Walter Chalmers: The Organization. Several murders. Could do us both a great deal of good.
Bullitt: Look, Chalmers, let’s understand each other. I don’t like you.
Walter Chalmers: Come on now, don’t be naive, Lieutenant. We both know how careers are made. Integrity is something you sell to the public.
Bullitt: You sell whatever you want, but don’t sell it here tonight.
Walter Chalmers: Frank, we must all compromise.
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.
Later this year writer/director and comedic impresario Blake Edwards would have celebrated his 90th birthday. In celebration of this occasion, the Warner Archive has released three of his later comic gems: 1981’s S.O.B., 1982’s Victor Victoria and 1989’s Skin Deep. While these are all just re-releases and not remasters, the picture quality is wonderful on all three. There’s also great special features and subtitles – something lacking on many of the Warner Archive’s releases.