The Towering Inferno (1974)

imageIrwin Allen and John Guillermin direct Paul Newman, Steve McQueen and William Holden in this skyscraper inferno disaster flick. 

Lacking the great performances of The Posieden Adventure and the overblown destruction of Twister or San Andreas it’s fair to say Towering Inferno has gotten creaky in its old age. The cast often looks bored, feel a little too split up (OJ Simpson, Richard Chamberlain and Robert Wagner all seemingly disappear for entire hour portions making you wonder if a quirkier, more action packed film is happening in the deleted scenes) and with not quite enough big name, on-screen deaths spread about the mammoth running time to make it gleefully silly enough. Stodgy then but still a great way to fill an evening. Newman, McQueen, Holden and Dunaway phoning it in is still one hell of a switchboard and while the scale has been topped since, the old school effects work is nostalgically strong. Shout outs to Fred Astaire as a con man who looks genuinely terrified in the explosive finale. He’s the only one who gives it his all. Old twinkle toes gets man of the match in the Promenade Room of Doom.


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