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The Towering Inferno (1974)

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.

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(novel), (novel) | 2 more credits »
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Won 3 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Paula Ramsay (as Sheila Mathews)
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Giddings (as Normann Burton)
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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:

One Tiny Spark Becomes A Night Of Blazing Suspense. See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 January 1975 (Singapore)  »

Also Known As:

Flammendes Inferno  »

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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

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)| (Japan theatrical release)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.55 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Newman's and Steve McQueen's names are staggered in the opening credits, closing credits, and on the posters so that, depending on which way you read it (top to bottom or left to right), both appear to get top billing. This is known as "diagonal billing", This strategy was being worked on when Newman and McQueen almost co-starred together in Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969), but McQueen eventually dropped out of the project and was replaced by the lesser known Robert Redford. See more »

Goofs

Dan and Lorrie and having an illicit affair. They are both eager to keep this from being discovered as evidenced by some of their dialog during their tryst. When the couple discover the fire and Dan makes his fake phone call, Lorrie has no reason to doubt him. Yet though her clothes are draped on a chair in the same room, she makes no attempt to get dressed. Instead, she remains wearing only Dan's dress shirt and a pair of control top pantyhose. She apparently means to greet the supposed rescuing fireman dressed this way-- and be escorted down to the lobby barefoot in pantyhose with her boss at her side. Given the situation and circumstances, Lorrie's first action after Dan reassured her that "help was on the way" should have been to put her clothes back on. 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.
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Crazy Credits

The 20th Century Fox and Warner Bros. Pictures logos don't appear in the beginning. 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
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Still impressive
27 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

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.


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