The Towering Inferno

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)

mightymick

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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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The Towering Inferno mistake picture

Revealing mistake: When Lorrie jumps out of the window, she is replaced by an obvious stuntman: Fireproof gloves appear on her hands, she is wearing a fireproof mask, and her hair is an obvious wig.

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Deliberate mistake: For the sake of the movie's plot and tempo, all the guests manage to breathe and stroll around quite calmly for several minutes despite the heavy smoke, when in real life they would be blinded and choking.

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Factual error: When the fire department first arrived, they should have had the utility provider shut off the gas lines to avoid just the type of explosions that happened continually throughout the movie.

Revealing mistake: During the party, doors open and a burning man appears. He is wearing fireproof gloves, his face is covered in some dark mask and some sort of awful wig to hide all the safety procedures. He resembles a werewolf. (00:57:20)

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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.

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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.

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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)

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

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

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Continuity mistake: When Fred Astaire leaves the cab he doesn't have anything in his hand with the box, but as he walks to the hotel he has a small bunch of flowers which he takes into the hotel with him. But they are never seen again. He does not give them to his date, nor does have a flower in his buttonhole.

Doug Roberts: I don't know. Maybe they just oughta leave it the way it is. Kind of a shrine to all the bullshit in the world.

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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."

Eliza

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Question: In the end after all the tower is extinguished, I wonder how the remaining people on the promenade room got back to the ground floor since the stairs have blown out, the external elevator got broken and there is no electricity for use the other elevators? Maybe they used helicopters?

Answer: Where the stairs were blown out they could have crossed over to the adjacent stairwell and back.

Answer: Exactly, the same helicopter that took Steve McQueen to the roof was most likely the one that picked everyone up.

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