The Towering Inferno


The Towering Inferno

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Reviews Counted: 28

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 28,282


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.3/5

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Movie Info

On the day of its grand opening, the world's tallest building becomes victim to an electrical mishap and a subsequent huge fire on its upper floors, causing all of the city's rescue teams to converge upon the scene and attempt to fight against what is a raging monster.

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Steve McQueen
as Mike O'Hallorhan
Paul Newman
as Doug Roberts
William Holden
as Jim Duncan
Fred Astaire
as Harlee Claiborne
Faye Dunaway
as Susan Franklin
Susan Blakely
as Patty Simmons
Richard Chamberlain
as Roger Simmons
Jennifer Jones
as Lisolette Mueller
O.J. Simpson
as Security Chief Jernigan
Robert Vaughn
as Sen. Gary Parker
Robert Wagner
as Dan Bigelow
Sheila Mathews
as Paula Ramsay
Norman Burton
as Will Giddings
Jack Collins
as Mayor Robert Ramsay
Carol McEvoy
as Mrs. Albright
Mike Lookinland
as Albright Child
Carlena Gower
as Albright Child
Olan Soule
as Engineer
John Crawford
as Callahan
Dabney Coleman
as Assistant Fire Chief
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News & Interviews for The Towering Inferno

Critic Reviews for The Towering Inferno

All Critics (28) | Top Critics (7)

  • 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.

    Jan 15, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Irwin Allen, the Busby Berkeley of natural disasters and other people's troubles, teams up with John Guillermin, a competent if undistinguished action director.

    Feb 3, 2012 | Full Review…
  • The Towering Inferno is one of the greatest disaster pictures made, a personal and professional triumph for producer Irwin Allen.

    Sep 22, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • A starry cast share out roles that are less like characters than places in a lifeboat.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • 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.

    May 9, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • The Towering Inferno is a brawny blockbuster of a movie, by far the best of the mid-1970s wave of disaster films.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Towering Inferno

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.

Reid Volk
Reid Volk

Super Reviewer

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.

Jason Owens
Jason Owens

Super Reviewer

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.

Tsubaki Sanjuro
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

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.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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