MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 8,782 this week

City on Fire (1979)

R  |   |  Action, Drama  |  31 August 1979 (USA)
3.5
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 3.5/10 from 648 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 11 critic

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.

Director:

0Check in
0Share...

IMDb Picks: April

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in April.

Related News

Leslie Nielsen obituary
| The Guardian - Film News

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 301 titles
created 16 Jan 2012
 
a list of 4550 titles
created 19 Jan 2013
 
a list of 220 titles
created 07 Dec 2013
 
a list of 145 titles
created 3 months ago
 
a list of 27 titles
created 1 month ago
 

Related Items

Search for "City on Fire" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: City on Fire (1979)

City on Fire (1979) on IMDb 3.5/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of City on Fire.

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Meteor (1979)
Action | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.9/10 X  

After a collision with a comet, a nearly 8km wide piece of the asteroid "Orpheus" is heading toward Earth. If it hits, it will cause an incredible catastrophe which will probably extinguish... See full summary »

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Director: John Leone
Stars: Henry Fonda, Eileen Brennan, Austin Pendleton
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Former DEA Agent Quinlan, removed from the force some years earlier for stealing confiscated drug money, is hired by Chung Wei, a leader in the Amsterdam drug cartel, who wants out of the ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Clouse
Stars: Robert Mitchum, Richard Egan, Leslie Nielsen
Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

An active volcano threatens a south Pacific island resort and its guests as a power struggle ensues between the property's developer and a drilling foreman.

Director: James Goldstone
Stars: Paul Newman, Jacqueline Bisset, William Holden
War | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

How World War II affected the lives of a German family and an American family, both of whom had sons and fathers fighting in the war.

Director: Umberto Lenzi
Stars: Helmut Berger, Samantha Eggar, Giuliano Gemma
Project: Kill (1976)
Action | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.8/10 X  

A former government assassin flees a mind-control program in the Philippines, pursued by his ex-partner, the local police and Asian gangsters.

Director: William Girdler
Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Gary Lockwood, Nancy Kwan
Tentacles (1977)
Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.4/10 X  

A mutated giant octopus wreaks havoc on a California seaside community.

Director: Ovidio G. Assonitis
Stars: John Huston, Shelley Winters, Bo Hopkins
Regina Roma (1982)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  
Director: Jean-Yves Prate
Stars: Ava Gardner, Anthony Quinn, Ray Sharkey
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

When three close friends escape from Hong Kong to war-time Saigon to start a criminal's life, they all go through a harrowing experience which totally shatters their lives and their friendship forever.

Director: John Woo
Stars: Tony Chiu Wai Leung, Jacky Cheung, Waise Lee
Rollercoaster (1977)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

The plot is about a guile young terrorist who is able to blackmail a series of companies by placing home-made radio controlled bombs within the central attraction of amusement parks; roller... See full summary »

Director: James Goldstone
Stars: George Segal, Timothy Bottoms, Richard Widmark
Foxfire Light (1982)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5/10 X  

A spoiled rich girl used to getting her way comes up against a rancher who won't be intimidated by her.

Director: Allen Baron
Stars: Leslie Nielsen, Tippi Hedren, Faye Grant
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  
Director: John Howe
Stars: Alexandra Bastedo, Nuala Fitzgerald, Richard Fitzpatrick
Edit

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)
Richard Donat ...
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
Edit

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:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Several French language signs can be seen around the "American" city in the film. See more »

Quotes

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 ...
See more »

Connections

Edited from Emergency! (1972) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Barry's All Fired Up
29 January 2010 | by (Australia) – See all my reviews

Not the lemon it's often branded, "City on Fire" is an entertaining Canadian disaster movie with a capable cast, some good sets and special effects, and better than average dialogue. Two separate fires converge to create an inferno of biblical proportions, with various notables becoming victims. The plot focuses on a disgruntled oil refinery employee (Welsh) who triggers one of the blazes, while in another part of the city, pre-pubescent kids discover that cigarettes really do kill. Local surgeon's (dependable Barry Newman) disenchantment with bureaucracy, goes on temporary hiatus as he tries to save his hospital, that lies in the path of destruction. His valiant efforts hampered by the mayor's (Nielsen) ill advised attempts to achieve martyrdom, spurred on by the lure of the polls.

Sad Ava Gardner plays an alcoholic has-been news anchor, a timely reflection of her status as a faded Hollywood star at the time, while James Franciscus is wasted in a frivolous supporting role as her line producer. Many recognisable local faces fill out the peripheral roles (Donat, Linder, James), and heavyweights Winters and Fonda provide nice human touches to their dedicated civil servant types. Overall, there's plenty of coverage and a nice symmetry between the righteous and the wrongdoers. Unlike "Towering Inferno" the varnish has been stripped by the flames, and there's no holding back on special effects - as such, expect to see a few gory burns victims.

Not overlong, perhaps not unrealistic (so the tag-line warns anyway), and certainly not as clichéd as most disaster movies, "City on Fire" is an involving film with some impressive credentials and doesn't warrant the unfavourable response it often garners. It's not as sophisticated or indeed convoluted as "Backdraft", but is perhaps an improvement on the Irwin Allen production line that had a mortgage on this genre throughout the 70's. So give this so-called lemon a try and I think you'll find the juice is worth the squeeze.


4 of 6 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
How about a region 1 dvd release? onnanob2
Shelly Winters and Ava Gardner trickymutha
Discuss City on Fire (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?