3.6/10
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26 user 17 critic

City on Fire (1979)

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:
...
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Diana Brockhurst-Lautrec
...
Nurse Andrea Harper
...
...
...
...
Jonathan Welsh ...
...
Mrs. Adams (as Hilary Labow)
...
Mavor Moore ...
John O'Brien
...
Dr. Matwick
Terry Haig ...
Terry James
...
Councilman Paley
Ken James ...
Andrew - Deputy Fire Chief
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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 | Plot 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:

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Release Date:

31 August 1979 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

City on Fire  »

Filming Locations:


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Box Office

Budget:

$5,300,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$784,181, 31 December 1979
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

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 »

Goofs

Footage of British/London fire trucks. 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 ...
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Connections

Featured in Mystery Science Theater 3000: City on Fire (1989) See more »

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User Reviews

 
That's Barry, not Gary Numan.
11 February 2005 | by See all my reviews

MST3K did a nice job with this in their first season. It is one of the better films Joel and the Bots have roasted - not saying much since most of their little treats occupy the worst 300 films of all time here on IMDb.

The acting is variable, and you occasionally feel as if you are watching two different films which were spliced together in order to reach an hour and a half. Leslie Nielson, as ridiculous as it may seem, delivers the best dramatic performance of the lot.

Basically, a obsessive individual gets the wrong promotion at an oil refinery, mouths off at his boss and then, after getting fired, leaks oil all over the entire city and sets it ablaze. Like most of the disaster films of its time, we are introduced to 3-4 different characters who will play some role as either heroes or commentators on the events. The film climaxes as the massive fire approaches a brand-new hospital where Mr. Numan plays one of the heads of surgery.

If you get a chance to see this in its MST3K version, by all means do so. It is one of the earliest truly funny episodes of the legendary show. If you can't see this with Joel and the bots, avoid it at all costs. It burns....


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