by a single cable." When the Fire Chief arrives on top of the Peerless Building, the elevator can be seen on the side of The Glass Tower again. See more »

Quotes

[the firemen are trapped in an elevator shaft]
Chief O'Hallorhan: We'll go down by rope. We're gonna rappel down to 65, get on top of that elevator, use it as an exit.
Young Fireman: I can't make it. I'll fall. I know I'll fall.
Chief O'Hallorhan: Okay. Then you better go first. That way when you fall, you won't take any of us with you.
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 »

Connections

Referenced in Good Times: The Enlistment (1975) 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

 
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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