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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.

Director:

John Guillermin

Writers:

Richard Martin Stern (novel), Thomas N. Scortia (novel) | 2 more credits »
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3,300 ( 9)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve McQueen ... Chief O'Hallorhan
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 ... 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 tallest building in the world is on fire. You are there with 294 other guests... ...There's no way down. There's no way out. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 January 1975 (Singapore) See more »

Also Known As:

Flammendes 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:

$139,700,000
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:

2.35:1 (35mm) 2.2:1(70mm)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Steve McQueen suggested Clint Eastwood, Jack Nicholson and Robert Redford to be his co-lead. See more »

Goofs

The fire starts on the 81st floor and magically jumps down to 65 with no explanation. Meanwhile 14 floors above, the firefighters set up shop, with flames above and below them. Similar jumps of the blaze above 81 are not really explained. See more »

Quotes

Doug Roberts: Hey Dunc, if that fire was caused by fluky wiring in this building, we could get fires breaking out everywhere!
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in The Towering Inferno: Running on Fire (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

We May Never Love Like This Again
Maureen McGovern sings
Words and Music by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Big-budget epics the way they used to make 'em.
13 June 2007 | by vip_ebriegaSee all my reviews

My Take: The disaster movies done the old-fashioned way. Big thrills, big drama, big stars and everything else.

The 70's marked the age of the disaster movies, evolving from the adaptation of Arthur Hailey's "Airport", then boost up by Irwin Allen's "The Poseidon Adventure", which was a hit. Allen continued the legacy of his work by doing another disaster film. It was "The Towering Inferno". "The Towering Inferno" is heavily considered as the best of the long cycle of 70's disaster movies. It was well-made, well-acted, and well-sold on the box-office. The problem, though, was it was too long. The first parts revolved on the celebration of the grand opening of the tallest office building on earth (at the movies, of course), the Glass Tower. But when it gets to the disaster, you see how great this film is. Impressive special-effects and great acting by an all-star cast help make this film the classic it is.

Recommended for any fan of the genre. They don't make 'em like this anymore, and for that value alone, THE TOWERING INFERNO is a bona-fide classic all-star extravaganza.

Rating: ***** out of 5.


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