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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Against Irwin Allen's strenuous objections, Steve McQueen insisted on doing the stunt where he leaps off a helicopter onto the top of the burning building. See more »
During the opening sequences, the helicopter flies through fog. Unless the aircraft had an autopilot, which this Bell 206 most likely does not, and various anti-collision systems, which were not available at the time, any prudent pilot would not perform this movement. Loss of visual reference is a leading cause of helicopter crashes. See more »
[Carlos has tied himself to a wine case in preparation for the water tank detonations]
For God's sakes, Carlos, don't tie yourself up to a lot of glass.
That's the '29!
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The 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. Pictures logos don't appear in the beginning. See more »
Television Versions of the movie start with an alternate opening. Instead of the camera facing the helicopter at the left, the camera is on top of the helicopter, in view of the rocks that the helicopter will go over. See more »
"Disaster Movies" were a big hit in this era, with airplane crashes, earthquakes, fires, etc. This one made huge fires and firemen fashionable for awhile. It certainly had people talking, and it may have been the best of those "disaster" flicks.
The movie certainly had an all-star cast: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire, Susan Blakely, Richard Chamberlain, Robert Vaughn, Robert Wagner and (gulp) O.J. Simpson. Even Jennifer Jones came out of a long retirement to return to films. It was really nice to see her again.
What really surprised me about this film when I watched it earlier this year was that the special effects were still good, and the film is almost 40 years old. It was also good to see Steve McQueen being the good guy again. He was the best character in the film. The worst was William Holden, who turned out to play a lot profane-spewing nasty people as soon as the Hays' code was totally abolished in 1967. Same thing for Paul Newman. McQueen, meanwhile, kept his class as did Jones, of course, and Astaire.
The film is almost three hours long but, a few soap opera scenes aside, it's a solid adventure story that holds up well and it served a good purpose, making hotel owners more aware of potential fire hazards.
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