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The Towering Inferno (1974)

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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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Simmons
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Lisolette
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Jernigan
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Bigelow
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Paula Ramsay (as Sheila Mathews)
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Giddings (as Normann Burton)
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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
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sixty stunt people performed more than 200 stunts. See more »

Goofs

Chief Mike O'Hallorhan would have to be the most incompetent fire chief ever he tells Duncan there is a fire in the building and instead of ordering complete evacuation of the building which is right and proper he tells Duncan that he can continue having the party in the building below the fire something a Fire Chief would never do. See more »

Quotes

Chief O'Hallorhan: For what it's worth, architect, this is one building that I figured wouldn't burn.
Doug Roberts: Either did I.
[O'Hallorhan starts to walk toward Roberts's office on the 79th floor, so Roberts decides to add the kicker]
Doug Roberts: And they're celebrating! A party.
Chief O'Hallorhan: Party? What party? Where?
Doug Roberts: In the Promenade Room. 300 people.
Chief O'Hallorhan: Well, why didn't you get them the hell out of there?
Doug Roberts: Why don't you go on upstairs and talk to Duncan? He ain't exactly listening to me.
Chief O'Hallorhan: I will.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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


Soundtracks

We May Never Love Like This Again
Maureen McGovern sings
Words and Music by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
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Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Hot Potato.
25 August 2003 | by (United States) – 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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