The Towering Inferno

"You know, we were lucky tonight. Body count's less than 200. You know, one of these days, you're gonna kill 10,000 in one of these firetraps, and I'm gonna keep eating smoke and bringing out bodies until somebody asks to build them."   - Chief O'Hallorhan

release year: 1974
genre: disaster/action/adventure
viewing setting: home DVD, 12/22/13 and home laserdisc 12/11/97

synopsis: A new 130-story skyscraper becomes a deathtrap when a little electrical fire blossoms into a major problem.

impressions: This was an epic disaster movie, with big stars galore. The death-from-stupidity quota was aptly-met here, as several times, people just lost their minds and did dumb things that resulted in their deaths (or those of others.) After watching this movie, I really felt like I understood how difficult it would be to fight a fire in a big tall building (the answer is impossible, basically.) Random lesson learned: if you're going to drape a wet towel over your head and run for it, make sure you can see where you're going so you don't run right into the fire.

acting: Paul Newman is the architect who busts his ass to save people. Steve McQueen is the chief firefighter who busts his ass to deploy his men and stop the blaze. William Holden is the owner of the building, who realizes his mistakes too late. Richard Chamberlain is the owner's son-in-law who cut corners to get the building done in time. Fred Astaire is an old con man who's looking to change his ways and settle down.

final word: One of the classic old-school disaster movies.

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