7.0/10
38,260
230 user 99 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
1,842 ( 715)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Edit

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
Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Nine people explore a cruise ship at sea in a manner that turns their whole lives upside down.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters
Earthquake (1974)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Various interconnected people struggle to survive when an earthquake of unimaginable magnitude hits Los Angeles, California.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy
Bullitt (1968)
Certificate: M/PG Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An all guts, no glory San Francisco cop becomes determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed the witness in his protection.

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Vaughn
The Hunter (1980)
Action | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The story of professional bounty hunter Ralph "Papa" Thorson.

Director: Buzz Kulik
Stars: Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach, Kathryn Harrold
Airport (1970)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A bomber on board an airplane, an airport almost closed by snow, and various personal problems of the people involved.

Directors: George Seaton, Henry Hathaway
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, George Kennedy
Crime | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A debonair, adventuresome bank executive believes he has pulled off the perfect multi-million dollar heist, only to match wits with a sexy insurance investigator who will do anything to get her man.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, Paul Burke
The Getaway (1972)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A recently released ex-con and his loyal wife go on the run after a heist goes awry.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Ben Johnson
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An up-and-coming poker player tries to prove himself in a high-stakes match against a long-time master of the game.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Steve McQueen, Ann-Margret, Edward G. Robinson
Tom Horn (1980)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

An ex-army scout is hired by ranchers to kill cattle rustlers but he gets into trouble with the corrupt local officials when he kills a boy.

Director: William Wiard
Stars: Steve McQueen, Linda Evans, Richard Farnsworth
Airport 1975 (1974)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A 747 in flight collides with a small plane, and is rendered pilotless. Somehow the control tower must get a pilot aboard so the jet can land.

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Charlton Heston, Karen Black, George Kennedy
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1926, a U.S. Naval engineer gets assigned to a gunboat on a rescue mission in war-torn China.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, Richard Crenna
Action | Adventure | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

Seven gunfighters are hired by Mexican peasants to liberate their village from oppressive bandits.

Director: John Sturges
Stars: Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson
Edit

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:

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

According to Susan Flannery, 20th Century-Fox refused to let Irwin Allen direct all of the film. Allen directed all the action sequences and John Guillermin was hired only to direct the actors for non-action sequences. There were a total of 4 film units shooting at the same time. See more »

Goofs

"Breeches Buoy" is the incorrect name of the actual chair. It is really called a "Boatswains Chair". An actual Breeches Buoy is a leather sack that you put your legs through, hanging suspended from the waist down. 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.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

The film was re-dubbed in 2003 for the German DVD release. All subsequent releases on DVD and Blu-ray feature this new dubbing, many TV airings as well. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Flash Forward: Curtain Call (1997) 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

 
Great disaster movie!
10 July 2017 | by HotToastyRagSee all my reviews

Steve McQueen and Paul Newman are in a movie together, and it's not a racecar movie? Well, in the 1970s, it was a big fad to make big-budget disaster movies with a large cast. The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake, and the Airport movies make up a classic niche genre, in which The Towering Inferno garners a top spot.

This one deals with a burning building, a skyscraper to be exact. Hence, the "towering" inferno. Countless characters are introduced to the audience, given reasons to become attached, and then placed in dire peril. Who will make it out alive? This film's all-star cast includes Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, Fred Astaire, Richard Chamberlain, Jennifer Jones, Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Susan Blakely, O.J. Simpson, Robert Vaughn, and Robert Wagner. Fred Astaire received his only Oscar nomination for this movie, which is the only reason why I watched it. I tend to scare easily, so disaster movies aren't my genre of choice. If you like them, this one is really good. Lots of tension, great special effects (for 1974), heart wrenching drama, and excitement up until the very end!


5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 230 user reviews »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »

Contribute to This Page

We've Got Your Streaming Picks Covered

Looking for some great streaming picks? Check out some of the IMDb editors' favorites movies and shows to round out your Watchlist.



Recently Viewed