Viewing your Watchlist and recommended content requires Javascript

  • A
  • Action, Drama
  • 1974
  • 165 mins

The Towering Inferno

The Towering Inferno

Synopsis

Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire and OJ Simpson are just some of the 1970s superstars trapped in a burning skyscraper.

About

The towering achievement of director Irwin 'Master of Disaster' Allen's career - with a budget so big that it required funds from both Twentieth Century Fox and Warner Brothers - and made to a formula of which he never tired. You know the one. Stick a mixed cast of mainlining stars and doddery but well-loved old-timers in a confined space, and put them though merry hell. The scene of this disaster is a 130-storey building, a vertical Titanic which peers over the skyline of San Francisco.

Paul Newman is the compromised architect wrestling with his moment of hubris, Faye Dunaway his fiancee, William Holden the building contractor who didn't fit enough of the skyscraper equivalent of lifeboats. Down on the ground, Steve McQueen is the hardhat trying to damp down the flames - but not until the starry cast (Fred Astaire, Richard Chamberlain, etc.) have been made to clamber down air ducts, get stuck in smoke-filled lift shafts, and received their requisite frazzling.

Ironically, there's now something almost comforting about the way the film sticks to formula, but the action is still authentically thrilling.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Fred Astaire, William Holden, Susan Blakely, Faye Dunaway, Paul Newman, Steve McQueen
  • Director: Irwin Allen, John Guillermin
  • Writer: Stirling Silliphant, Joseph F Biroc
  • Producer: Irwin Allen
  • Photographer: Fred Koenekamp

In a nutshell

Still a Titanic example of the 1970s disaster movie.

Latest from Film4...

  • Film4 Suffragette

    Suffragette

    Meryl Streep, Carey Mulligan and Helena Bonham-Carter star in Sarah Gavron's drama about the foot soldiers of the early feminist movement

  • Film4 Notorious

    Notorious

    The story of the life and death of Chris Wallace, known to his fans as the legendary rap artist Notorious B.I.G.

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Dark Horse: Illustrated poster released

    A new illustrated poster has been released for Louise Osmond's award-winning inspirational documentary Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story Of Dream Alliance, designed by Brighton-based artist Rich

  • Channel 4 Blog

    Dark Horse: Welsh Premiere Announced

    [caption id="attachment_4385" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story of Dream Alliance[/caption] Sundance Award winner Dark Horse: The Incredible True Story Of Dream A

Register with Film4.com

Personalise your Film4 experience

  • Set film reminders
  • Build your watchlist
  • Get film suggestions

or Register

Share