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
Some elements of the disaster depicted here reflect the Texas City Disaster: On 16 April 1947, a mid-morning fire on the SS Grandcamp, docked in Texas City, caused the ship to blow up and ignite several oil refineries around the harbor. The fire detonated approximately 2,300 tons of ammonium nitrate and the ensuing fires and explosions killed at least 581 people in and around Texas City. These events also triggered the first class action lawsuit against the United States government, on behalf of 8,485 dead and injured victims. See more »
Several French language signs can be seen around the "American" city in the film. See more »
I don't know about this, Sam. Those fires look awfuly close and they're getting closer.
Just think of your pension.
I am thinking about it. I'm thinking about how I'm gonna live to collect it!
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Poor Henry Fonda. In the end of his career, he had to be in City on Fire. This movie had the most ridiculous dialog ever. I actually cringed when some of the characters said their lines. None of the B-plots made enough sense to follow through on. The start of the fire was absurd. There was no attempt to build up to an actual motive. The writers thought that CPR was the only action to take in an emergency and that old men using a bedpan was necessary for the audience to see. This movie was made purely to burn some gasoline for the big fire scenes and so that stunt men could be lit on fire. 1 out of 10 is generous.
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