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Towering Inferno Special Edition (2-Disc Set)

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Overview

With this two-disc set, Fox has created a special edition of The Towering Inferno that is equal to their stellar work on their two-disc special edition of The Poseidon Adventure. The anamorphic, letterboxed image transfer is excellent, capturing the film's distinctive blend of nocturnal shadows and bright flames with clarity and eye-popping color. Both 4.0 and 2.0 Dolby Stereo mixes are provided and each offers a robust, well-mixed soundscape for the viewing experience. Also included on the first disc is a pair ...
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DVD New in new packaging. 1974 Run time: 164.

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Overview

With this two-disc set, Fox has created a special edition of The Towering Inferno that is equal to their stellar work on their two-disc special edition of The Poseidon Adventure. The anamorphic, letterboxed image transfer is excellent, capturing the film's distinctive blend of nocturnal shadows and bright flames with clarity and eye-popping color. Both 4.0 and 2.0 Dolby Stereo mixes are provided and each offers a robust, well-mixed soundscape for the viewing experience. Also included on the first disc is a pair of commentaries. The first is a feature-length track helmed by film critic F.X. Feeney; despite the film's daunting length, Feeney offers a nonstop barrage of fascinating comments that cover everything from behind-the-scenes detail to the critical analysis of the filmmakers' visual choices. The second track is a scene-specific affair helmed by FX man Mike Vezina and stunt coordinator Branko Racki; both offer their thoughts on the technical aspects of the film's impressive effects and stunt set pieces. It isn't as entertaining as the Feeney track but is worthwhile for those interested in the nuts-and-bolts aspects of doing such scenes. Disc two is entirely devoted to extras. An episode of AMC Backstory devoted to The Towering Inferno kicks things off and does a solid job of telling the story behind the film in just over 20 minutes. More detail is provided via a series of newer featurettes that focus on different aspects of the film; highlights include a segment on the effects and photography techniques used to create the illusion of a giant glass tower and a segment on how the many fire-oriented stunts were choreographed. Elsewhere, there is a collection of vintage promotional shorts, including a funny piece done for the National Association of Theater Owners by Irwin Allen himself and a 1977 interview with Allen. Fans will also be interested to see 30 extended and deleted scenes used in the TV version of The Towering Inferno on this disc; they are presented full-frame and it's obvious why most were cut, but fans who grew up on the TV version will be glad to have them. Rounding out the second disc are a trio of articles written for American Cinematographer, a comprehensive collection of still and art galleries, trailers, and a set of storyboard-to-scene comparisons. As if that all wasn't enough, the physical packaging of the disc throws in a set of postcard-sized still reproductions and a miniature reprinting of the film's press book! In short, this is a staggering package for fans of The Towering Inferno and offers plenty of bang for the buck, just like the film it contains.
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Special Features

Closed Caption; All-new audio commentary by film historian F.X. Feeney; All-new scene-specific commentary by Mike Vezina, special effects director on X-Men 3, and Branko Racki, stunt coordinator on The Day After Tomorrow; Nine all-new 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 World's Tallest Building," "The Heart of Disaster: Stirling Silliphant"; Over 30 extended/deleted scenes; AMC Backstory: The Towering Inferno; NATO presentation reel; Three interactive articles from American Cinematographer ; Original making-of featurettes; 1977 Irwin Allen interview; Still photo galleries (shot compositions, publicity, behind the scenes, conceptual sketches, costumes); Original teaser, trailer, and more
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The most popular and critically lauded of the cookie-cutter disaster movies of 1970s, The Towering Inferno set the high-water mark for the genre. Though the film's eight Academy Award nominations may seem laughable today, there's no denying Inferno's strength at tapping the era's sense of morbid paranoia. Irwin Allen produced the film -- as well as directed the major action set pieces -- and he delivers the lavish production design, star-studded cast, melodramatic subplots, and life-and-death dilemmas audiences had come to expect in the wake of Airport and The Poseidon Adventure. Inferno stands out from the crowd mainly for its audacious sets and high-quality performances. The cast list is staggering; Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, William Holden, and Fred Astaire are among the luminaries. Spurred on by the overwhelming success of The Towering Inferno, the disaster genre went into high-gear for the rest of the decade, with mostly disastrous results. John Williams did the excellent score.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/9/2006
  • UPC: 024543231707
  • Original Release: 1974
  • Rating:

  • Source: 20th Century Fox
  • Region Code: 1
  • Presentation: Special Edition / Wide Screen
  • Language: English
  • Time: 2:44:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Steve McQueen Fire Chief Michael O'Hallorhan
Paul Newman Doug Roberts
William Holden James Duncan
Faye Dunaway Susan
Fred Astaire Harlee Claiborne
Richard Chamberlain Simmons
Carlena Gower Albright Children
Carol McEvoy Mrs. Albright
Malcolm Atterbury Jeweler
Dabney Coleman Assistant Fire Chief
John Crawford Callahan
Mike Lookinland
Sheila Mathews Paula Ramsay
Maureen McGovern
Ernie F. Orsatti Mark
Gregory Sierra Carlos
Norman Burton Will Giddings
Don Gordon Kappy
Felton Perry Scott
Robert Vaughn Sen. Gary Parker
Susan Blakely Patty Simmons
Jennifer Jones Lisolette Mueller
O.J. Simpson Security Chief Jernigan
Robert Wagner Bigelow
Susan Flannery Lorrie
Olan Soule Engineer
Jack Collins Mayor
Technical Credits
Irwin Allen Director, Producer
John Guillermin Director
L.B. Abbott Special Effects
Newt Arnold Asst. Director
Joseph Biroc Cinematographer
John A. Bonner Sound/Sound Designer
Raphael Bretton Set Decoration/Design
William J. Creber Production Designer
Bud Ekins Stunts
A.D. Flowers Special Effects
Logan R. Frazee Special Effects
Jim Freeman Cinematographer
Malcolm Harding Asst. Director
Joel Hirschhorn Songwriter
Al Kasha Songwriter
Fred Koenekamp Cinematographer
Carl Kress Editor
Harold Kress Editor
Herman Lewis Sound/Sound Designer
Wes McAfee Asst. Director
Ward Preston Art Director
Stirling Silliphant Screenwriter
Theodore Soderberg Sound/Sound Designer
Monty Westmore Makeup
John Williams [composer] Score Composer
Paul Zastupnevich Costumes/Costume Designer
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Towering Inferno, Disc 1
1. Main Titles [3:03]
2. The Architect [:32]
3. From Far and Near [5:27]
4. Where There's Smoke... [2:24]
5. Wanting It Both Ways [1:38]
6. Up To Code [:41]
7. Red Carpet Treatment [4:55]
8. Working Late [3:59]
9. Party Time [:10]
10. Overload [5:48]
11. Command Center [3:08]
12. Evacuation Order [:45]
13. Change of Plans [3:05]
14. Out of Control [2:42]
15. No Exit [1:36]
16. Good Neighbors [1:35]
17. Higher and Higher [1:09]
18. Hold On Tight [3:55]
19. Naval Support [5:22]
20. Down the Shaft [:27]
21. Stairway to Hell [:22]
22. Regrets [:42]
23. Central Core [:19]
24. Women and Children [1:32]
25. Lifeline [:23]
26. Hanging by a Thread [:54]
27. Down to the Ground [:14]
28. No Other Option [:49]
29. Last Chance [:12]
30. A Million Gallons [4:09]
31. Blueprint For the Future [1:03]
32. End Titles [:24]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- Towering Inferno, Disc 1
   Play
   Language Selection
      Language and Audio
         English 4.0 Surround
         English Dolby Surround
         Spanish Mono
         Commentary By Film Historian F.X. Feeney
      Subtitles
         English
         Spanish
         Subtitles: None
   Scene Selection
   Special Features
      Commentary By Film Historian F.X. Feeney: On
      Commentary By Film Historian F.X. Feeney: Off
      Scene Specific Commentary By Mike Vezina, Special Effects Director on X3
         Explosion on 81
         Fire Chief Arrives on 81
         "I Used To Run The 100 In 10 Flat"
         Explosion In Stairwell
         Roger Tries To Escape
         Elevator Explosion
         Breeches Buoy
         Water Explosion
         Play All
      Scene Specific Commentary By Branko Racki, The Day After Tomorrow
         Will Giddings Catches Fire
         Battling Fire
         Man On Fire
         "I Used To Run The 100 In 10 Flat"
         Fallen Stairwell
         Scenic Elevator Brought To Safety
         Fight Over Breeches Buoy
         Prepping The Water Tanks
         Water Tank Explosion
         Play All
Disc #2 -- Towering Inferno, Disc 2
   AMC Backstory: The Towering Inferno
   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 World's Tallest Building
      The Writer: Stirling Silliphant
   Vintage Promotional Material
      Nato Presentation Reel
      Original 1974 Featurette #1
      Original 1974 Featurette #2
      Irwin Allen 1977 Interview
         What Was Irwin's First Contact With This Project?
         How Did Irwin Design and Put Together The Project?
         What Was the Next Step?
         What Are Some of the Problems Working With Fire?
         What Was the Hardest Thing to Film?
         Was There Any Danger to the Actors?
         What Was the Big Draw?
         What Was the Reward For Doing This?
         How Did Irwin Start Off a Project?
         Play All
      The Towering Inferno Teaser
      The Towering Inferno Trailer
      The Poseidon Adventure Trailer
   Extended and Deleted Scenes
      Play All
      Lists of 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
         Trapped in Her Room
         Fire
         The Stairwell
         Lisolette in the Stairwell
         Still Waiting For the Elevator
         In the Promenade
         Attempting to Revive the Unconscious Man
         Shadow-Puppets On the Wall
         Roger Returns to the Promenade
         Window Warning
         Adjusting the Elevator Controls
         Connecting the Cable
         Rescue Buoy
         Hosing Down Flames
   American Cinematographer Articles
      "The Towering Inferno and How It Was Filmed" by Charles Loring - 23 Pages
      Photographing The Dramatic Sequences For "The Towering Inferno" by Bob Fisher - 26 Pages
      "Action Unit" Lives Up to It's Name While Shooting "The Towering Inferno" by David Hammond - 34 Pages
   Galleries
      Shot Compositions
      Publicity
      Behind The Scenes
      Conceptual Sketches
      Costumes
   Storyboard Comparisions
      Fallen Stairwell
      Helicopter Crash
      Elevator Shaft
      Scenic Elevator
      Buoy Chair
      Water Tank Explosion
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    Best Disaster Movie

    The Towering Inferno Is the best disaster movie made in the 70s. Being in Blu-ray HD makes it even better to watch. The only problem I ever had with this movie is that there is too many indepth personal stories going on. I wanted to see the firefighters fight the fire more.
    You are able to sit back and watch an action movie without all the blood and gore of an action movie today.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Film Is As Hot as the Story

    For the first time in his career Steve McQueen got top billing in a film, The Towering Inferno was one of the first disaster films that began in the early 70's and to some extent still exists today in films such as Independence Day. All of those films owe as great deal to this one. Had this film not been so well done the genre may have never come about.

    McQueen and Newman demonstrated why they were so highly regarded in Hollywood then as much as today. The story of a high rise building burning was also a glimpse into the future when 9/11 occurred. The script was well done and the acting superb. This is great escapism.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2010

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    Posted April 30, 2009

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 4, 2008

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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