The Towering Inferno (Special Edition)
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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.Read more ›
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?Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I've seen the movie when I was younger; very entertaining; bought the wrong format; darn it all; oh wellPublished 8 days ago by femaletaz
Almost star studded, what a fabulous disaster flick! Especially when you take into account all the backstabbing and hard feelings that went on behind the scenes..... Read morePublished 27 days ago by Einsatz
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