Although producer Irwin Allen's The Poseidon Adventure actually led the way a couple of years before, this is the disaster film which set the style for the genre in the decade to come (the trailer for The Towering Inferno declared such skyscraper conflagrations to be nothing less than 'the new art form of the twentieth century'). A starry cast share out roles that are less like characters than places in a lifeboat, either as victims (Chamberlain, Wagner, Jones) or firefighters (McQueen and Newman). Director Guillermin deserved to be made an honorary fire chief, though he is driven to some desperate measures to cap each mounting disaster with ever more outlandish rescues.
The Towering Inferno
Cast and crew