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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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Popularity
3,647 ( 80)
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 ... 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:

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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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:

$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:

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

Trivia

According to Esther Williams in her memoirs, she was personally contacted by Irwin Allen and offered roles in both this film and The Poseidon Adventure (1972), but declined both. See more »

Goofs

When Doug goes to his office at the beginning, the elevator door opens and he exits, but the light on the button does not go off. See more »

Quotes

Doug Roberts: I thought we were building something that... where people could work and live and be SAFE! If you had to cut costs, why didn't you cut floors instead of corners?
James Duncan: Now listen. Any decisions that were made for the use of alternate building materials were made because I as a builder have a right to make those decisions; if I remain within the building code and god-dammit, I did!
Doug Roberts: [Chuckling] Building code? Jesus. Building code. Come on, Dunc, I mean that's a standard cop-out when you're in trouble. I...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Los liantes (1981) 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

 
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!


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