directed by John Guillermin + Irwin Allen
USA 1974

A dedication ceremony at the world's tallest skyscraper turns into a high-rise catastrophe when a defective wire in its systems-control panel causes an electrical flare-up. Within minutes the gala event turns into a hellish inferno, as a raging fire traps society's most prominent citizens on the top floor. Winner of three Academy Awards, this spectacular suspense thriller features dazzling special effects and a star studded cast including Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden and Faye Dunaway.

***

Hot off the heels of the success of "The Poseidon Adventure," producer Irwin Allen chose to follow up that seaworthy disaster epic with yet another excursion in peril: "The Towering Inferno," which went on to become an even bigger box office success than its predecessor, and remains to this day one of the most suspenseful and potent thrillers ever to come from a Hollywood studio. Much like the circumstances surrounding the Titanic disaster, those which enshroud the sudden and deadly fire that engulfs the newly-built Glass Tower in San Francisco stem from one thing: human arrogance. The building's owner (William Holden) is convinced that nothing can bring his structure to its knees, despite the knowledge that his son-in-law (Richard Chamberlain) was behind the decision to use faulty electrical wiring. Even with the warnings of the tower's chief architect (Paul Newman), who takes every opportunity to advise against holding off the dedication ceremony until a later date, the gala still goes on as planned, resulting in the entrapment of hundreds of people 135 stories up, with the flames chewing up their precious little time for a rescue effort.

Excerpt from David Litton's review at MovieEye located HERE

 

Theatrical Release: December 10th, 1974

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Comparison: 

20th Century Fox - Region 1 - NTSC vs. 20th Century Fox (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC vs. 20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray

 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC LEFT
2) 20th Century Fox (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE
3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray
RIGHT

 

DVD Box Cover

Distribution

20th Century Fox

Region 1 - NTSC

20th Century Fox (Special Edition - 2-disc) Region 1 - NTSC

20th Century Fox

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

70's Disaster Flicks Invasion
Runtime 2:44:40 2:44:40 2:44:53.884

Video

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.16 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

2.35:1 Original Aspect Ratio

16X9 enhanced
Average Bitrate: 6.4 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,107,532,781 bytes

Feature: 39,291,930,624 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.81 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate : Fox - original release

Bitrate:  Fox (Special Edition - 2-disc)

Bitrate:  Fox Blu-ray

Audio English (Dolby Digital 5.1), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround) English (Dolby Digital 4.0), English (Dolby Digital Surround), DUB: Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0) DTS-HD Master Audio English 3555 kbps 5.1 / 48 kHz / 3555 kbps / 24-bit (DTS Core: 5.1 / 48 kHz / 1509 kbps / 24-bit)
Dolby Digital Audio English 448 kbps 4.0 / 48 kHz / 448 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps / Dolby Surround
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio English 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Dolby Digital Audio Spanish 224 kbps 2.0 / 48 kHz / 224 kbps
Subtitles English, Spanish, None English (HoH), Spanish, None English (HoH), French, Spanish, None
Features Release Information:
Studio: Paramount

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen  - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
• Theatrical Trailer (2:10 / 4:3)

• Cast Bios

DVD Release Date: April 15th, 1999
Keep case

Chapters 29

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox (Special Edition - 2-disc)
 

Aspect Ratio:
Widescreen anamorphic - 2.35:1

Edition Details:
Disk 1:
Commentaries by F.X. Feeney, film historian, and scene-specific

• Commentary by: Mike Venzina - Special Effects Director and Branko Racki - Stunt Coordinator.
Disc 2:
Featurettes: Inside the Tower: We Remember / Innovating Tower: The SPFX of An Inferno / The Art of Towering / Irwin Allen: The Great Producer / Directing the Inferno / Putting Out Fire / Running On Fire / Still The Worlds Tallest Building / The Heart of Disaster: Stirling Silliphant
AMC Backstory: The Towering Inferno
Extended & Deleted Scenes:
Alternate opening sequence / Harlee meets up with Lisolette and the kids / Air ducts / Close up of Harry on the Phone / Extended scene with Doug and Susan / The jeweler delivers the golden scissors as Dan Bigelow argues with his staff / James and Dan discuss the party / Harlee and Lisolette / James and Susan discuss San Francisco / The Mayor addresses the crowd / James discusses the elevators with the Mayor and Senator Gary Parker / James and Senator Parker in the elevator / The party's entertainer / Firemen / Susan and Patty discuss their significant others / The electrical system / Emergency vehicles on the scene / Waiting for the elevator / Four alarm fire / Trailers

 

DVD Release Date: May 9th, 2006
Double Slim
Keep Case

Chapters 32

Release Information:
Studio: 20th Century Fox

 

1080P Dual-layered Blu-ray

Disc Size: 48,107,532,781 bytes

Feature: 39,291,930,624 bytes

Video Bitrate: 24.81 Mbps

Codec: MPEG-4 AVC Video

 

Edition Details:
Commentary by F.X. Feeney - Film Historian
• Scene Specific Commentary by Mike Vezina, Special Effects Director on X3
• Scene Specific Commentary by Branko Racki, Stunt Coordinator on The Day After Tomorrow
• 32 Extended and Deleted Scenes and 1 Alternate Opening Sequence
• Inside the Tower: We Remember Featurette
• Innovating Tower: The SPFX of an Inferno Featurette
• The Art of Towering Featurette
• Irwin Allen: The Great Producer Featurette
• Directing the Inferno Featurette
• Putting out Fire Featurette
• Running on Fire Featurette
• Still the Worlds Tallest Building Featurette
• The Write Stirling Silliphant Featurette
• AMC Backstory: The Towering Inferno Featurette
• 6 Storyboard Comparisons
• Vintage Promotional Materials: NATO Presentation Reel, Original 1974 Featurette #1, Original 1974 Featurette #2
• Irwin Allen 1977 Interview
*Trailer Farm: The Towering Inferno Teaser, The Towering Inferno Trailer, The Poseidon Adventure Trailer

• Interactive Galleries:
*American Cinematographer Article
*The Towering Inferno and How It Was Filmed
*Photographing The Dramatic Sequences for "The Towering Inferno"
*"Action Unit" Lives Up To Its Name While Shooting "The Towering Inferno"
• Stills Galleries:
*Shot Compositions
*Publicity
*Behind the scenes
*Conceptual Sketches
*Costumes
*Cross-promo Fox on BD Trailers 

 

Blu-ray Release Date: July 14th, 2009
Standard Blu-ray  Case

Chapters 32

 

Comments

NOTE: The below Blu-ray captures were ripped directly from the Blu-ray disc.

ADDITION: Fox 2009 Blu-ray July 09': Well, it just keeps getting better but the Blu-ray doesn't appear to advance as much as the SE did over the original. The image is a bit tighter now - detail and colors also improved. What might be as impacting for the presentation is the DTS-HD track at a whopping 3555 Kbps. Extras are swamping the Blu-ray and, no, I'm still not through them from my review of the SE. It looks as though they are duplicated with a few more on the Blu-ray. It seems much more 'epic' now on 1080P but also retains its 70's disaster flick excess.

There are 40 Gig of 2.75 hour feature and 10 Gig of extras. Wow. My Momitsu tells me this is region-locked to 'A'.

The film's massive star appeal (Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Fred Astaire, Susan Blakely, Richard Chamberlain, Jennifer Jones, O.J. Simpson, Robert Vaughn, Robert Wagner etc.) and, like all the Allen disaster epics, produces an unique appeal. Certainly the term 'popcorn flic' might be appropriate to describe any viewing interest. Save this for a late Friday night or wet Sunday afternoon - it has obtained a kind of nostalgic charm. The price is right too - you can't really go wrong. Sure, we endorse.

****



 

ON THE DVDs: Quite an extravagant difference from the old Fox release of this blockbuster disaster epic to the new Special Edition. We don't need to belabor the original's obvious weaknesses - it is non-anamorphic - with a black border around the entire frame limiting its already minimal resolution - colors are drastically manipulated and the image is very dull and hazy next to the new release - its is also cropped. In fact this is one of the most extreme differences I have seen in a long while. I bought the original at Walmart from a 'bargain bin' for about $4. Nuff' said on the image front.

It seems it is feast or famine with Fox as the new SE is beyond loaded - it is spilling over with extras - from commentaries to more featurettes and deleted/extended scenes than anyone might care to indulge. Personally I'd say 'quite the overkill' - I am a DVD reviewer and I had to stop before completing all of the supplements - too much! Bumps in audio and everything else make this an amazing package (yes, why can't they do same with better films?!?!). Anyway, for the price this new SE almost feels like stealing.    

 - Gary Tooze

 

 


DVD Menus

(20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC LEFT vs. 20th Century Fox (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC RIGHT)

 

Disc 2 of the SE

 


Screen Captures

 

CLICK EACH BLU-RAY CAPTURE TO SEE ALL IMAGES IN FULL 1920X1080 RESOLUTION

 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC TOP
2) 20th Century Fox (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE
3)
20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC TOP
2) 20th Century Fox (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE
3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


 

1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC TOP
2) 20th Century Fox (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE
3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC TOP
2) 20th Century Fox (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE
3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC TOP
2) 20th Century Fox (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE
3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC TOP
2) 20th Century Fox (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE
3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 


1) 20th Century Fox - Region 1- NTSC TOP
2) 20th Century Fox (Special Edition - 2-disc) - Region 1 - NTSC MIDDLE
3) 20th Century Fox - Region 'A' - Blu-ray BOTTOM

 

More Blu-ray Captures


 

Image:

Blu-ray

Sound:

Blu-ray

Extras: Blu-ray

 
DVD Box Cover

Distribution

20th Century Fox

Region 1 - NTSC

20th Century Fox (Special Edition - 2-disc) Region 1 - NTSC

20th Century Fox

Region 'A' - Blu-ray

70's Disaster Flicks Invasion




 

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