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City on Fire (1979)

R  |   |  Action, Drama  |  31 August 1979 (USA)
3.5
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Ratings: 3.5/10 from 649 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.

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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)
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:

 »
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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 filmmakers scouted Atlanta, GA; Edmonton, Canada; St. Louis, MO; and Cincinnati, OH for a location requiring several urban blocks that could be set on fire.They settled for Montreal, Canada where the entire film was shot. 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

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 into Ablaze (2001) See more »

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User Reviews

Good idea, turned bad, on a washed-up genre...
15 May 2003 | by (Montreal, Canada) – See all my reviews

This movie had a good idea at a start: the city being burned the same way as Chicago in the 19th Century, London on the 18th Century or Rome, under Nero's rules in about 70 A.D. And shall we say Pompei in 79 A.D. under the wrath of the Vesuvius volcano ?

But in the 20th Century. Good idea ! But the genre has passed an earthquake, a high rise building, a cruiseship and so on... And passing again the City of Montreal as a Midwest city, with a big oil field next to it...

Bring on some big stars, some washed up, others who still has it and some second rates, then throw this scenario like The Towering Inferno with soap-like intrigue, with the center subject: the opening of a brand new hospital...

The result: a boring, too slow and predictable movie, with low-rated special effects and the worst cinematography ever for a movie. And noticing for the climatic scenes that it remained in one city street set build on an old quarry in East End Montreal. And to think of it, looking closely, all cardboard...

Sad that the genre was washed-up at the time.

Acting was so-so. Thank God Mr.Fonda did won an Academy Award two years later in a better film (On Golden Pond), but I believe he should have passed this one...

And to listen to the French Dubbing made in Paris... Wondering who dubbed this crap... Unbearable !

Maybe this film should be redone one day... But hey, aren't we tired of seeing those artificial catastrophes when real ones occurred recently ?

A movie to forget... Despite its all-star cast...


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