The Towering Inferno (1974)
Paul Newman, Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, William Holden & many others.
Written by Stirling Silliphant.
Directed by John Guillermin & Irwin Allen.
It’s tough to dislike a movie that features both Paul Newman and Steve McQueen, and this film is often considered the best of director Allen’s disaster epics of the 70’s. Viewed today however, in the light of CGI, Inferno is a lacklustre experience. Newman is the engineer who knows the shoddy workmanship of the skyscraper will lead to disaster; McQueen is the fire chief who has to clean up the mess; and a cast of many provide the fodder for the flames.
Roy Scheider, Bruno Cremer, Francisco Rabal & Ramon Bieri.
Written by Walon Green.
Directed by William Friedkin.
Four scumbags in a Latin American town try to buy their freedom by driving trucks full of nitroglycerine over some seriously rugged terrain and one particularly unstable bridge, all set to a weird electronic score by Tangerine Dream. Sleazy, gritty remake of The Wages Of Fear was derided by purists, and whilst it’s production problems are sometimes evident, Sorcerer still remains one of Friedkin’s most interesting (and ambitious) films.
Paper Moon (1973)
Ryan O’Neal, Tatum O’Neal, Madeline Kahn & John Hillerman.
Written by Alvin Sargent.
Directed by Peter Bogdanovich.
The real joy of Paper Moon, Bogdanovich’s best film, is watching real-life father and daughter acting together. Tatum won an Oscar for her role as orphan Addie, and Ryan shows just what a fine actor he could be as the conman who begrudgingly takes her under his wing. Rich atmosphere and beautiful black and white photography combine in this tragi-comic tale set during the Great Depression. An American classic.
(Wadrick Jones is a freelance writer for GritFX and will post weekly thirty second film reviews on this blog.)