Awesome / The Towering Inferno

  • Will Giddings sees a security man about to open the door to where the fire has started (without touching the door to see if it's hot). He winds up pushing the guard out of the way as he opens the door and takes the blast of fire that comes forth. He dies later from his injuries.
  • When a fresh band of firefighters arrive on the scene, the Chief asks for two volunteers to go up the staircase to help some people. Without hesitation, every firefighter steps forward.
  • Senator Parker and Mayor Ramsey. Do they sit and do nothing? Do they complain? Nope. Instead they actively assist in the rescue efforts. Tragically, Parker dies while trying to stop Simmons from commandeering the breeches buoy and Ramsey(apparently) dies when the water tanks are blown.
  • James Duncan deserves a mention for eventually owning up to his own negligence. When it becomes clear that the fire poses a danger, he makes every effort he can to get people to safety. He also doesn't take any crap from his Jerkass Son-In-Law when he tries to get in the way. While consoling his daughter, he vows to prevent a repeat of the disaster.
  • Doug Roberts and Will Giddings for taking the problems with the electrical wiring seriously from the moment they found out. Despite Duncan's insistence to the contrary, he and Will skip the party and stay after hours to personally inspect the building's wiring. After the fire breaks out, Roberts personally briefs and assists the firefighters.
  • Jerrigan as well for making sure the Fire Department is actually called in and personally overseeing evacuations—he was the first one to tell Roberts to have the party guests evacuated—and providing assistance.
  • Some Real Life examples:
    • Both Steve McQueen and Paul Newman did most of their own stunts, the former having 7,000 gallons of water dumped on him, the latter climbing up and down the bent stairwell railing. McQueen also performed the stunt where he leaps off a helicopter onto the top of the burning building against Irwin Allen's wishes.
    • One morning on the stage containing the party/dining room set, the special effects crew began turning on the water pressure to supply the set with fire hoses needed to put out any fires left burning after the ceiling explosions. The set was built on a platform about ten feet above the sound stage floor and the main four-inch-diameter fire hose had to make a bend up and over onto the set. As the film crew waited for everything to be set prior to filming, the high water pressure caused the water hose to suddenly burst, and the pressure forced the hose to twist and turn like a giant snake. One of the special effects crew members, Gary L. King, made a decision to try to contain the hose with a big plastic trash barrel located nearby. As his struggle was being watched by the rest of the film crew, he was trying to protect the cameras and powerful lights from being hit by the spraying water. After about a minute, someone finally jumped in to help him contain the wild fire hose until the water pressure was turned off. The film crew broke into yells and claps of appreciation. Gary turned around to see who had helped him—it was Steve McQueen. Gar, said to the actor, "My wife is not going to believe this", to which McQueen replied, "Neither is mine."
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Awesome/TheToweringInferno