The Towering Inferno (1974)

So you’ve just built a 138-story tower, the tallest building in the world… and you’ve included an express elevator that’s “fire-activated”, so that if a fire breaks out in your building, it’ll stop on the floor where the fire is. Now, to be honest, lapses of narrative logic aren’t my strong suit, so if I notice something like that, you’ve got a problem. More problematic, though, is how curiously uninvolving all of this actually is; you’ve got a giant building on fire with hundreds of people trapped inside,and I’ll be damned if I can think of any reason why I should give a damn, cos it’s not like the rich characterisation makes me care about these people. Maybe the film was hamstrung by the need to meet a PG rating… I don’t know. Plus the crushing length does it few favours. Still, nice to see real flames in something like this rather than just a computer graphic.

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