Flicking through the tv channels this afternoon, avoiding the news in a desperate attempt to stay positive about all things 2020, I stumbled upon The Towering Inferno, as I found myself slumming in the darkest scheduling corner of ITV4. The Towering Inferno is a guilty favourite of mine ever since it thrilled me as a kid, its got an incredible cast, cheesy characters, ropy effects and predictable drama but its a safe harbour these days, you know? Anyway, I settled down to watch the remainder; it wasn’t far from the midway point- Dan Bigelow (Robert Wagner) and his mistress Lorrie (Susan Flannery, who I had a crush on back in the day) have just been enjoying some fun away from the party above when they realise the fire has broken out and trapped them. Dan eventually makes a run for it to fetch help but is engulfed by the flames leaving Lorrie to suffer an explosive end and… hold on, I’m sure Dan suffered a bit more in the flames for his indiscretions (extramarital sex = death in these period films, after all) and Lorrie… well, its awfully quick… did I blink and miss her plunge out the window…
Waitaminute. This thing has been cut.
The Towering Inferno, from 1974… whats this thing doing in a tv version? I used to hate tv versions, but back in the 1970s and 1980s they were what we had to suffer with. To be honest, I thought those days were over. This is 2020 now, after all, and The Towering Inferno… well, it was hardly The Texas Chainsaw Massacre when it came out, right?
In a spell of Sunday afternoon laziness I could put up with the commercial breaks, maybe, but a cut version of the film? So I go and find my Blu-ray copy and resume the film from where the tv transmission has paused it, the picture is much better as is the sound and I really enjoy it- probably should have put it on from the start really.
I just can’t believe they are still airing a tv version of this movie. Infact, I’m looking at the title of this post as if I’ve gone a little stir crazy under lockdown. What a strange world we are living in: I had no idea people had to be protected from the brutality of Irwin Allen’s opus.