A Movie For the Ages

One of my favorite ever movies....The Towering Inferno. Great because not only does it have a harrowing outside elevator scene in which Jennifer Jones falls out and dies, or because it has a nail-biting scene where Richard Chamberlain kicks other people off the cable-chair and then falls to his own death, nor because of the unparalleled water-releasing scene where everyone ties themselves to pillars and railings while millions of gallons of water are released to put out the inferno....but because this movie stars WILLIAM HOLDEN, STEVE MCQUEEN, PAUL NEWMAN, FRED ASTAIRE, ROBERT WAGNER AND FAYE DUNNAWAY! Not to mention Richard Chamberlain and Jennifer Jones. It is a strange hybrid of old hollywood and 1970's hollywood. And it's darned exciting!
When this movie first came out I was about nine, and my carefree spearmint gum-chewin', volskwagon bug-drivin' aunt Caroline took me to see it. As the opening credits rolled, suddenly in the dark my mother appeared, coming to sit beside us. I whispered, "Yay, mom!" until I noticed the look in her eyes as she grabbed my arm and FORCED ME TO LEAVE THE THEATER. She didn't think it an appropriate film for a nine year-old, and was furious at my carefree aunt. Well, I've seen it about 20 times now, and even though she was probably right, I sure wanted to see it then.