6.9/10
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203 user 97 critic

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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Writers:

(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:

The tallest building in the world is on fire. You are there with 294 other guests... ...There's no way down. There's no way out. 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

The large sculpture that is part of the bar design in the Promenade Room was originally used in the Harmonia Gardens set in Hello, Dolly! (1969). See more »

Goofs

When the breeches buoy falls, the explosion is far above it, yet the ropes are anchored well inside the Promedade Room. See more »

Quotes

James Duncan: [smiling genially, sure that he can smarm his way out of the situation] Everything under control?
Chief O'Hallorhan: You've gotta move all these people out of here.
James Duncan: Aw, now, just how bad is it?
Chief O'Hallorhan: It's a fire, mister, and all fires are bad.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Hot Potato.
25 August 2003 | by See all my reviews

"Grand Hotel"-styled disaster epic that, along with the original "Airport" and "The Poseidon Adventure", became a monstrous money-maker which dominated not only economically, but also critically. "The Towering Inferno" is an intense affair as a high-rise skyscraper in San Francisco seems to be a state-of-the-art marvel, but sometimes things are not as perfect as they seem. There are still flaws in the building and naturally a small spark in a utility room will lead to an overwhelming night of terror and heroism. A who's who cast in Hollywood at the time makes up the mind-blowing list of performers. Paul Newman, Robert Vaughn, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Steve McQueen, Susan Blakely, Richard Chamberlain, Robert Wagner and Jennifer Jones all make lasting impressions. However it is Fred Astaire (in an Oscar-nominated role of a lifetime) and then-Buffalo Bill superstar O.J. Simpson (showing the style, grace and power that he showed on the playing field here in his debut screen performance) that stand out and create a higher dimension to an honestly corn-filled story. A terribly difficult production to pull off due to the very large scope involved. The technical effects compete well with the all-world performers to make a stunningly impressive movie. Near the top of the usually ho-hum genre of the period. 4 stars out of 5.


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