Plot Summary

In the fateful night a group of unfortunate guests remains locked in a terrible fire on the upper floors of a skyscraper. The architect of the building, which became forced a prisoner of his creation, trying to help the chief of firefighters save people.

Did You Know?

The movie is based on documentary novels "the Tower", written by Richard Martin stern and "the Glass Inferno" ("the Glass tower"), written by Thomas N. Scortia, and Frank M. Robinson.

The role of a middle-aged aristocrat was the last in the career of Jennifer Jones.

The picture was the first joint project of Warner Bros. and 20th Century Fox, divided the costs to create and profit from rental.

Thanks to special effects, noted by many critics, the screen was able to create a realistic picture of the fire in the skyscraper and the massive loss of life. Visual effects were created in the 1970-ies: rotoscoping, keying, a wandering mask and photos of scale models.

Artists were drawn over two thousand preliminary sketches, and it was created on 5 floors, 138-story skyscraper. Eight pavilions were built and placed 57 sets of scenery for various scenes of the film (until the end of the film survived only 8 of them). A month before filming was done a large number of shots of San Francisco at dusk with carefully calculated angles in order to continue to use them when filming.

William Holden, who received the role of the head of the "Duncan Enterprises", at first was unhappy because his hero was too much talking on the phone, without much action on the screen. The script of the film he called "wretched", but agreed to withdraw. The fee Holden was $750 thousand, becoming the largest of his career.

After reading the script, Steve McQueen wanted to change his role to the fire chief, and the place of the architect to take someone "caliber not less than me" as he put it himself. The producer trusted the instinct of an experienced artist. McQueen himself has nominated his friend and rival Paul Newman, who gave consent to participate in the project. Newman and McQueen agreed to the same fee ($1 million) and 7.5 % of the total fees each.

Paul Newman and Steve McQueen not only received the same fee, but McQueen still made a point that they were exactly the same volume of text. Steve even asked the writer to write twelve lines to his role, although his acting mannerisms were more suited laconic heroes. The subject of rivalry were also titles. In them the names of the two stars in a single frame is shown diagonally, in order not to have any disagreements about who has the higher status in the picture.

High technical complexity and the danger of some of the scenes were forced to carefully consider security on the set of future blockbuster actors were insured in total $50 million by each actor in the scenes involving the fire, a firefighter was on duty the individual, are responsible for ensuring that the fire did not spread to the body, hair or clothing. A total of about twenty specialists in extinguishing the fire from San Francisco were involved in the filming of the episodes and the backup. Consultant of the painting became the commander of one of the firehouses of San Francisco Jack Cavello. Steve McQueen was a light training under the guidance of another Advisor pictures Peter Lucarelli, travelled with the team and even took part in extinguishing one of the fires. Precautions were fully justified — none of the staff and actors during the shooting were not injured.

The specificity of work in the film was that some scenes had to shoot in one take because the scenery was completely destroyed by fire and water. In most cases, however, a team of artists and technicians in between takes of restored decoration. While the team recovered one scene, the crew of operators under the lens burned another. Before each shooting day group exactly planned sequence of transition from the scenery to the scenery below was not idle.

Technically the most difficult and dangerous was the scene in the hall of celebrations on 135 floor. Only this room, the fire and extinguishing the fire took off around 3 weeks. To capture the fire, it took five to seven cameras for capturing the flow of water up to eight cameras. The combination of water and fire in some shots only added to the problems, especially lighting. Even a small amount of liquid trapped on a red-hot spotlight, could incapacitate him. As a result, had to compose possible stage, so that the fire in her and was "lighting device". The fireworks we had to carefully select the components so that the fire, if possible, without smoke, creating the necessary brightness.

Irwin Allen, reminiscing about the filming of the final scene, said: "In all my years of working in the movies, it was the worst moment." The episode was captured in one shot with eight cameras — after shooting the scenery was completely destroyed. For the actors, the scene differed little from what had to go through the characters on the screen. 50 cubic meters of water from 6 tanks raised above the scenery collapsed on the performers, were also used water cannons. Fred Astaire was very afraid of the episode, and McQueen even jokingly said goodbye before shooting his wife, "bequeathed" her my car if something goes wrong.

In the picture in total were involved in up to 300 stunt.

In the film there were several scenes in which the heroes perform dangerous stunts. Newman and McQueen preferred wherever possible, to make them on their own, using the services of stunt. This rivalry greatly unnerved the producer, but he couldn't do anything about it. In the scene jump from a helicopter McQueen, wearing a fireproof suit, jumped from a height of four meters to the fire.

The Towering Inferno Photos

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