Trivia: The Towering Inferno

  • Adaptation Distillation: The film was based on two different novels about burning buildings, The Glass Inferno and The Tower. To prevent unnecessary competition between similar projects, the production companies merged them into one film!
  • All-Star Cast
    • This is actually Jennifer Jones's last film appearance. (Most people who saw it in the theatres probably knew her from 40s and 50s romance movies)
  • Dueling Movies: A very rare subversion, by the studios joining forces and combining the novels they bought the rights to.
  • Dueling-Stars Movie: They actually invented Diagonal Billing just for this movie, due to the star power of its leads Steve McQueen and Paul Newman, who were professional rivals at the time.
  • Enforced Method Acting: In a scene where a bunch of people are fighting to get onto an elevator, the extras were really fighting to keep off the elevator, since anyone who did get on it was pretty much done, and anyone who stayed off it was guaranteed a job for the next couple of months.
  • Hey, It's That Guy!: The chief of security is none other than OJ Simpson. Lisolette is Jennifer Jones. The fire chief is Steve McQueen.
    • And one of the chiefs filling Steve McQueen in on the plan to blow the water tanks is Dabney Coleman.
    • Bobby Brady is one of the kids rescued by Paul Newman.
  • Playing Against Type: Richard Chamberlain made a career out of playing heroes, anti-heroes or sensitive guys. Here he's the Jerk Ass.
  • Science Marches On: Since the making of this film, there was the notorious MGM Grand Hotel fire when it was discovered and publicized once and for all that in a major structure fire, it's not the flames themselves that is the major killer, it's the smoke.
  • In the documentary film of the real events of Nine Eleven, a man in the street looks up at the World Trade Center burning and says "...this is just like The Towering Inferno, like in a movie."