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 »
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 »
Motorcycle stuntman Evel Knievel is offered a fortune to perform in Mexico. What Evel doesn't know is that they're planning to kill him and use his body to ship cocaine into the U.S. His ... See full summary »
Nurse and con artist Belle Haimes (Valri Bromfield) lives with her dull-witted husband Rex Haimes (Stephen E. Miller) in the Hart Mansion in British Columbia. There she cares for the ... See full summary »
Stephen E. Miller,
A South American quasi-revolutionary/guerilla/terrorist and a misled, admiring girl compatriot manage to kidnap the U.S. President during a diplomatic visit to Toronto. With a nondescript ... See full summary »
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 »
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 »
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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Fire! One of mankind's oldest and most devastating natural enemies already resulted especially during the peak of disaster movies throughout the 70's decade in a couple of very memorable movies, like the superior "The Towering Inferno", the more obscure TV-production "Fire!" and this criminally underrated and unjustly bashed "City on Fire". Okay, admittedly this isn't one of the most supreme and overwhelming entries in the disaster sub genre (shaped by all the notorious Irwin Allen productions), but all the terrific trademarks are definitely represented: perilous situations/incidents that go beyond the wildest proportions, an impressive all-star ensemble cast, irrelevant sub plots and character intrigues and last but not least numerous of truly astonishing special effects and spectacular action footage. Moreover, since this film was scripted by B-movie legend Jack Hill ("Spider Baby", "Death Ship", "Foxy Brown"), we're also treated to something that usually doesn't feature in standard disaster movies, namely nasty and grueling images of repulsive gore! Leslie Nielsen, still in the period before he became typecast as a slapstick actor, stars as the corrupt and power hungry mayor of a nameless large city. He arranged for a large hospital to be built in the city center, but the building is ramshackle and the equipment is outdated. Worse even, he is under pressure because he also allowed for a massive oil refinery to be constructed right in the heart of the city. When a frustrated employee of the refinery sabotages some of the installations and causes fuels to leak into the city sewers, it doesn't take long for a gigantic fire to burst out and spread itself throughout the entire metropolis. Pretty soon the new hospital is overrun with casualties, but given its location, the hospital itself is guaranteed to be destroyed by the unstoppable inferno. Never mind all the harsh and downright negative reviews around here, and the fact that "City on Fire" got parodied in MST3K, because this is one helluva entertaining motion picture! The script undeniably suffers from errors in continuity and a handful of illogical plot twists, but this is more than widely compensated by the non-stop spitfire (pun intended) of action and brutal violence. There are a lot of stunt people running around with their clothes in flames, falling from refinery pipelines or getting squished underneath collapsing buildings. At a certain point in the film, news anchor lady Ava Gardner mentions the inferno already led to more than 3000 casualties; how's that for a death toll? Nielsen gives away the best performance as Mayor Dudley, but also Barry Newman ("Vanishing Point"), Shelley Winters ("The Poseidon Adventure") and Susan Clark ("Airport 1975") are memorable. Henry Fonda has relatively little to do as the senior fire department chief, but he gets to deliver the philosophical "this-could-happen-to-any-city-anywhere-in-the-world") speech at the end.
*title review inspired by the song "Fire!", courtesy of The Crazy World of Arthur Brown.
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