All the films from all the editions, including those subsequently removed, presently totalling 1167. An easy way of seeing how…
The Towering Inferno
The world's tallest building is on fire. You are there on the 135th floor... no way down... no way out.
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.
Step 1: Get two copies of The Towering Inferno.
Step 2: Get two large televisions and push them closer together.
Step 3: Start the first copy of The Towering Inferno somewhere between 10-15 minutes earlier than the second copy of The Towering Inferno.
Step 4: Get a horrified look on your face as it is confirmed for you that, yes, I'm totally making a 9/11 joke.
Here was a production so enormous that they had to double the duties of a normal production. Two studios put it together (20th Century and Warner Bros.), two directors were credited (one for talking scenes, one for action scenes), it's based on two novels smooshed together, and they very intricately and carefully designed it for two superstar leads (Steve McQueen and Paul Newman) to anchor the film. It's documented that McQueen only signed on if him and Newman had the exact same number of lines in the script. Even on the poster it's unsure who actually has top billing. McQueen's name comes first if you're reading left to right, but Newman's name is positioned higher if you're prone to read…
In a time before Roland Emmerich was only allowed to shoot biblical plagues in his backyard and Michael Bay's career was a merely a glimpse on the horizon, disaster movies and explosions galore in general wasn't the big deal it is today. But then came 1972 and The Poseidon Adventure, the movie that put the desire in people to watch everything go wrong in the worst and biggest possible way, which paved the way for the sub-genre to this day. The Towering Inferno has it all: the big stars, epic length and scale and, most importantly, the flash. I imagine how excited audiences must've felt back in 1974 entering a movie theatre to…
An all-star cast battle a series of spontaneous fires that break out in a 138-story skyscraper (the tallest and most spectacular building in the world) during its glitzy dedication ceremony.
Paul Newman (Hero 1) is the architect who designed the building. He quickly learns that the electrical engineer (Richard Chamberlain) cut corners installing the tower's electrical system to save money, with no objection from the greedy entrepreneur who owns the building (William Holden). Pretty soon there are explosions going off everywhere, with plate glass shattering and burning bodies careening helplessly toward cement. The fire department are called to stop the blaze, which is where we meet Steve McQueen (Hero 2), the fire chief who thinks architects like Newman should be…
El puro espectáculo cinematográfico tal como se entendía antes de 'Star Wars'. Uno va a verla esperando que se le vayan a notar los años, pero acaba alucinando al comprobar que la película va como un tiro. Actorazos, drama humano, acción espectacular y un edificio ultramoderno convertido en escenario de videojuego de plataformas. Clásico absoluto. Ay, Irwin Allen, qué genio eras.
With a lorry load of special effects, a plethora of stars and an unfortunately excessive runtime, 'The Towering Inferno' is a film produced on an epic scale.
Surprisingly, this film hasn't dated much at all. The special effects may not be as sophisticated as they are now, but a fire is a fire no matter when it was made. The exterior shots of the building, recreated in model form, also look surprisingly realistic and help prevent the film from looking like a cheap B-movie.
The thing that drew me in and got me to pick this film up was the cast. Starring Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, and featuring many other credible actors including Faye Dunaway and Fred Astaire, I…
Biggest of disaster films
A bit long winded
Really long and drawn out, with little to really invest in. Pretty entertaining at times though.
They should have called it The Overlong Inferno.
But except that, it's not bad. A fine disaster drama.
How do you like your stars? Grilled? Roasted? Smoked? Here you can take your pick, as a host of celebrities—most of them fading—line up for fiery deaths, just for your pleasure.
This was the pinnacle of the disaster genre, transposing all the stuff of The Poseidon Adventure and turning it up to eleven.
There’s some stunted bits of story and character development in the first hour, but when the fire breaks out, no one much cares about all that anymore, and we settle down for two more protracted hours of pyrotechnics and ruined cocktail dresses.
It’s an expensive, occasionally thrilling hoot.
- the script gives the actors nothing to do, Robert Vaughn barely says anything throughout the entire movie, OJ Simpson seems to spend half his screen time flicking switches
- no characters are developed or go through an arc; we don't learn anything more about anyone, they're all pretty much the same people at the beginning as they are at the end
- there's a weird lack of focus on anyone in particular; at one point there's a kid with headphones who Paul Newman saves, and if this was a Spielberg movie there'd be the father/son thing going on, but by the end I'd lost track of where the kid had gone and whether he'd died or survived; why was…
This movie single handedly justifies my fear of heights. And fire.
We may never love (a bad movie) like this again.
So many laughably bad moments in this. One of my favorites involves the results of the elevator lottery.
The ultimate 1970s style disaster movie blockbuster.
It's still decent entertainment, even if the action and special effects haven't aged terribly well. I like the slow-paced suspense and the very no-nonsense feeling to it, e.g. the willingness to establish characters just to kill them off without much sentiment. 160 minutes is a bit too much, but not very.
The cast is impressive: Newman, McQueen, Dunaway, Astaire, etc., etc. Thumbs up for casting Richard Chamberlain as a prick!
Finally, the architect is the hero (and the fireman, but that's not really a surprise) - you don't see that very often!
More brutal kills than I remembered.
- A Trip to the Moon
- The Great Train Robbery
- The Birth of a Nation
- Les Vampires
- The Racket
- 7th Heaven
- Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans
- Chang: A Drama of the Wilderness
Every film that has ever been nominated for an Academy Award in any category. Enjoy!
- A mort l'arbitre
- À nous la liberté
- À propos de Nice
- ...A Valparaíso
This list is the Letterboxd version of The Oxford History of World Cinema.
The book celebrates and chronicles over one…