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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

THE TOWERING INFERNO -- Mini Review by Porfle

Just watched the 1974 disaster flick THE TOWERING INFERNO for the first time.

Tacky looking, poorly directed and shot for much of its running time. Picks up when the fire gets going, due in large part to the fact that producer Irwin Allen directed the action scenes himself.

John Guillerman (KING KONG '76) blundered his way through the awful dramatic scenes and gets official directing credit.

Mostly a trudge, with one of John Williams' all-time worst musical scores (sounds like TV-movie dreck or, worse, the same Mickey-Mousing as heard in such films as AIRPORT '75).

But if you can make it far enough, the picture really gets good at the very end when architect Paul Newman and firefighter Steve McQueen make a desperate last-ditch attempt to stop the fire before everyone on the top floor gets consumed. The result is a rousing and surprisingly raucous finale.

The SPFX work ranges from hokey to very impressive. The stars are pretty much just going through the motions for a paycheck, but to be fair, they don't have much of a script to inspire them.


Also taking part in this star-studded spectacle are William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Robert Vaughn, Richard Chamberlain, Fred Astaire, Jennifer Jones, Robert Wagner, O.J. Simpson, and even "Brady Bunch" kid Mike Lookinland.

All in all, THE TOWERING INFERNO is an okay but rather exhausting time waster.


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