Julie: When I looked up suddenly… there were people walking in the street. I spilled all the sugar on the letters on the floor… and lay down again… and waited. I waited some more for it to pass or for something to happen – for me to believe in God or for you to send gloves for the cold.
Gale: My name’s Gale. What can I fix you?
Joseph Frady: I…
Gale: How about a Martini? You know what they say about Martinis? A Martini is like a woman’s breast. . .one ain’t enough and three is too many.
Joseph Frady: That’s an amazing joke, Gale.
Gale: Yeah, it is. What can I get you?
Joseph Frady: Just a glass of milk.
Gale: You’re the healthy type, huh?
Believe it or not, the Irwin Allen produced The Towering Inferno was not only nominated for eight Academy Awards, it won three of them. This star-studded ensemble disaster flick was not the first of its kind, but it is definitely one of the best. I remember when I first watched it, I was dubious of its merit and wondered about its Oscar pedigree, but in the end, I was sucked in by it and entertained from start to finish. If you look at a lot of the other Oscar nominated films from 1974 – and the 70s in general – The Towering Inferno is like a breath of fresh air made of pure entertainment. I hate the notion that Oscar nominated films need to be serious or arty or what have you. This is cinema in all its glory. The Towering Inferno’s Oscar nominations were as follows: Best Sound, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography (won), Best Film Editing (won), Best Original Song (won), Best Original Dramatic Score, Best Supporting Actor Fred Astaire and Best Picture. The other films nominated for Best Picture that year were Chinatown, The Conversation, Lenny and winner The Godfather Part II.
Mr. Blue: Ladies and gentlemen, it might interest you to know that the City of New York has agreed to pay for your release.
Spanish Woman: As soon as the money gets here, will you let us go?
Mr. Blue: Soon after.
Old Man: Excuse me, sir. Would you mind telling us now how much you’re getting?
Mr. Blue: Why is that of interest to you, sir?
Old Man: Well, a person likes to know his worth.
Mr. Blue: One million dollars.
Old Man: That’s not so terrific.
Mabel: I always understood you, and you always understood me and that was always just how it was, and that’s it. “Till death do us part,” Nick. You said it. Remember? He said, “Do you, Mabel Mortensen, take this man?” “I do.” “I do,” Nick. “I do.” Remember, I said “It’s gonna work because I’m already pregnant.”
Nick: Don’t let that mind run away on you now.
Mabel: Remember how you laughed?
Nick: Don’t, Mabel.
Mabel: Nick. You laughed.
Mabel: Don’t you remember? And he was mad as a big toad.
Nick: Don’t do that.
Mabel: Hey, don’t be sad. I know you love me.
Mabel: We had plenty of time to find that out, didn’t we? You and I know. You see that, Nick? That’s how close we are. And they can’t pull us apart. They can’t force us apart. ‘Cause we’re together.
Nick: I don’t know who you are.
Mabel: Don’t say that, honey. I’m not sore at you. I’m not mad or anything.
Nick: Mabel. . .don’t.
Mabel: You sit there and pretend you. . .all of that doesn’t mean. . .and you know. You know. It’s us. You’re going with them out there on the outside.
Nick: Be still.
Mabel: And we’re supposed to be on the inside. We were always there.
Nick: Shut up!
Mabel: You little. . .teeny. . .skinny. . .little. . .bug!
Doug Roberts: I thought we were building something where people could work and live and be SAFE! If you had to cut costs, why didn’t you cut floors instead of corners?
James Duncan: Now listen. Any decisions that were made for the use of alternate building materials were made because I as a builder have a right to make those decisions. If I remained within the building code and god-dammit I did!
Doug Roberts: [Chuckling] Building code? Jesus. Building code. Come on, Dunc, I mean now that’s a standard cop-out for when you’re in trouble. See, I was crawling around up there. I mean duct holes weren’t fire-stopped! Corridors without fire doors in them, sprinklers that won’t work, and an electrical system that’s good for what? I mean it’s good for starting fires! Phew, where was I when all this was going on? Because I’m just as guilty as you and that god-damned son-in-law of yours! What do they call it when you kill people?