A film by John Guillermin
cast:Stars: Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, William Holden.
Yes it is a great disaster film by John Guillermin. The story involves a mythical 135-floor San Francisco skyscraper, which is a model build for the movie and convincing specials effect photography you will know that but you won’t care and it looks realistic. The building has been designed by architect Paul Newman, constructed by builder William Holden and sabotaged by the cost-cutting of his son-in-law, Richard Chamberlain. It is cursed from the beginning. All the principals arrive at the building for a big dedication party in the top floor restaurant, but meanwhile a generator shorts out and a small fire begins in an equipment room. What I am not surprised. The building has a state-of-the-art central communications and security system, but half the equipment doesn’t work. As one of the big shots tells Holden: “I told you we shouldn’t have held the party until the safeguards were installed.” More electrical equipment malfunctions, gas leaks explode and in no time the tower is a mass of flames. Steve McQueen is the fire chief, calm, cool and courageous, even when he and a lot of his men are trapped above the blaze. Although he help an elevator being air lifted and almost lost it with an other fireman holding on to dear life to the ground. meanwhile Paul Newman his helping with O.J. Simpson helps a death lady with children and gets them to safety on the 135 floor above the fire. What often happens in these complicated action pictures is that we lose track of the various characters and their various hazards. Not this time. There are five main action threads. Which I won’t mention just in case you did’t see the film. Just an other great film from back in the 70’s.