3.5/10
672
24 user 11 critic

City on Fire (1979)

A pyromaniac, ex-employee of a city oil refinery creates an explosion at the facility which starts a chain-reaction of fires that engulf the entire city.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Dr. Frank Whitman
...
Diana Brockhurst-Lautrec
...
Nurse Andrea Harper
...
Mayor William Dudley
...
Jimbo
...
Maggie Grayson
...
Fire Chief Albert Risley
Jonathan Welsh ...
Herman Stover
Hilary Farr ...
Mrs. Adams (as Hilary Labow)
...
Fire Captain Harrison Risley
Mavor Moore ...
John O'Brien
...
Dr. Matwick
Terry Haig ...
Terry James
Cec Linder ...
Councilman Paley
Ken James ...
Andrew - Deputy Fire Chief
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Storyline

William Dudley is a corrupt mayor of a nameless Midwestern U.S. city who has allowed a chemical refinery to be built right in the center of town, far from any river, lake or reservoir. On one typical hot summer day, Herman Stover, a dangerously disturbed employee at the works has been denied an expected promotion and in addition, finds himself fired. He then decides to take his revenge against the works by opening the valves to the storage vats and their interconnecting pipes, flooding the area and sewers with gasoline and chemicals. It doesn't take long for this act of petty vandalism to start a fire, which starts a chain reaction that causes massive explosions at the refinery, destroying it and spreading a mushroom-cloud of flame that soon engulfs the entire metropolis! The drama focuses on a newly built hospital which, like the refinery and all civic buildings that went up during the mayor's crooked administration, is shoddily built and poorly equipped where the head doctor, Frank ... Written by Alfred Jingle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

What Happened to Them Could Happen to You ... In Any City Anywhere!

Genres:

Action | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

31 August 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City on Fire  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$5,300,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The opening credits show closeups of several buildings. They are the Royal Bank Plaza (Toronto), recognizable with its gold-bronze windows, Place Ville-Marie (Montreal), a cruciform skyscraper, and Complexe Desjardins (Montreal), a shopping mall and office building. See more »

Goofs

TV station call letters in the USA start with K (for western states) or W (for eastern states), not C which are for all of Canada's provinces. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
Chief Albert Risley: All it takes is one man, could be anybody... your neighbor, my neighbor... one man to destroy a city.
See more »

Connections

Edited into Ablaze (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Watch out he's got a vendetta..no wait he's got an obsession..no wait..who knows!
3 August 2015 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I'm a disaster movie fan and completist so I've been tracking this down for years, I wish I could say it was worth it. It's good for a laugh or two at the improbable idiocy of the plot but that's about the end of its worth.

Closing in on the bottom of the barrel this flick makes no sense, picking up and dropping plot points at random intervals. The villain of this thing is so sketchily drawn you have only the vaguest idea of what his motive is. That is the largest failing of the film there is no clear focus to anything.

None of the characters are compelling enough to invest in and the special effects are laughable. Not a single one is clearly drawn enough for the viewer to know who they are so you can root for them. Full of one time stars this uses them ill. Shelley Winters at least tries to give a performance but Ava Gardner and Henry Fonda, both looking the worse for wear, obviously did it strictly for the loot and are phoning it in, Henry being the worst offender.

If you're a disaster movie junkie this is a must see but for anyone else its a Grade Z mess.


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