YMMV / The Towering Inferno

  • Adaptation Displacement: This film is more remembered these days than the novels that inspired it.
  • Awesome Music: John Williams' score really was enjoyed, and the Award Bait Song "We May Never Love Like This Again" won an Oscar.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Fire Chief O'Hallorhan's last lines... 27 years before 9/11.
    • The whole movie, post-9/11, actually. Particularly as production wrapped on September 11, 1974.
      • For more than two decades it was Swedish Television tradition to air this movie on January 1st, beginning within an hour of the new year. After 9/11 the tradition was abandoned.
    • The scene with the secretary jumping out of the window was eerily similar to people doing the same thing on 9/11.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: OJ Simpson breaking into people's apartments. Granted, it's to make sure nobody's left behind, and he saves a cat, but compared to what he did later in life...
  • Idiot Plot: The only way half of the situations in this movie are able to happen is because people behave like brain-dead morons who don't know what the word "fire" means. Of course, this is how many people behave in disaster situations in real life, so it is arguably justified.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Considering how this was made in the 1970s, one can probably see it now and wonder why the hell modern conveniences we have today aren't being used. A lot of these "modern conveniences" for fire safety, such as sprinklers, were already common in the '70s, but the builders did skimp on them in the film to save money. Many cities tightened their building codes after the film came out to require sprinklers in all high-rise buildings. The elevator scene and several action stunts probably look incredibly corny. Heck, even the concept seems pretty stupid today.
    • Though, there were a few comparisons made between this movie and real-life events when 9/11 occurred.
  • Tear Jerker: Lisolette's rather thankless death even bothered test audiences, though it sets up a very bleak Downer Ending for another character.
    • The firefighters taking heavy casualties and fatalities, and yet they can't fight the fire effectively.
    • Bigelow and his secretary's death. Even worse with the slo-mo and John Williams' dramatic music playing as he hopelessly runs while on fire.
  • What an Idiot: The two women that run out onto the heliport just as the helicopter is trying to land, forcing an evasive maneuver and a crash, killing both pilots and closing the heliport to rescue choppers.
    • Earlier in the film, several people rush onto the elevators despite being told not to, though this was also a result of the crush of people pushing them in.
    • You know the minute Simmons talks other men into taking control of the evacuation process, it's not going to end well.
  • The Woobie: Harley Claibourne, and to some extent, Patty Simmons.