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The Towering Inferno (1974)

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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.

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Writers:

(novel), (novel) | 2 more credits »
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3,961 ( 478)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Chief O'Hallorhan
... Doug Roberts
... Jim Duncan
... Susan
... Harlee Claiborne
... Patty
... Simmons
... Lisolette
... Jernigan
... Senator Parker
... Bigelow
... Lorrie
... Paula Ramsay (as Sheila Mathews)
... Giddings (as Normann Burton)
... 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 Towering Inferno" Is Not Just The Story Of The World's Tallest Building In Flames, It's The Story Of People... See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 January 1975 (Singapore)  »

Also Known As:

Flammendes Inferno  »

Filming Locations:

 »

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Box Office

Budget:

$14,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$116,000,000

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$139,700,000
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)| (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35:1 (35mm) 2.2:1(70mm)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Katharine Ross, Raquel Welch and Natalie Wood were all offered the role that was eventually played by Faye Dunaway. Wood declined because she was pregnant with her second child, she also found the script "mediocre." See more »

Goofs

Chief Mike O'Hallorhan would have to be the most incompetent fire chief ever he tells Duncan there is a fire in the building and instead of ordering complete evacuation of the building which is right and proper he tells Duncan that he can continue having the party in the building below the fire something a Fire Chief would never do. See more »

Quotes

Lorrie: There never were any firemen, were there?
Dan Bigelow: I said that to make it easier on you. I switched off the phones. There's no way to call out. Nobody knows we're up here.
Lorrie: [smiles bravely] Well, I always did want to die in bed.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Flash Forward: Curtain Call (1997) See more »

Soundtracks

The Morning After
(uncredited)
Written by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
Played at the party when Roberts is first reporting the fire to Duncan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
" What do they call it when you kill people? "
15 October 2009 | by See all my reviews

In the world of architectural structures, there are some buildings which have become synonymous with the state there were born in. Indeed, the structure which caught fire in this film was actually created from two stories. The original building was called 'The Tower' and it's sister structure was called " The Glass Inferno.' Together they were united summarily and christened as " The Towering Inferno. " Assembling a memorable cast caused this movie to be riveting and spellbinding. The inner tale for this combined feature is of a majestic and towering high rise which has just been inaugurated as it's first occupants are checking in and occupying their rooms. The architect, Doug Roberts (Paul Newman) has just returned from a short vacation and is impressed with his completed design. Immediately upon his return however, he discovers a small fire has broken out, due to faulty wiring. As the fire spreads, the Construction engineer, Jim Duncan (William Holden) is informed his chief electrical engineer has just been burned to death. As the fires continues to grow and evolve into a flaming, dangerous and ever rising inferno, the city's fire departments begin to arrive introducing Chief Michael O'Hallorhan (Steve McQueen). Several other stories thread and interlace the surface story involving Hollywood's elite, including Fred Astaire, Faye Dunaway, Richard Chamberlain, Robert Vaughn, and Robert Wagner. If you're seeing this movie for the first time, be prepared for many action scenes and exciting hair raising stunts. The story line is plausible (due to 911) as we acknowledge the firmly established courage and honored reputation of America's valiant Firemen, which is now fact and part of our history. Great movie which now wears the title of Classic. ****


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