The Towering Inferno

1974

Action / Drama / Thriller

16
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 35820

Synopsis


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Cast

Paul Newman as Doug Roberts
Robert Vaughn as Senator Parker
Steve McQueen as Chief O'Hallorhan
Faye Dunaway as Susan
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.35 GB
1280*548
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 45 min
P/S 2 / 7
2.62 GB
1904*816
English
NR
23.976 fps
2hr 45 min
P/S 3 / 13

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by david.clarke 8 / 10

Still impressive

When I was an impressionable teenager in 1975 I saw Towering Inferno 4 times at the cinema, Still a record for me, and despite the years and jaded view of middle age, this is still a thrilling film, mainly because the effects are so realistic, no CGI then, and the characters are so presented well (if a bit archly at times). I still cannot decide if the ending would actually put the fire out, but who cares, that countdown still gets to me. I forgot how good Paul Newman was in his role, and I can never forget Fred Astaire, such a smooth performance. Great cinema, daft in parts, but the best films always are.

Reviewed by Spikeopath 9 / 10

The crowning glory of a much maligned genre.

A newly built state of the art high-rise is hosting a big society gathering when a fire starts up on the 81st floor...

Warner Brothers & 20th Century Fox were both keen to cash in on the success of 1972s The Poseidon Adventure, Warner's buying the rights to The Tower, and Fox buying the rights to The Glass Inferno, both novels about burning skyscrapers and seemingly ripe for a big screen adaptation. Enter producer Irwin Allen who smartly suggested that both studios should come together and produce one blockbusting genre defining film. Splitting the cost down the middle, The Towering Inferno was born and went on to make over $100 million across the globe, a very impressive take for its time, and certainly a shot in the arm for disaster genre enthusiasts.

The Towering Inferno is far from flawless, it contains some cheese sodden dialogue, and the film's running time doesn't quite do the film any favours. However, the film's strengths far outweigh the handful of negatives that are often used to beat it up with. The sets are fabulous (Academy Award Nominated) and all to perish in the fire, the cinematography from Fred J Koenekamp (Academy Award Winner) is lush and puts the fire in the eyes, while the score from John Williams (Academy Award Nominated) is suitably poignant and edgy. What about the action sequences? The set pieces? With many of the illustrious cast doing their own stunts! All impacting sharp on the ears thanks to the brilliant sound from Soderberg & Lewis (Academy Award Nominated), with the cast itself a reminder of a wonderful time when only the big names were considered for the big projects, McQueen, Newman, Holden, Astaire (Academy Award Nominated) & Dunaway rolling off the tongue like a who's who of entertainment heavyweights.

Some say that The Towering Inferno finally killed off the ailing disaster genre, no it didn't, it crowned it, and all the others that followed were merely trailing in its wake. The Towering Inferno is a spectacular production that positively booms with high entertainment values, no expense is spared in the pursuit of entertaining the masses, it's thoughtful in texture and it teaches as it plays and it remains to me a wonderful archaic gem. 9/10

Reviewed by bkoganbing 7 / 10

The Titanic Of The Skyscrapers

Although some like to compare The Towering Inferno to The Poseidon Adventure because Irwin Allen that master of disaster brought us both, in point of fact The Towering Inferno is more like a landlocked Titanic than anything else.

It has to be remembered that the Titanic was on its maiden voyage and was ballyhooed as an unsinkable ship when the tragedy occurred. The building that William Holden built, that Paul Newman designed was also on its maiden voyage so to speak. The 135 story building in San Francisco was being dedicated and there was going to be a big blowout on the top floor with all kinds of VIPS in attendance. Little does Holden suspect that his son-in-law Richard Chamberlain cut quite a few safety corners in the electrical wiring. When the whole tower gets lighted up, a fire breaks out in one of the circuit junction boxes and the party gets cut short.

Paul Newman and Steve McQueen as the fire battalion chief head an impressive cast list of name players put in harm's way by Chamberlain's avarice. Fred Astaire got an Academy Award nomination for playing an elderly conman who tricks his way into the VIP gathering to fleece wealthy widow Jennifer Jones. This was Jones's farewell performance on screen, she retired right after that to become just the kind of wealthy society matron she plays here.

The film got an award for Best Cinematography deservedly so, the shots are quite vivid and also the best song of 1974. During the party scene, Maureen McGovern who had introduced the popular There's Got To Be A Morning After in Irwin Allen's The Poseidon Adventure sings We May Never Get To Love Like This Again. It won for best song, but certainly didn't have the lasting popularity of the other.

The most vivid moment of the film for me besides the climax is the illfated rendezvous of Robert Wagner and Susan Flannery. They agree for a boss secretary rendezvous in his apartment there and Wagner turns off the phone so word cannot reach them of the fire. The death scenes of both will tear you up.

According to the Films of Steve McQueen the reason for the joint production by Warner Brothers and 20th Century Fox is that when two studios put out two Harlow films, both cut each other up at the box office and no one made out. Warner Brothers purchased The Tower and Fox bought the Glass Inferno screen rights. Rather than have competing disaster films, they made an historic interstudio agreement to have a joint production.

I think it worked out well all around.

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