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View All The Towering Inferno News
All Critics (28)
| Top Critics (6)
| Fresh (20)
| Rotten (8)
| DVD (8)
The movie doesn't stick together in one's head; this thing is like some junky fairground show -- a chamber of horrors with skeletons that jump up.
Irwin Allen, the Busby Berkeley of natural disasters and other people's troubles, teams up with John Guillermin, a competent if undistinguished action director.
The Towering Inferno is one of the greatest disaster pictures made, a personal and professional triumph for producer Irwin Allen.
A starry cast share out roles that are less like characters than places in a lifeboat.
You may not come out of the theater with any important ideas about American architecture or enterprise, but you will have had a vivid, completely safe nightmare.
The Towering Inferno is a brawny blockbuster of a movie, by far the best of the mid-1970s wave of disaster films.
Despite the best efforts of most of those involved, the film never takes off as more than just a remarkable collection of glossy violence.
The result is everything a disaster movie should be, a combination of soap opera and the spectacle of destruction.
Ironically, there's now something almost comforting about the way the film sticks to formula, but the action is still authentically thrilling.
Featuring an all-star cast (Paul Newman, Steve McQueen), the movie delivers the goods of a well-crafted disaster flick, but strangely, it was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar.
A Titanic tale of hubris...knot-in-the-stomach scary from the moment the fire gets out of control to the last-ditch heroics that come hours later. [Blu-ray]
break out the popcorn, sit back, and enjoy a galaxy of stars picking up their fat paychecks and having a great time. They absolutely don't make 'em like this anymore
The Towering Inferno is a clusterfuck of hammy dialogue, overly ambitious cinematography, and explosions aplenty. Meaning of course, that it is surely nestled in Roland Emmerich's home DVD collection, covered with semen stains.
While I do give it credit for not bogging itself down the plausible, it's nearly three hour running time really tests the patience of any sane viewer. The fact that the academy even threw this into the same league as The Godfather Part 2 & Chinatown is mind-blowing.
Sure the cast is pretty stunning, but the material gives them nothing interesting to do. McQueen and Newman don't even seem into it. In fact, if you listen closely, you can hear them counting their cash in between their scenes. And pardon the pun, but Fred Astaire's performance shows that going down in a blaze of glory isn't always a good thing.
However, all is not lost. There is one really ballsy scene in which a young Robert Wagner makes a nearly death defying escape, only to be thoroughly and violently torched. It is easily the best moment in a film that probably shouldn't have been made.
Lengthy, yes, but it didn't feel at all lengthy to me. Before I knew it, I was 2 hours into the film, but remember thinking it only felt like 30 minutes...that's always a good sign of being really into a movie. "The Towering Inferno" laid the foundation for good disaster movies to come, both in being huge budget and cast wise, and with great special effects that accompany a story that makes you glad you're not one of the people you're watching on the screen. It isn't as great as "The Poseidon Adventure," but it's still one of the classics of classics in its genre.
Decent entry in the disaster genre, character development is obviously kept to a minimum. The two main reasons to watch this are the cast and the old school effects, which stand pretty damn well to this day.
The Towering Inferno is one of the first of many disaster films that followed during the 1970's. The film is very thrilling and packed with suspense and action. The film has a great cast as well. However, I felt that the film at times was a tad too silly. For example, a guy and a woman are trapped and he covers his head to protect himself from the engulfing flames only to get burnt to a crisp. That was actually a very funny scene and made me laugh because it was so stupid. That was one of the few examples of the silly parts in the film. I guess that in every film of this stature, you need something ridiculous. The film is thrilling and has a fairly good story despite the fact that it's fairly simple. The filmmakers prove that despite its simple story, they're able to turn out quite the exciting plot with so little. This film proves that you don't need an elaborate storyline to create top notch thrills, suspense and action. The basis of this film is the book the Glass Inferno by Thomas N. Scortia and Frank M. Robinson, (Robinson would later famously collaborate with gay rights activist Harvey Milk and write his speeches). The Towering Inferno, though not a perfect film, is definitely an entertaining one, and definitely delivers the thrills it promises. This is, along with The Poseidon Adventure, the best disaster film.
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