The Towering Inferno

Continuity mistake: During the scenic elevator rescue scenes, the building has moved across the downtown core and is now located next to the Transamerica Pyramid, which is many city blocks to the west.

Continuity mistake: When O.J. Simpson (Security Guard) attempts to rescue the mother and 2 children from their apartment, he kicks the door in. If you look closely, the door is actually open and he's holding it shut so he "can" kick it in! (01:06:45)

Continuity mistake: In the establishing shot of the San Francisco skyline, the building appears to be located off Market Street and facing the viewer (elevator tracks facing the front of the building). In a night-time shot from the Bay Bridge, the building has "turned around" and faces the other way.

Continuity mistake: When Steve McQueen is removing his fire suit in the elevator, his tie is loose. But when he runs into the promenade room right afterwards, his tie is secured by a tie clip.

Continuity mistake: Roberts rings Duncan and tells him Will Giddings has suffered burns and there is a fire in the building. We hear the whole conversation and Duncan ends it by saying, "A fire in a storage room on 81 can't hurt us up here," but Roberts never mentioned where the fire is. (00:39:45)


Continuity mistake: In the early part of the TV version. They are holding a meeting in Mr.Bigelows' office regarding Romane Conti. He asked a gentleman from Phoenix on the phone if he could get the wine. Then told his assistant "go get it". A flight plan would have to be filed,and the flying time from SFO to PHX is about 2 hours. Then to find the place where he has to get the Romane Conti. I lived in the Phoenix area for almost 13 years and it is spread out. Then get back to the airport,another 2 hour flight. I would say the fire department would have gotten there first.


Continuity mistake: When Doug first arrives at the Tower, he goes down an elevator from the roof to the 65th floor, then has to cross over to different elevators. In one of these, he goes up - to 79 according to the display; but the floor buttons on the control, consist of just 16 buttons; the 7th or 8th button is lit as he gets off, so he has only gone up halfway to 79. (00:06:45)


Continuity mistake: When the first woman goes across on the breeches buoy, the overhead shot of her going across does not show the outside elevator which at this stage is hanging by a cable and stuck on the outside. However, it is visible in the shots from the peerless building which the breeches buoy is attached to. (02:05:10)


Continuity mistake: In the shot where the 12 people are going down the scenic elevator, you can see the fire coming through the windows but then, when it widens out the shot to show the helicopter flying nearby, there are no flames whatsoever on any floor of the building. (01:57:35)

Continuity mistake: When the elevator is lowering Susan and the rest of the women, the amount of lit floors and the brightness of the lights on the building changes noticeably depending on the shot.

Sacha Premium member

The Towering Inferno mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When water is cascading outside the building a man jumps out of a window, producing a hole in the glass. When another man jumps out of the window next to that one, the hole in the glass has a different shape and the hole is several centimeters below where it was before.

Sacha Premium member

The Towering Inferno mistake picture

Continuity mistake: The light outside the building as seen from the dining hall is dusk, but from the outside it's pitch dark. This swaps back and forth all the time.

Sacha Premium member

The Towering Inferno mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When Dan dies there's a wide shot of the building with several floors engulfed in flames. When Lorrie is free-falling just two seconds later, for the scenes play in real time - the flames have disappeared. (01:04:53 - 01:06:10)

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: At Patty's place, she places her right arm next to her face holding a cracker. Shot changes to a side angle and her arm is lowered. Then a shot afterwards it's raised again.

Sacha Premium member

The Towering Inferno mistake picture

Continuity mistake: When the elevator is lowering the people, a wide shot shows the building on fire. Couple shots later the flames are nowhere to be seen.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: A technician talks to Mr. Callahan and leaves. Callahan places both hands on the computer, but a shot later his left arm is lowered. (00:11:42)

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: When the floor explodes and the elevator breaks, a woman in pink crouches. Shot changes and she is standing tall again.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Roberts hands Duncan the scorched wire, the way Duncan holds it differs between the wide and the close-up shots.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: The art teacher cleans her hands with a towel, but a shot later they're lowered. (00:10:49)

Sacha Premium member

Revealing mistake: Watch carefully as the statue falls on the bartender. It barely touches his chest and rests on his left thigh. As the bartender slumps dead you can see a wide open gap between his whole upper body and the statue. Even if it crushed his thigh it would not have killed him so quickly. When the bartender slumps down the statue rocks freely as he brushes against it; obviously a styrofoam replica.

BocaDavie Premium member

More mistakes in The Towering Inferno

Dan Bigelow: What happened, somebody hang the wallpaper upside down?

More quotes from The Towering Inferno

Trivia: Stars Paul Newman and Steve McQueen apparently argued intensely over who should get top billing. In the end the producers settled for a compromise: reading the film poster (which is reproduced as the DVD cover) top to bottom, Paul Newman is first, i.e. higher, or "top" billing. But reading left to right, Steve McQueen is first. The same applies to their photographs either side of the main artwork, McQueen on the left but Newman (marginally) higher up. Ironically, this billing format was an issue when McQueen was considered for a role in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid."


More trivia for The Towering Inferno

Question: Where does Fred Astaire get his briefcase from, as he did not walk in with it? He walked in only carrying his suit and a bunch of flowers.

Answer: The briefcase arrived the same time the golf clubs did.

Answer: This is most likely a continuity error. The briefcase was accidentally left out of the arrival scene.

raywest Premium member

More questions & answers from The Towering Inferno

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.