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The Towering Inferno
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The Towering Inferno (1974) More at IMDbPro »

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The Towering Inferno -- At the opening party of a collosal, but poorly constructed, office building, a massive fire breaks out that threatens to destroy the tower and everyone in it.

Overview

User Rating:
6.9/10   25,320 votes »
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Director:
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Contact:
View company contact information for The Towering Inferno on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
14 December 1974 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
One Tiny Spark Becomes A Night Of Blazing Suspense. See more »
Plot:
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. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
Won 3 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 13 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
Fire cracker See more (187 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

Steve McQueen ... Chief Mike O'Hallorhan

Paul Newman ... Doug Roberts

William Holden ... Jim Duncan

Faye Dunaway ... Susan Franklin

Fred Astaire ... Harlee Claiborne

Susan Blakely ... Patty

Richard Chamberlain ... Simmons

Jennifer Jones ... Lisolette

O.J. Simpson ... Jernigan

Robert Vaughn ... Senator Parker

Robert Wagner ... Bigelow

Susan Flannery ... Lorrie

Sheila Allen ... Paula Ramsay (as Sheila Mathews)
Norman Burton ... Giddings (as Normann Burton)
Jack Collins ... Mayor Ramsay

Don Gordon ... Kappy
Felton Perry ... Scott

Gregory Sierra ... Carlos

Ernie F. Orsatti ... Mark Powers (as Ernie Orsatti)

Dabney Coleman ... Deputy Chief #1
Elizabeth Rogers ... Lady in Buoy
Ann Leicester ... Guest
Norman Grabowski ... Flaker
Ross Elliott ... Deputy Chief #2
Olan Soule ... Johnson (as Olan Soulé)

Carlena Gower ... Angela Allbright

Mike Lookinland ... Phillip Allbright
Carol McEvoy ... Mrs. Allbright
Scott Newman ... Young Fireman
Paul Comi ... Tim
George Wallace ... Chief Officer
Patrick Culliton ... Technician

William Bassett ... Leasing Agent (as William H. Bassett)
John Crawford ... Callahan

Erik L. Nelson ... Wes (as Erik Nelson)
Art Balinger ... Announcer
Norman Hicks ... Pilot (as LCDR. Norman Hicks)
Thomas Karnahan ... Co-Pilot (as LTJG. Thomas Karnahan)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Mike Johnson ... Fire Victim in Elevator (uncredited)
Tom Lawrence ... Bigelow's Assistant (uncredited)

Maureen McGovern ... Herself - Singer at Party (uncredited)

John Moio ... Security Guard (uncredited)

Jennifer Rhodes ... Janet - Secretary (uncredited)
Hank Robinson ... Dinner Guest (uncredited)
William Traylor ... Security Guard in Control Room (uncredited)
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Directed by
John Guillermin 
 
Writing credits
Richard Martin Stern (novel "The Tower")

Thomas N. Scortia (novel "The Glass Inferno") and
Frank M. Robinson (novel "The Glass Inferno")

Stirling Silliphant (screenplay)

Produced by
Irwin Allen .... producer
Sidney Marshall .... associate producer
 
Original Music by
John Williams 
 
Cinematography by
Fred J. Koenekamp (director of photography) (as Fred Koenekamp)
 
Film Editing by
Carl Kress 
Harold F. Kress 
 
Casting by
Jack Baur 
 
Production Design by
William J. Creber  (as William Creber)
 
Art Direction by
Ward Preston 
 
Set Decoration by
Raphael Bretton 
 
Costume Design by
Paul Zastupnevich (costumes designed by)
 
Makeup Department
Naomi Cavin .... hair stylist
Susan Germaine .... hair stylist
Emile LaVigne .... makeup artist (as Emil La Vigne)
Jean Burt Reilly .... hair stylist
Monty Westmore .... makeup artist (as Monte Westmore)
 
Production Management
Norman A. Cook .... unit production manager
Jere Henshaw .... production supervisor: Twentieth Century-Fox
Hal Herman .... executive production manager
Richard Shepherd .... production supervisor: Warner Bros.
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Irwin Allen .... director: action sequences
Newt Arnold .... assistant director (as Newton Arnold)
Phil Ball .... second assistant director
Bob Bender .... second assistant director
Michael Grillo .... assistant director: trainee (as Michael F. Grillo)
Malcolm R. Harding .... assistant director: action sequences (as Malcolm Harding)
Wesley J. McAfee .... assistant director (as Wes McAfee)
Donald White .... second assistant director (as Don White)
 
Art Department
Tom Cranham .... production illustrator
Dan Goozee .... production illustrator
Nikita Knatz .... production illustrator
Jerry Kobold .... property master: action sequences
Robert McLaughlin .... property master
Joseph Musso .... production illustrator
Steven P. Sardanis .... assistant art director (as Steve Sardanis)
Frank Chapman .... stand-by painter (uncredited)
William Cruse .... set designer (uncredited)
Mike Garcia .... leadman (uncredited)
Ron Greenwood .... assistant property master (uncredited)
Tom Jung .... poster artist (uncredited)
Tom Jung .... poster designer (uncredited)
Edward T. McAvoy .... scenic artist (uncredited)
Benjamin Resella .... scenic artist (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
John A. Bonner .... sound supervisor (as John Bonner)
Don Hall .... supervising sound editor
Herman Lewis .... production mixer
Theodore Soderberg .... re-recording mixer
Orrick Barrett .... boom operator (uncredited)
John Speak .... sound mixer: second unit (uncredited)
Bruce Vanover .... cable person (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
A.D. Flowers .... mechanical effects
Logan Frazee .... mechanical effects
Johnny Borgese .... special effects (uncredited)
Gerald Endler .... mechanical effects (uncredited)
Jay King .... special effects technician (uncredited)
 
Visual Effects by
L.B. Abbott .... special photographic effects
Matthew Yuricich .... matte painter (uncredited)
 
Stunts
Paul Stader .... stunt coordinator
Bruce Paul Barbour .... stunts (uncredited)
Lightning Bear .... stunts (uncredited)
Cody Bearpaw .... stunts (uncredited)
Buff Brady .... stunts (uncredited)
Tony Brubaker .... stunts (uncredited)
Steven Burnett .... stunts (uncredited)
Richard E. Butler .... stunts (uncredited)
Mickey Caruso .... stunts (uncredited)
Roydon Clark .... stunts (uncredited)
Erik Cord .... stunts (uncredited)
Everett Creach .... stunts (uncredited)
Roger Creed .... stunts (uncredited)
Paula Crist .... stunts (uncredited)
Dick Crockett .... stunts (uncredited)
Howard Curtis .... stunts (uncredited)
Paula Dell .... stunts (uncredited)
Dick Dial .... stunts (uncredited)
Nick Dimitri .... stunts (uncredited)
Bennie E. Dobbins .... stunts (uncredited)
Larry Duran .... stunts (uncredited)
Bud Ekins .... stunts (uncredited)
Gary Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Jeannie Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Stephanie Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Tony Epper .... stunts (uncredited)
Lila Finn .... stunts (uncredited)
James W. Gavin .... stunts (uncredited)
Mickey Gilbert .... stunts (uncredited)
Orwin C. Harvey .... stunts (uncredited)
Eddie Hice .... stunts (uncredited)
Larry Holt .... stunts (uncredited)
Loren Janes .... stunts (uncredited)
Mike Johnson .... stunt double: Robert Wagner (uncredited)
Mike Johnson .... stunts (uncredited)
Kevin N. Johnston .... stunts (uncredited)
Gene LeBell .... stunts (uncredited)
Julius LeFlore .... stunts (uncredited)
Fred Lerner .... stunts (uncredited)
Lars Lundgren .... stunts (uncredited)
Denver Mattson .... stunts (uncredited)
Troy Melton .... stunts (uncredited)
John Moio .... stunts (uncredited)
Minor Mustain .... stunt performer (uncredited)
John Nowak .... stunts (uncredited)
Doug O'Dell .... stunts (uncredited)
Frank Orsatti .... stunts (uncredited)
Regina Parton .... stunts (uncredited)
Regis Parton .... stunts (uncredited)
Victor Paul .... stunts (uncredited)
Gil Perkins .... stunts (uncredited)
Peter Peterson .... stunts (uncredited)
Bobby Porter .... stunts (uncredited)
Glenn Randall Jr. .... stunts (uncredited)
Dar Robinson .... stunts (uncredited)
Walter Robles .... stunts (uncredited)
George Robotham .... stunts (uncredited)
Thomas Rosales Jr. .... stunts (uncredited)
Wally Rose .... stunts (uncredited)
Glynn Rubin .... stunt performer (uncredited)
Russell Saunders .... stunts (uncredited)
Fred Scheiwiller .... stunts (uncredited)
Felix Silla .... stunts (uncredited)
Dean Smith .... stunts (uncredited)
Marilyn Stader .... stunts (uncredited)
Paul Stader .... stunts (uncredited)
Peter Stader .... stunts (uncredited)
Tom Steele .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Terhune .... stunts (uncredited)
Jack Verbois .... stunts (uncredited)
Richard Washington .... stunts (uncredited)
Chuck Waters .... stunts (uncredited)
Fred Waugh .... stunts (uncredited)
George P. Wilbur .... stunts (uncredited)
James Winburn .... stunts (uncredited)
Bob Yerkes .... stunts (uncredited)
Fred Zendar .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Joseph F. Biroc .... director of photography: action sequences (as Joseph Biroc)
Kathy Fields .... still photographer
Orville Hallberg .... camera operator: action sequences
Bill Hannah .... gaffer: action sequences
Thomas Laughridge .... camera operator
John Murray .... key grip
Lou Pazelli .... key grip: action sequences
Gene Stout .... gaffer
Orlando Suero .... still photographer
Ron Anderson .... electrician (uncredited)
Curtis Foster .... rigging gaffer: second unit (uncredited)
Jim Freeman .... cinematographer: San Francisco (uncredited)
Robert Jason .... electrician (uncredited)
Al LaVerde .... grip (uncredited)
Owen Marsh .... camera operator: "b" camera (uncredited)
Frank Redmond .... assistant camera (uncredited)
John Reynolds .... lighting technician (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Wally Harton .... costumer: men (uncredited)
Dick James .... costumer: men (uncredited)
Kathleen McCandless .... costumer: women (uncredited)
Hugh McFarland .... costumer: men (uncredited)
 
Editorial Department
William DeNicholas .... assistant film editor
Jack Hooper .... negative cutter
George E. Swink .... post-production coordinator
 
Music Department
Leonard A. Engel .... supervising music editor (as Len Engel)
Ted Keep .... scoring mixer
Herbert W. Spencer .... orchestrator (as Herbert Spencer)
Harry Bluestone .... musician: violin (uncredited)
Dennis Budimir .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Larry Bunker .... musician: percussion (uncredited)
Billy Byers .... orchestrator (uncredited)
Dominick Fera .... musician: clarinet (uncredited)
Artie Kane .... musician: keyboards (uncredited)
Ted Keep .... scoring engineer (uncredited)
Milton Kestenbaum .... musician: bass (uncredited)
Michael Lang .... musician: keyboards (uncredited)
Bernie Kaai Lewis .... musician: guitar (uncredited)
Virginia Majewski .... musician: viola (uncredited)
Richard Nash .... musician: trombone (uncredited)
John Williams .... conductor (uncredited)
Albert Woodbury .... orchestrator (uncredited)
 
Transportation Department
Chris Haynes .... driver (uncredited)
Jim Martell .... transportation coordinator (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Elizabeth Atkinson .... production assistant
Jack Cavallero .... technical adviser (as Jack Cavallero Battalion Chief S.F.F.D)
Ed Conlon .... technical adviser (as Ed Conlon Chief Eng. T.C.F.)
Albert Gail .... executive assistant to producer
Marie Kenney .... script supervisor
George Leslie .... production controller
Pete Lucarelli .... technical adviser (as Pete Lucarelli Battalion Chief L.A.F.D.)
Steven Marlo .... dialogue coach
Don Morgan .... unit publicist
Esther Stephenson .... script supervisor: action sequences
Art Volpert .... production coordinator
William Welch .... executive assistant to producer
Lewis Wolff .... real estate consultant
Tony Habeeb .... unit publicist (uncredited)
Ann Leicester .... secretary to director (uncredited)
Dick Manchaca .... craft service (uncredited)
Margaret Reeves .... secretary to producer (uncredited)
Edward Summer .... marketing consultant (uncredited)
Sharon Thurgood .... studio teacher (uncredited)
 
Thanks
Keith P. Calden .... the producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of (as Keith P. Calden Chief of the San Francisco Fire Department)
Raymond M. Hill .... the producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of (as Raymond M. Hill Chief of the Los Angeles Fire Department)
 
Crew verified as complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
165 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
2.20 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
4-Track Stereo (35 mm magnetic prints) | Mono (35 mm optical prints) | 70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints) (Westrex Recording System)
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | Brazil:14 | Finland:K-16 | France:U | Hungary:16 | Japan:G (2013) | Netherlands:12 | Norway:15 | Norway:16 (1975) | Portugal:M/16 | Singapore:PG | South Korea:12 (2012) | Sweden:15 | UK:A (original rating) | UK:15 (tv rating) | UK:12 (video re-rating) (additional material audio commentary) (2010) | UK:12 (online) (2009) | UK:15 (video rating) (1986) (1999) | USA:PG | West Germany:16 (w)

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:
Revealing mistakes: When Lorrie is in the office kneeling with the fire around her you see the fireproof pants on her legs.See more »
Quotes:
Senator Parker:At this rate it's going to take a couple of hours to get everyone down. So, I would suggest that those of us with stout hearts and trim waistlines start using the stairs.
James Duncan:That's 135 floors.
Senator Parker:All downhill.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
We May Never Love Like This AgainSee more »

FAQ

Lisolette Mueller remembers while fleeing the fire that she has left her cat in her apartment. What happened to it?
See more »
33 out of 43 people found the following review useful.
Fire cracker, 19 April 2004
Author: Merwyn Grote (majikstl@aol.com) from St. Louis, Missouri

The all-star blockbuster THE TOWERING INFERNO proves that you can make a bad film that still manages to be a great movie. Contrary to conventional wisdom, special effects and elaborate stunt work can actually be the star of a movie and provide ample compensation for poor writing, clumsy direction and really amateurish acting.

THE TOWERING INFERNO is, of course, a disaster movie, the methodical destruction of a high-rise skyscraper, along with many of its tenants. It came on the heels of THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE and quite honestly is no match for that film's delicious mix of sappy sentimentality and hammy heroics. But, while its dramatic quality is only marginally superior to hack films like AIRPORT '75 and the atrocious EARTHQUAKE, INFERNO provides a masterful blend of audience manipulation and technical craftsmanship. As Paul Newman pointed out to the press, neither he nor his perpetual professional rival Steve McQueen are the star of the film: the fire is the star. And as appropriate to any star, the fire, in all of its glorious mayhem, is lovingly filmed and given a wide berth to overact with style.

The rest of the cast should be so lucky. The remarkable, once-in-a-lifetime cast (Newman, McQueen, Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Fred Astaire, etc.) behave like troopers, even though they are primarily reduced to being little more than high priced props. Most of the scenes involving actual human interaction seem rushed and the inept line readings of the inane dialogue suggest that no one bothered with retakes, let alone rehearsals. But such moments are little more than filler, marking time between some of the most remarkable actions sequences ever filmed. The helicopter rescue of the derailed scenic elevator is heartstoppingly thrilling, even as you realize that it is absolutely physically impossible. And it is overshadowed by the explosive final showdown with the villainous fire. Hollywood has cinematically destroyed greater amounts of real estate, but seldom with such style.

As art, THE TOWERING INFERNO is a fizzle, but as a cheap carnival thrill show it's pretty hot stuff.

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