100 Movies in 100 Days / Movies

100 Years of Movies in 100 Days – Day 65 – The Towering Inferno (1974)

Paul Newman saves lives in, "The Towering Inferno"

Paul Newman saves lives in, "The Towering Inferno"

Before I begin, let me say that it’s a damn shame that I couldn’t find a copy of Chinatown anywhere. I went to five different stores and none of them had a copy! I wasn’t about to watch The Godfather: Part 2, not that there’s anything wrong with it, in fact, it’s probably better than the original Godfather in some ways. And I’m in the camp that just doesn’t “get” Blazing Saddles. There were some other interesting options for 1974, but I ended up settling on The Towering Inferno.

You’re probably saying, “What the hell is “The Towering Inferno?” Or for those of you in “the know” are probably say, “Inferno?! Really?! Another Paul Newman movie?!” To answer the first question, keep reading, to answer the second, hush. Inferno features one of the oddest ensemble casts ever. Dig this – Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Fred Astaire, William Holden, Faye Dunaway, Jennifer Jones, Robert Wagner and O.J. Simpson all in the same movie. Yet, it’s without a doubt one of the greatest disaster movies ever made! And who notices there’s a fire in the 81st floor’s utility room? O.J. Simpson! Dun-dun-dunnnnnn.

Dunaway and Newman... one fine looking couple.

Dunaway and Newman... one fine looking couple.

I must also say that Dunaway and Newman make one hell of an attractive couple. Like Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie of today. Very well-matched. And I freakin’ love that car McQueen drives over to the hotel. He must have had it in his contract to drive at least one bad-ass car in every movie he does. He probably got a bonus for every time he utters the phrase, “Let’s go to work,” in this movie as well. And Holden kinda looks like Hugh Hefner in that red velvet jacket. Mmmm… red velvet jacket.The best modern comparison I can make for this movie is that it’s like Titanic, but in reverse: about an hour of romance and drama and then all hell breaks loose. Reminds me of the equally awesome Backdraft . It must have been fun working as an extra on this set though. Man, it’s been a year since I’ve been on a set. I miss it.

Just because.

Just because.

Which brings me to this hypothetical movie scenario… What if you took Die Hard and combined it with Inferno and King Kong! You’d have Bruce Willis running thru the high rise taking out terrorists while Steve McQueen tries to put out a massive fire and Paul Newman tries to make sense of things. And all the while, a giant gorilla is scaling the building! Can you imagine?! “Yippie-kai-yay, King Kong!” Yeah, doesn’t sound as good as the original line.

OK, now those other interesting movies from this year that I mentioned in the opening.

Cockfighter – Yes, I know it sounds like the name a porno I’d rather not watch but it’s actually a Southern action drama film about cockfighting… come to think of it, Deliverance is flashing thru my mind right now.

It’s Alive – The Davies expect a baby, which turns out to be a monster with a nasty habit of killing when it’s scared. And it’s easily scared…

Vampyres: Daughters of Darkness: A lesbian vampire couple waylay and abduct various passer-byes, both male and female, to hold them captive at their rural manor in the English countryside in order to kill and feed on them to satisfy their insatiable thirst for blood…. Rated X.

And then, there’s Deep Throat 2.

Tomorrow, Jaws… we’re gonna need a bigger boat.

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