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STEVE MCQUEEN FIRES PAUL NEWMAN IN 'THE TOWERING INFERNO'

Steve McQueen w/ Don Gordon & Paul Newman YEAR: 1974
The mother of disaster films, THE TOWERING INFERNO still holds up... Stars Paul Newman and Steve McQueen… actually vice versa… Steve’s name is first but Paul’s higher… That's what's called the Ego Billing... Paul built the TOWERING while Steve battles the INFERNO...

Newman’s an architect whose giant glass creation catches on fire from within thanks to Richard Chamberlain’s bad judgments to cut costs: The nefarious, downright no-good  character is the scapegoat of all scapegoats as his tycoon stepfather William Holden runs the show: his wealthy party guests on the top floor are celebrating the building’s grand opening as the first forty minutes sets up the situation – while the rich people drink, dine and dance, the employees figuring out the problem exists...

She was gonna get a raise in the fall but was fired
During which the characters are fleshed-out in an involving soap operatic fashion: Newman and lovely, vulnerable but independent Faye Dunaway love each other but he wants to get away from it all. Robert Wagner and his secretary have a secret (totally forced and unnecessary) tryst while Fred Astaire’s conning Jennifer Jones, who has two grandchildren including Bobby Brady ala Mike Lookinland...

Towering Inferno Score: ****
There are too many guest stars to mention, not to forget, at that time a huge deal, O.J. Simpson as a resilient building worker who saves a cat’s life: but once the fire's out of control everyone’s stuck in the penthouse as the flames rise, and rise... While the best scenes occur in the first act, the fire rescue is also intense and best yet, interesting...

Last but not least, here’s where Steve McQueen takes over. Once a mere extra in one of Paul Newman's youthful starring roles, two decades later, Steve's the man with control over everything and everyone: As the chief of the fire department, on the verge of a four-year movie retirement, provides his usual "King of Cool" but he's very human: One memorably nail-biting scene has him lowered from a helicopter to bring a derailed elevator to safety as future KING KONG director John Guillermin provides taut interior scenes, making the inhabitants and audience feel the impending claustrophobic doom, while writer/producer Irwin Allen directs the intense rescue outside. A perfect mix of melodrama and action.
Great shot of looking up the windowed skyscraper
Steve McQueen points out to Don Gordon (his Bullitt partner) in THE TOWERING INFERNO
Steve McQueen points to OJ Simpson with Don Gordon in THE TOWERING INFERNO
OJ Simpson and future Fletch Mr Underhill William Traylor in what looks like a room in Star Trek
Beauty Faye Dunaway pushes off a blurry Richard Chamberlain (even the camera hates him)
Gregory Sierra gets on the case of Robert Vaughn and William Holden The Towering Inferno
Showing the plush musical like interior with the most pointless character Robert Wagner
In the lavish office of William Holden enters Paul Newman, with a problem... a hot one
Susan Blakely's married to evil Dick Chamberlain with eyes on good Paul Newman
From Jaws to Cheers, the ego credit sequence has McQueen's name first but Newman's higher up
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