The Towering Inferno

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

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)

More mistakes in 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."

Eliza

More trivia for The Towering Inferno

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.

Dan Bigelow: I'll be back, with the whole fire department.

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

More quotes from The Towering Inferno

Answer: Mainly it was about egos (mostly McQueen's) and a professional rivalry, not only as top movie stars, but also as auto racers. McQueen considered himself a superior driver to Newman, even though they never competed against each other. When McQueen was considered to co-star with Newman in "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," McQueen wanted top billing, then dropped out when he wouldn't receive it, even though Newman was considered the bigger star. In "The Towering Inferno," McQueen supposedly obsessed over how many lines he had compared to Newman.

raywest Premium member

Expanding on this: McQueen's demand for top billing continued on this film (as did William Holden's, but he was never a serious candidate), which is why the end result was "staggered": McQueen's name was to the left but lower, while Newman's was higher but to the right, so both had top billing depending how one read it (left-to-right, or top-to-bottom). Studies have shown that the name audiences tend to see first is the one on the left, regardless of staggering, so McQueen may have "won" here.

Newman does get a small victory of sorts at the end of this film when the cast credits begin scrolling upward on the screen. Newman's and McQueen's names are again staggered like in the beginning intro, but Newman's name appears first as it scrolls up from the screen's bottom.

raywest Premium member

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

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.

Trailer not working?

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.