Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Towering Inferno

 After the awfulness of Sanctum it is a pleasure to review a movie that is quite decent. Ah but what a classic it is to! It played about a month ago on Television at about 1.00 p.m on a Sunday morning. I have decided to throw it in here as a contrast to Sanctum which has a drama theme to it. Of course The Towering Inferno is a straight disaster movie but the themes between the two films are similar enough.
 I can remember seeing this film on television several times in my much younger days. The days when television played good movies from bygone eras. I have always loved them and am starved of them nowadays. So it was with huge surprise to see this aired. I was in anticipation all day as I have always enjoyed this film, and it must be at least twenty five years since I last saw it.
 Inferno may have been, or is, the very first of the 1970's disaster films. A then new genre with which, in many respects, Inferno being the embodiment of them all. A then big budget, stella cast, and plenty of promotion, has seen this film forty years later become a true classic of its type.
 I really liked this film when I was young and after seeing it again I still like it, and like it alot. The special effects have dated and the interiors are so 1970's and really awful to more modern tastes, but it is still a great film to watch. It may have aged but this is what makes it so interesting. In its day the special effects were the height of their time. No CGi here. The tower is a very obvious model and the flames unrealistic but if you sit back and enjoy it for the film of the era it is then it doesn't matter.
 I always view films like this through the eyes and techniques of the times. It is the history lover in me. The past fascinates me and a film of a bygone era is a snapshot of it. The James Bond films were always renowned for being at the cutting edge of stunt work etc in their day but look almost lame by todays standards. To show that this film wasn't just a bit of 1970's kitsch it was nominated for several Oscars. So it is a movie that can't be dismissed lighty.
 There is nothing more that I can add to this film that hasn't been said already. But what a trip down memory lane! It is a film that unfortunately, because it is a disaster film, is not take too seriously. It is a shame because disaster films are a valid genre and there is good and bad. Inferno is certainly one of the best and in my opinion a better film that it is given credit for. It is also dedicated to firemen in general so behind the razz and dazzle there is a serious air to it.
 A true classic and what a joy it was too see it again. Loved every minute of it, and even though it has dated is still a very good film.
Click here for a synopsis and more;
Here for an interesting site dedicated soley to the film:


  1. I remember this one fondly from childhood! The disaster movie blueprint is all right here! A real classic.

  2. It is funny isn't it how a movie stays with through life. This is certainly one of them for me. The other is becoming American Beauty...can watch that reapeatedly and not get sick of it.