The Towering Inferno (1974)
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Nobody knows why this movie needed to be 3 hrs long.
An excellent example of the disaster movie genre, but a rather indulgent one. Clocking in at 2¾ hours, it takes its time introducing the characters and the calamitous building, but it doesn't feel too long or dull. Once the ball gets rolling, it's a thrill ride that doesn't let up. It could be tighter, but that's not the problem. No, the problem is that a lot of its stars are wasted. Robert Wagner get short shrift, but still a key moment. Robert Vaughn, on the other hand, seems too big a star for the amount of screen time he gets. Regardless, it's great to see Steve McQueen and Paul Newman share the screen, the miniature work is excellent, and the fire effects stand up today.
My friend commented it was very similar to The Poseidon Adventure which was spot on, because both that disaster flick and this one shared the same director. It is rather tiresome for me and drags on a lot. If you have by chance seen The Poseidon Adventure then this is basically the same thing except in a building with fire instead of a ship with water.
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In 5 official lists
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This movie ranks #23 in 501 Must See Movies
This movie ranks #61 in All Time Box Office
This movie ranks #77 in Academy Award Best Cinematography
This movie ranks #298 in Academy Award Best Picture Nominees
This movie ranks #577 in 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die