The Towering Inferno/YMMV

Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

  • Adaptation Displacement: This film is more remembered these days than the novels that inspired it.
  • Crowning Moment of Awesome: When the scenic elevator is rescued.
    • Rappelling down a broken staircase with two kids and a middle-aged woman.
    • Jim Duncan vs. Roger Simmons.
  • Crowning Moment of Heartwarming: Jernigan saves a kitten.
  • Crowning Music of Awesome: John Williams' score really was enjoyed, and the Award Bait Song "We May Never Love Like This Again" won an Oscar.
  • Harsher in Hindsight: Fire Chief O'Hallorhan's last lines... 27 years before 9/11.
    • The whole movie, post-9/11, actually. Particularly as production wrapped on September 11, 1974.
  • High Octane Nightmare Fuel: The movie is full of it once the fire starts in earnest.
    • The ghastly results of a bunch of people from the party panicking and trying to take the main elevator down past the fire floors. It doesn't end well.
    • Bigelow running straight into the blazing inferno with nothing more then a coat for protection. It doesn't end well for him, either.
    • His secretary's death is even worse. She's blown out of the apartment by a backdraft, falling to her death. While on fire.
    • At one point, while the fire chief is attempting to escape a broken elevator, a burning body falls past him and his crew -- another firefighter. One of his companions almost BSODs on the spot. Perhaps even worse is when the chief comes upon another severely burned firefighter casualty.

"The ceiling fell in on him and by the time I got to him, he was covered in hot stuff..."

    • The triage ward toward the end -- a seemingly endless stream of broken and dead firefighters. Still Harsher in Hindsight (as with much of the rest of the movie) after 9/11.
  • Idiot Plot: The only way half of the situations in this movie are able to happen is because people behave like brain-dead morons who don't know what the word "fire" means. Of course, this is how many people behave in disaster situations in real life, so it is arguably justified.
  • Jerkass: Roger Simmons.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Considering how this was made in the 1970s, one can probably see it now and wonder why the hell modern conveniences we have today aren't being used. The elevator scene and several action stunts probably look incredibly corny. Heck, even the concept seems pretty stupid today.
    • Though, there were a few comparisons made between this movie and real-life events when 9/11 occurred.
  • Tear Jerker: Lisolette's rather thankless death even bothered test audiences, though it sets up a very bleak Downer Ending for another character.
  • What an Idiot!: The two women that run out onto the heliport just as the helicopter is trying to land, forcing an evasive maneuver and a crash, killing both pilots and closing the heliport to rescue choppers.
    • Earlier in the film, several people rush onto the elevators despite being told not to, though this was also a result of the crush of people pushing them in.
    • You know the minute Simmons talks other men into taking control of the evacuation process, it's not going to end well.
  • The Woobie: Harley Claibourne, and to some extent, Patty Simmons.