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The Towering Inferno (Special Edition) (1974)

Paul Newman , Steve McQueen , John Guillermin  |  PG |  DVD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (247 customer reviews)

Price: $21.03 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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The Towering Inferno (Special Edition) + The Poseidon Adventure + Earthquake
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Product Details

  • Actors: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire
  • Directors: John Guillermin
  • Writers: Frank M. Robinson, Richard Martin Stern, Stirling Silliphant, Thomas N. Scortia
  • Producers: Irwin Allen, Sidney Marshall
  • Format: Color, NTSC, Special Edition, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.1), English (Dolby Digital 4.0), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: May 9, 2006
  • Run Time: 165 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (247 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EHSVOG
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #53,247 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "The Towering Inferno (Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

  • Disc 1:
  • Commentary by film historian F.X. Feeney
  • Scene-specific commentary by Special Effects Director Mike Venzina and Stunt Coordinator Branko Racki
  • Disc 2:
  • 9 All-New Featurettes: "Inside the Tower: We Remember," "Innovating Tower: The SPFX of An Inferno," "The Art of Towering," "Irwin Allen: The Great Producer," "Directing the Inferno," "Putting Out Fire," "Running On Fire," "Still The Worlds Tallest Building," "The Heart of Disaster: Stirling Silliphant"
  • "AMC Backstory: The Towering Inferno" featurette
  • Over 30 Extended & Deleted Scenes
  • Storyboard-to-Film comparisons
  • NATO presentation reel
  • 3 interactive articles from "American Cinematographer"
  • Original archival "Making of" featurettes
  • 1977 Irwin Allen interview
  • Still galleries: Shot Compositions, Publicity, Behind-the-Scenes, Conceptual Sketches, Costumes
  • Original teaser and trailer

Editorial Reviews

A dedication ceremony at the world's tallest skyscraper turns into a high-rise catastrophe when a defective wire in its systems-control panel causes an electrical flare-up. Within minutes the gala event turns into a hellish inferno, as a raging fire traps

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
90 of 92 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Irwin Allen decided to follow up his "The Poseidon Adventure" success with the 1974 suspense-thriller "The Towering Inferno," a movie which also garnered an impressive 10 Oscar nominations and is released as a 2-disc DVD special edition this week.
Whereas in "The Poseidon Adventure" the leads had to travel up, the only way is down for Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, William Holden, Fred Astaire, Richard Chamberlain, Robert Wagner and Faye Dunaway. Attending the opening night gala the guests are trapped on the 129th floor of the world's tallest building which becomes an inferno thanks to the shoddy wiring system installed by chief builder James Duncan (Holden) and his electrician son Roger Simmons (Chamberlain).
Newman plays Doug Roberts, the proud architect behind the Glass Tower, a skyscraper, which dominates the San Francisco skyline at a height of 138-story's. Returning from a long vacation Roberts immediately recognizes that something is wrong and he is proven correct when a circuit breaker burns out and ignites garbage on a lower floor.
While the script can be a tad melodramatic at times, the effort put into this movie is obvious. Nominated for Best Picture and winning for best cinematography, best special effects and best song, the movie was a smash hit and still holds up well today in this age of blockbuster special effects extravaganza's.
As with "The Poseidon Adventure" the previous DVD release was sorely lacking in special features and has been replaced with three hours of extras. Joining the nine all-new featurettes which includes a retrospective, a look at the special effects and the art design is the AMC Backstory on the making of the movie, 32 deleted or extended scenes and an audio commentary by film historian F.X. Feeney.
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122 of 131 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disaster epic recalls past era of Hollywood March 30, 2003
Format:DVD
I remember when I first saw the 1974 disaster epic "The Towering Inferno" as a child. The movie was playing exclusively at one of those old-fashioned, huge theaters, complete with balcony and curtains which drew open as the film began. The screen was gigantic. There was not an empty seat in the house. Moviegoers applauded as the opening chords of John Williams' tremendous score began thundering from the speakers during the opening credit sequence. And fans continued to applaud, most notably when Steven McQueen finally arrives on the scene, fire marshall red car skidding to a halt, helmet in hand. This film, one of the greatest blockbusters in cinema history, was a true event for 1970s audiences.
It has always been easy to dismiss this film, just as most critics dismiss many of the popular disaster films of this era ("Airport," "Earthquake," "The Poseidon Adventure"). When watching "The Towering Inferno" today (this film must be seen in the letterbox format, if only to truly appreciate the fantastic special effects), I feel a sad twinge of nostalgia. Steve McQueen's presence alone is worth the price of admission, and this role would turn out to be one of his last in a major film. He steals just about every scene he's in, simply because of his extraordinary screen presence. A few wrinkles crease his weathered face, he's kind of chubby, but even with middle age slowly approaching, McQueen's spark is undeniable. "The Towering Inerno" is a great example as to why McQueen was one of our greatest movie stars.
Sure, the enormous cast sleepwalks through most of this film in "I'm-just-collecting-a-paycheck" fashion, but has Paul Newman and Faye Dunaway ever been as attractive as they were in this flick?
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inferno Really Burns February 1, 2001
Format:DVD
After the success of The Poseidon Adventure, disaster flicks became the rage in Hollywood. Stars lined up left in right to appear in them. While most are laughable and only worth watching for the camp value, Towering Inferno rises above the pack. It is a well-crafted and well-acted movie, with excellent performances. Like most disaster movies, the plot revolves around a state of the art high-rise in San Francisco. Due to faulty wiring, the building catches fire trapping people all throughout. You are kept on the edge of your seat with amazing pyrotechnics, daring helicopter rescues and the fire departments last ditch effort to save the last remaining people on the top floor of the building. Paul Newman plays the architect who designed the building and Steve McQueen is the fire chief who risks his life fighting the fire. They are but two of a mega-watt cast that includes Fred Astaire (who received his only Academy Award nomination for the role), Faye Dunaway, Robert Wagner, Richard Chamberlain (who is cast against type as the villain), Jennifer Jones, OJ Simpson and Robert Vaughan (Mike Lookinland, Bobby Brady from The Brady Bunch has a small part). The film was a huge success and received a nomination for Best Picture in 1974.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Blu-Ray Breathes New Life into The Towering Inferno July 20, 2009
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
I saw this movie when I was just 16 in 1974. It made a big impression on me then - that such a big, exciting movie could even be made. Now - in 2009 - we get the first hi-def home video version of this film on Blu-ray disc. Let me just say - Fox did a great job! The detail is all there - along with the brilliant 70s colors (check out Fred Astaire's taxi near the beginning for super solid yellow), and, of course, the great John Williams score. All of the extras from the DVD special edition have been ported over as well. Fans of this movie should be ecstatic with this new edition.

Sure, the movie is dated, somewhat overlong, and the acting a bit wooden - but as shear spectacle (and 70s kitsch) - it kept this viewer interested. Another thing that is very refreshing - real models for the special effects work. Some of these models were built 70 feet high in order to ensure realism. If this movie were remade today - I'm afraid it would suffer from overuse of CGI effects (such as in the recent _Poseidon_.)

One other note - the opening menu on the Blu-ray disc is not to be missed. Someone worked really hard on creating a menu that honors the film. Let the disc spin up naturally without clicking ahead. A very nice touch.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Another early year great disaster movie!
Published 4 days ago by Larry L Bryant Sr
5.0 out of 5 stars The Towering Inferno great VHS movie!
Arrived fast 8/20/14 USPS good packaging and brand new VHS! The movie was everything I remembered from the mid70's. Remember "The Big Event"? This was one of them. Thanks.
Published 9 days ago by Donald N. Henry
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
GREAT
Published 20 days ago by John O. Kinnick
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
excellent
Published 23 days ago by dora corkin
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
I got it for my neighbor and he Enjoys it very much. thank you Round3 for sending it out.
Published 24 days ago by Barbara A Robinson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An interesting movie about fires and tall buildings
Published 25 days ago by Jerome G. Pavlov
5.0 out of 5 stars Best
I love this movie
Published 27 days ago by joleen mangini
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
also love this movie
Published 1 month ago by Richard Bracey
5.0 out of 5 stars Top disaster movie
Let me begin with how surprisingly impressed I am with this movie. As a child of the 70's, I grew up watching disaster movies on TV, The Poseidon Adventure, Earthquake, Airport and... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Mr. George Kaplan
5.0 out of 5 stars The Towering Inferno is a cult classic...
Great Classic Movie for its Time... The Towering Inferno was one of the great
films produced by Irwin Allen. And a Must See Classic Film!
Published 1 month ago by Robert Pylant
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So why are they not mentioning the MAIN characters???
thats amazon for you. why do they also have every reveiw ever posted on blu-ray titles i just want the blu-ray reveiws not reveiws of the old dvds.....
Aug 19, 2009 by BOB SZVETICS |  See all 2 posts
OK, so where is The Poseidon Adventure blu-ray???
I'm wondering the same thing. Next year (2012) will be the 40th anniversay for the original Poseidon Adventure. I'm hoping fox will release on blu ray. We need a good stereo sound on this release.
Aug 7, 2011 by Jeffery D. Lefleur |  See all 4 posts
Rate the sound and picture
The Blu-Ray is better than the two disk dvd. The video is better and the audio is in dts 5.1 sound. Fox has done a good job for once.....
Jul 16, 2009 by BOB SZVETICS |  See all 4 posts
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