7.0/10
38,691
233 user 83 critic

The Towering Inferno (1974)

Trailer
2:12 | Trailer
At the opening party of a colossal, but poorly constructed, office building, a massive fire breaks out that threatens to destroy the tower and everyone in it.

Director:

John Guillermin

Writers:

Richard Martin Stern (novel), Thomas N. Scortia (novel) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
Popularity
4,025 ( 1)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve McQueen ... Chief O'Halloran
Paul Newman ... Doug Roberts
William Holden ... Jim Duncan
Faye Dunaway ... Susan
Fred Astaire ... Harlee Claiborne
Susan Blakely ... Patty
Richard Chamberlain ... Simmons
Jennifer Jones ... Lisolette
O.J. Simpson ... Jernigan
Robert Vaughn ... Senator Parker
Robert Wagner ... Dan Bigelow
Susan Flannery ... Lorrie
Sheila Allen ... Paula Ramsay (as Sheila Mathews)
Norman Burton ... Giddings (as Normann Burton)
Jack Collins ... Mayor Ramsay
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Storyline

Doug Roberts, Architect, returns from a long vacation to find work nearly completed on his skyscraper. He goes to the party that night concerned he's found that his wiring specifications have not been followed and that the building continues to develop short circuits. When the fire begins, Michael O'Halleran is the chief on duty as a series of daring rescues punctuate the terror of a building too tall to have a fire successfully fought from the ground. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The world's tallest building is on fire. You are there on the 135th floor... no way down... no way out. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many bit players from "The Poseidon Adventure (1972)" also appear in this film. See more »

Goofs

When Doug Roberts (Paul Newman) climbs down the damaged escape stairs carrying Angela on his back, the flames below them can be seen through their bodies. The optical effects shot requires a traveling matte to mask the foreground details (the actors) from the background shot (the flames beneath them). The first overhead shot of Doug and Angela has an error that makes parts of their bodies transparent. See more »

Quotes

[the firemen are trapped in an elevator shaft]
Chief O'Hallorhan: We'll go down by rope. We're gonna rappel down to 65, get on top of that elevator, use it as an exit.
Young Fireman: I can't make it. I'll fall. I know I'll fall.
Chief O'Hallorhan: Okay. Then you better go first. That way when you fall, you won't take any of us with you.
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Crazy Credits

The 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. Pictures logos don't appear in the beginning. See more »

Alternate Versions

Syndicated Network TV versions shorten Dan Bigelow catching fire and cut the scene of Lorrie's death, ending it where she screams "DAN!" and runs away. It then cuts to the firemen fighting the reception area blaze See more »

Connections

Featured in O.J.: Made in America (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

The More I See You
(uncredited)
Music by Harry Warren
Played as the group is heading to the elevator after the tower's lighting ceremony
See more »

User Reviews

 
Still impressive
27 December 2003 | by david.clarkeSee all my reviews

When I was an impressionable teenager in 1975 I saw Towering Inferno 4 times at the cinema, Still a record for me, and despite the years and jaded view of middle age, this is still a thrilling film, mainly because the effects are so realistic, no CGI then, and the characters are so presented well (if a bit archly at times). I still cannot decide if the ending would actually put the fire out, but who cares, that countdown still gets to me. I forgot how good Paul Newman was in his role, and I can never forget Fred Astaire, such a smooth performance. Great cinema, daft in parts, but the best films always are.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 January 1975 (Singapore) See more »

Also Known As:

The Towering Inferno See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$116,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$116,000,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| 4-Track Stereo (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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