Updated: February 18, 2015|
The Towering Inferno was directed by John Guillermin and premiered on 10th December 1974. Starring Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire, Susan Blakely, Richard Chamberlain, Jennifer Jones, O.J. Simpson, Robert Vaughn and Robert Wagner. Screenplay by Stirling Silliphant. Music by John Williams. 165 mins.
On the day of its opening dedication ceremony a fire breaks out on the 81st floor of the tallest building in the world, the Glass Tower. 300 VIP guests are partying on the 135th floor.
After the super success of The Poseidon Adventure in 1972 the Hollywood studios were planning more disaster movies. By coincidence both Warner Bros and Twentieth Century Fox wanted to make a film about a burning skyscraper. Warner Bros had paid $390,000 for the rights to the book "The Tower" (1973) by Richard Martin Stern and Fox Studios paid $400,000 for the rights to the book "The Glass Inferno" (1974) by Thomas N. Scortia and Frank M. Robinson.
Rather than have two similar films competing at the box office the two studios, in a rare move, joined forces to make one big expensive movie based on both books. 20th Century Fox would release the film in North America and keep the domestic box office takings while Warner Bros would distribute the film around the world collecting the worldwide receipts for the film.