Sunday, December 23, 2012

THE TOWERING INFERNO (1974)

THE TOWERING INFERNO never got quite as epic as the poster promised, but it was a fun ride and the 165 minute run time flies by.  Paul Newman is the architect for a new 138 floor building in San Francisco.  The building is his baby, he knows it inside and out and right before the big grand opening with a party in the Promenade Room up top he discovers that some of the electrical wiring he demanded was replaced with shoddy second-rate stuff that can't withstand the awesome load of such an awesome building.  A fire breaks out on the 81st floor trapping the partiers on the 135, so now at the 43-minute mark enters badass fire chief Steve McQueen to do what bad ass fire chiefs do: fight fires, talk sternly, save lives left and right, tie himself to a pole, stare down an elevator shaft, ride on a wire underneath a helicopter, talk to O.J. Simpson without getting stabbed, set off massive explosions with C4, get drenched in water, pat people on the shoulder and repeatedly bitch at Paul Newman for building skyscrapers too damn tall!  When will you ever learn?!!

Of all the 70's disaster movies I've seen, THE TOWERING INFERNO is probably the most exciting, but my favorite is still AIRPORT.  Check it out.  Hell, make a double feature with AIRPORT and THE TOWERING INFERNO.  AIRPORT first.

Drinking game idea: any time somebody says "breeches buoy", any time you see a control panel full of lights, anytime McQueen bitches at somebody or barks out orders, any time two women cause a helicopter to explode and get away without anybody holding them responsible, any time somebody uses C4 or says "C4", any time somebody says they can't do it.

Funny story: Steve McQueen demanded that he and Paul Newman have the exact same amount of lines.  Funny story 2: in the basis novel "The Tower" some chick got drunk and rode in the breeches buoy naked.