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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
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 »
During several of the explosions at the refinery, an unexplained thunderclap can be heard. See more »
Mayor William Dudley:
What's eating you now? You have a new job and the city has a beautiful new hospital.
Dr. Frank Whitman:
That's right, some new hospital. It looks really good on the outside. But thanks to your political favors here and there of saving money and cut backs, I'm stuck with the patch-up job!
Mayor William Dudley:
Well nothing is perfect. Everything's compromised. Now, if you were the mayor of a big city and you have to get things done, you have to learn to give and take.
Dr. Frank Whitman:
Try talking to a surgeon about compromise during an open-heart ...
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MST3K should be canceled for destroying the legacy of another good movie
Sure, CITY ON FIRE isn't THE TOWERING INFERNO, but if you love disaster movies with a budget this has tons more excitement and action than the more famous (and more boring) METEOR and AVALANCHE. It is also clearly a movie with a big budget and the effects are convincing to the point that you can actually feel the heat and the smoke coming through your tv-set!
I used to love the sarcastic trio in Mystery Science Theater 3000, but there are times when I feel they may have drained the tank of Really Bad Movies and in dire need of a victim, they throw themselves over movies that -when push comes to shove- really doesn't deserve it's legacy ridiculed and destroyed in this manner. Let's face it, all though at times hysterically funny, the MST3K-gang could even make THE GODFATHER look cheesy! To bad they decided to aim their attack on CITY ON FIRE, one of the few disaster movies of the late 70's that actually had several things going for it. The MST3K-gang definitely did a good job, as the ratings on this movie NEVER were this low BEFORE they "killed it" with their ruthless remarks.
And to contradict one of the other user comments in here: Leslie Nielsen actually DID do a good job as the unselfish mayor in the movie (believe it or not).
What it all comes down to is this: if you liked THE SWARM and even WHEN TIME RAN OUT get ready for two entertaining hours in the company of Barry Newman, Susan Clark, Shelley Winters, Henry Fonda and Leslie "pre-comedy" Nielsen!
In CITY ON FIRE, you really FEEL like you're in a metropolis going up in flames!
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