6.9/10
36,345
219 user 106 critic

The Towering Inferno (1974)

Trailer
2:12 | Trailer
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 »
Reviews
Popularity
1,112 ( 3,346)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 9 wins & 13 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Action | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Nine people explore a cruise ship at sea in a manner that turns their whole lives upside down.

Director: Ronald Neame
Stars: Gene Hackman, Ernest Borgnine, Shelley Winters
Earthquake (1974)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  

Various interconnected people struggle to survive when an earthquake of unimaginable magnitude hits Los Angeles, California.

Director: Mark Robson
Stars: Charlton Heston, Ava Gardner, George Kennedy
Airport (1970)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A bomber on board an airplane, an airport almost closed by snow, and various personal problems of the people involved.

Directors: George Seaton, Henry Hathaway
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Dean Martin, George Kennedy
Bullitt (1968)
Certificate: M/PG Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An all guts, no glory San Francisco cop becomes determined to find the underworld kingpin that killed the witness in his protection.

Director: Peter Yates
Stars: Steve McQueen, Jacqueline Bisset, Robert Vaughn
Airport 1975 (1974)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

A 747 in flight collides with a small plane, and is rendered pilotless. Somehow the control tower must get a pilot aboard so the jet can land.

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: Charlton Heston, Karen Black, George Kennedy
Airport '77 (1977)
Action | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.7/10 X  

Art thieves hijack a 747, hit fog and crash into the ocean, trapping them and the passengers under one hundred feet of water.

Director: Jerry Jameson
Stars: Jack Lemmon, Lee Grant, Joseph Cotten
The Getaway (1972)
Action | Crime | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A recently released ex-con and his loyal wife go on the run after a heist goes awry.

Director: Sam Peckinpah
Stars: Steve McQueen, Ali MacGraw, Ben Johnson
The Hunter (1980)
Action | Biography | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

The story of professional bounty hunter Ralph "Papa" Thorson.

Director: Buzz Kulik
Stars: Steve McQueen, Eli Wallach, Kathryn Harrold
Papillon (1973)
Biography | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A man befriends a fellow criminal as the two of them begin serving their sentence on a dreadful prison island, which inspires the man to plot his escape.

Director: Franklin J. Schaffner
Stars: Steve McQueen, Dustin Hoffman, Victor Jory
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In 1926, a U.S. Naval engineer gets assigned to a gunboat on a rescue mission in war-torn China.

Director: Robert Wise
Stars: Steve McQueen, Richard Attenborough, Richard Crenna
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An up-and-coming poker player tries to prove himself in a high-stakes match against a long-time master of the game.

Director: Norman Jewison
Stars: Steve McQueen, Ann-Margret, Edward G. Robinson
Rollercoaster (1977)
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

A blackmailer threatens to sabotage roller coasters at various American amusement parks if he isn't paid a huge ransom.

Director: James Goldstone
Stars: George Segal, Timothy Bottoms, Richard Widmark
Edit

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
Edit

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 Towering Inferno" Is Not Just The Story Of The World's Tallest Building In Flames, It's The Story Of People... See more »

Genres:

Action | Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Newman later regretted his decision to co-star with Steve McQueen because of the rivalry between the two, created by Steve. As a result, the fireman role dominates Newman's architect. Three contributing factors are 1) Both characters have the same number of lines (at McQueen's insistence); 2) McQueen's character doesn't appear until 43 minutes into the film. As a result, Newman had used almost half his lines before McQueen enters. And 3) the fire chief is the authoritative hero who outranks and captures center stage over all other characters. During filming, Newman was quoted as saying, "For the 1st time, I fell for the goddamn numbers. I did this turkey for a million and 10% of the gross, but it's the 1st and last time, I swear." He later collaborated with Irwin Allen on When Time Ran Out... (1980). See more »

Goofs

Throughout the movie, it is night time, but many window shots show a dusk sky. See more »

Quotes

[about breeches buoy lottery]
Doug Roberts: We'll send the kids out first, and then the women. Number this up to, I don't know - a hundred or so.
Susan: High-rise roulette.
Doug Roberts: High-rise roulette. That's right.
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 Meteor Storm (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

The Morning After
(uncredited)
Written by Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn
Played at the party when Roberts is first reporting the fire to Duncan
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Still impressive
27 December 2003 | by david.clarkeSee 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.


74 of 85 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 219 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending TV Series With Prime Video

Explore popular and recently added TV series available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed