Voila! Finally, the Towering Inferno
script is here for all you quotes spouting fans of the Steve McQueen and
Paul Newman movie. This script is a transcript that was painstakingly
transcribed using the screenplay and/or viewings of Towering Inferno. I know, I know, I still need to get the cast names in there and I'll be eternally
tweaking it, so if you have any corrections, feel free to
drop me a line. You won't
hurt my feelings. Honest.
- So how was it? - Good.
- You're gonna go ahead? - Full steam.
Anything I can do to change your mind?
Nope. No way.
You know, there's an old saying:
"No matter how hot it gets up there during the day...
...there's not a..." - "Not a damn thing to do at night".
What the hell are you gonna do at night in the middle of nowhere?
Sleep like a winner.
Doug, you're a city boy with a low threshold of boredom.
You'll be back in two weeks.
Come in the office for a minute.
I got people waiting upstairs.
I wanted to tell you...
...Senator Parker's coming to the dedication tonight.
He's almost guaranteed the urban renewal contract.
Do you know what that means?
Skyscrapers like this all over the country.
You design them. I'll build them.
Jim, I think you suffer from an edifice complex.
You'll never leave.
After the party, come on downstairs and watch me burn my black tie.
Glad to see you back.
Doug, I can't understand it.
The dampers won't stay opened.
Whatever happened to "hello"?
- How are you? - Good.
You look like it took.
Hi, Mr. Roberts.
Just a second.
We'll miss you.
- Duncan know? - He's all smiles.
- What electromagnets went in? - Doug?
Thompson G- s.
Don't you think it should've been G- s?
That's what comes from last-minute panic. I'll fix it.
There's ground water on that Atlanta job.
Bring the designs in today.
How about Chicago specs?
- Philadelphia? - In a minute, guys.
Are you taking any calls?
No, I'm not taking any calls.
Are we gonna talk at all?
No. It's my lunch hour.
Well, I'm not a cheeseburger, you know.
You're better. All protein, no bread.
All I need to go with you is about eight glasses of water.
All I need to go with you is in that suitcase.
I got about a $ worth of vulgar underwear for you.
First things first.
Years from now, when they talk about this, and they will...
...remember to tell them that it was my idea.
Got change for a ?
Sorry, it's the smallest I have.
Not a chance!
Let's see what we got here...
That's it exactly. Catch your tip next time.
All your security squad's up there...
Hello, Mrs. Allbright.
We won't be so messy tomorrow. We're gonna try charcoals.
Mommy wants to know if you'll have dinner with us?
Thank you, but I'm going up to the tower party.
Aren't you coming?
Mommy says thanks, but she doesn't go to parties since Daddy died.
Here, let me take that paint off.
Bye. How are you, Phillip?
- Sorry, Mrs. Mueller, what was that? - I said how are you?
Okay, I'll get on it right now.
I'll have to check the panel. Have to see if all those light up.
We still got any G- electrodes?
- Yeah, main storeroom. - Right.
Okay, booster pump, zone one.
- One-ten. - Check.
Main generator, zone one.
I don't get any reading.
Try the auxiliary generator.
What the hell?
Here we are.
Are there offices on this floor, as well as apartments?
I wouldn't like that at all!
The business offices only go up to .
From the st floor, here...
...all the way up to it's exclusively residential.
Now, the apartment I want to show you is ...
Say, Bill? Tune in the main utility room.
Something's screwed up.
The sensor didn't trip the fire alarm.
Why should it? You can see for yourself.
There's no fire.
The sensor indicates there is. Plus Wes just called.
He said they're having wiring problems down there.
You better stay with it.
I want you up there with me. We can do good things together.
What's the matter?
Dave's leaving. They've offered me managing editor.
I mean... I guess we've got ourselves a situation.
I want the kind of life you're talking about. I want that.
I want a place where our kids can run around and grow and be free.
I want this job.
I wanted it for five years.
I've worked for it for five years. Now suddenly it's there.
See, I have ideas, Doug.
I can do something with it that hasn't been done before.
I guess I want both, and I can't have both.
I don't know.
Be right there.
Let's hold this off till tonight.
We kicked on the auxiliary, and this shorted out.
What about that?
It should've been conduit.
Give me a pair of dikes.
I know, I know. Callahan called me.
Now just how bad is it?
Depends on how good your imagination is.
Specs called for conduit safety covering.
How many fuse terminals did you check?
How many do I have to?
y:i Mr. Bigelow is here, sir.
Okay, send him in.
Now, Doug, one piece of scorched wire...
...from a burned-out circuit breaker isn't conclusive.
Maybe not. But now I'm worried about what other shocks we're in for.
...J.D., wait till you see this.
What happened? Was the wallpaper hung wrong?
We have an equipment problem.
- No problem in the tower, is there? - Could be.
Come on. You're just guessing.
I want to talk to your son-in-law.
I wanna talk to him right away.
- Get Roger Simmons. y:i -Yes, sir.
I guarantee I'll check this out.
We're all going to check it out.
I'm missing something.
We damn near had a fire.
Yeah, a fire.
In this building?
We haven't finished installing the safety equipment.
- The party should've been put off... - Hold it, Will!
y:i Mr. Simmons is out, sir.
y:i They don't know, sir, y:i but I left word for him to call.
We'll talk to Roger tomorrow. And then we'll decide what to do.
- That's okay, isn't it? - Nope. Won't wait.
Try zone one again.
Damn it! This is top priority.
We gotta get these electrical systems on.
Our security program's loused up without them.
Don't go away.
Doug! Well, what a surprise!
Where's that electrical genius of yours?
I called his office, the club, the marina. No luck.
What's he done?
Come on, I'll get you a drink.
He must've done something. My father called.
He hasn't been that upset in years.
Have any idea where he is?
Well my husband's territory ranges rather widely.
It's like that of the timber wolf, anywhere within a -mile radius.
But if you wanna wait, he'll show up.
He has to. His clothes are here.
- Can I get you a drink? - No, thanks.
I guess you don't plan to tell me what Roger's done.
- Honey. - Hello.
- What are you drinking these days? - Nothing, right now.
Well, welcome back from the wilderness.
To what do we owe the pleasure?
Callahan was testing a backup generator.
There was a systems failure.
How can that be?
It can't be, theoretically.
Unless you screwed around with the electrical specifications.
That's being rather blunt, isn't it?
Then you'll understand my being equally blunt.
What the hell business is it of yours?
I wonder what kickbacks were involved.
I don't have to take crap from you.
Listen. We had an electrical flare-up in the main utility room.
Some of that wiring wasn't exactly what I asked for.
All the wire I put in is up to code, inspected and approved.
Code's not enough for that building!
And you know it!
I asked for installations way above standard.
Buddy, you live in a dream world. I deal in realities.
I want your wiring diagrams and copies of your work orders.
That would take weeks and a lot more clout than you have!
In my office! Tomorrow, : .
They say he used to wrestle grizzly bears in Montana.
Of course, he was younger then. Probably in better condition.
You must have enjoyed all this immensely.
No, I didn't.
Actually, I'm depressed for both of us.
What did you expect me to do? Punch him in the nose?
If you've done anything to Dad's building, God help you.
Baby, I don't need God's help or your old man's. Not anymore.
So don't expect me to shake every time Daddy barks...
...even if that's what you want me to do.
All I want is the man I thought I married.
I guess we're running out of reasons to stay married, aren't we?
It's getting late.
Mustn't miss the party.
Stand back, please! Everybody, back of the ropes!
Stand back, please. Everybody, back of the ropes!
: sharp. I hope you like your men prompt.
At my age?
I only care that they show up at all.
Be a good girl, Elke.
I left you some milk in the kitchen. See you later.
Did you find Simmons?
Yeah, I found him.
Did he or didn't he change your specs?
He didn't admit it, but I bet you he did.
Payoffs and kickbacks. The only way he could've swung it.
Here you are...
...your original specs.
Zone one only, but we gotta start somewhere.
That son of a bitch gave us an impossible job.
- Susan. - Hello, Dan.
- How are you, dear? - Congratulations. It's magnificent.
I'll meet you out front.
- I'd like to talk to Susan. - Right.
Find me the architect who designed you...
...and who needs Doug Roberts?
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a gala evening.
The entire city is in a holiday mood.
The list of luminaries reads like a Who's Who.
There are leaders from society and government...
...stars of screen and television.
And now, just arriving, the Honorable Gary Parker...
...chairman of the Federal Urban Renewal Commission.
The senator's in from Washington to be here for the dedication.
Senator Parker, ladies and gentlemen.
We'll try to get him to the microphone to say a few words for you.
Thank you very much.
I'm honored to be here tonight.
This magnificent building represents yet another landmark...
...in a long succession of landmarks for this great city.
I think you've got him in the bag, Jim.
...being here at this historic moment.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, Mr. And Mrs. Roger Simmons.
Mrs. Simmons is the daughter of the builder, Jim Duncan.
How are you?
Nice to see you, senator.
Shake hands with Mr. Duncan, please.
Where were you all day?
I wasn't aware the leash was that tight.
Later, I wanna ask you a few questions...
...and I expect some straight answers.
And now, ladies and gentlemen, Mayor and Mrs. Robert Ramsay.
I thank you very much.
I hereby dedicate this magnificent glass tower...
...tallest building in the world!
We'll make it. That's it.
All right, Callahan?
It's really something, isn't it?
Come on, Dan.
I'm going by the office. I'll be up in a few minutes.
I've never seen the bridge look like that.
- It's unbelievable! - Astonishing!
- How did it go down there, Mr. Bigelow? - Fine, thank you. Good night.
Shall I leave you a night line?
No, you can disconnect. I've had it with phones for today.
Sorry, but I have a letter that must go out.
See you Monday, Janet.
Gee, I never thought he'd come back here before the party.
We almost missed him.
It's all right. I'm not gonna do anything tonight.
Have a nice weekend.
Thanks. You too.
- Promise me something? - What?
If I ever start taking you for granted, do something about it.
And what do you suggest?
Cut off the phone lines.
Pour coffee down my neck.
Tweak my nose?
y:i We may never love like this again
y:i Don't stop the flow
y:i We can't let go
y:i We may never love like this again
y:i And touch the sky
y:i Though we may try
y:i So while we're here y:i Let's give our all
y:i Release the dreams inside us
y:i And set them free
y:i Oh, while we're here let's y:i leave a mark
y:i There's a candle in the dark
y:i It's here to guide us
y:i We may never love like this again
y:i But through the days
y:i Beyond the haze
y:i I see you reaching out...
- How's the family? - Fine, thank you.
- Would you excuse us, gentlemen? - Certainly.
- I've got a surprise for you. - Politicians don't like surprises.
- Carlos? - Yes, sir.
- What can I fix you? - Meet Senator Parker.
- Great pleasure. - It's an honor, senator.
Show him what you've been hiding back there.
- That's all you'll drink tonight. - A whole case?
What you don't drink, we'll ship to Washington.
- Open a bottle, will you? - Yes, sir.
How did you ever come by a whole case?
Come on, Jim.
I guess you're looking for someone.
I am. Have you seen him?
I've ordered for Patty. What can I get you?
- Nothing right now. Thank you, Roger. - Susan, tell me...
What does a girl do in San Francisco when her old man...
...decides to leave for two years?
Beats me, buddy.
I've had a little trouble making that work.
Could we discuss that tomorrow at lunch?
- You must miss your villa. - Well, yes and no.
It gets rather dull in the south of France.
Nothing but swimming and yachting, partying and all that sort of thing.
And believe it or not, they fight over the few eligible bachelors.
Even such old scraps as I.
- No false humility, please. - Oh, shall we?
I decided to come back to the reality of San Francisco...
...to regain my perspective and my humility...
...and spend more time at the one thing I'm really good at:
The stock market.
Monte Carlo's losses, San Francisco's gains.
Do you believe in destiny?
I believe in all good things.
There must be a reason for my coming back home.
This can't be right.
It's too hot.
You better leave it off.
Doug, I'm up on with Will.
We got a wiring problem. Overloads could be trouble.
Shut down as many of the zone one systems as you can.
I can't do that.
All the lights are on for the dedication ceremony.
You mean the whole building?
We're taking the overload just fine.
Well, shut it down right away.
I can't do that without an okay from Mr. Duncan himself.
I'll accept the responsibility. Just turn off the lights!
What about the lights in the tower for the party?
I didn't say all the power, just the overload!
Yes, sir, Mr. Roberts!
We better get down to and check the relay systems.
They turned on everything in the whole building.
There's something on .
Phone it in, in case the lines to the fire department are out.
- I'll be in . - You got it.
Get those drapes!
Smother it! Try to smother it!
Pull it around over here. Put it all over him. Come on!
Let's get some water onto that fire.
Turn it on!
Down, down! Stay low!
Call an ambulance for this man.
Get on the ball! Call an ambulance!
I want everybody off this floor!
- The fire department? - On their way.
Get that ambulance. Give me a hand. Get him in the elevator.
All right, try not to touch him. Try to get him by his belt.
This is . A man's been burned. Get an ambulance.
Yes, right away.
Call Duncan in the tower. He's got a lot of people up there.
- What? - Do it now!
It's Mr. Roberts.
Yeah, Doug. We were getting worried about you.
Susan's here, Senator Parker, the mayor and his wife.
They're asking why the greatest architect isn't here.
Never mind that. Will Giddings has been badly burned.
Will Giddings burned? How?
An ambulance is coming, but you better think about...
...getting those people down on the ground floor.
What for? We got a fire here!
Well, I think it's under control, but...
Well, then why the urgency?
If fluky wiring in this building caused that fire...
...fires could break out everywhere!
Doug, I think you're overreacting.
I feel sorry for Will Giddings, but he'll be taken care of.
But I won't concern myself with a fire in a storage room on ...
...because it can't possibly affect us up here...
...not in this building.
Now, have someone call me when the fire department arrives.
Meanwhile, get in your dinner jacket and come up and join the party!
What building's on the corner of Montgomery and...
- The glass tower! - What?
The glass tower!
I sure hope that fire's on the first floor.
Did you ever fight one in a high rise?
Is it as rough as I hear?
Like being inside a chimney.
How in the hell did they get here before we did?
Don't anybody ever stay home anymore?
- Mike, she's throwing a lot of smoke. - Eighty-first floor, right?
We've got lobby control, second alarm is in.
- Set up a Forward Command. - Got it.
...this is Roberts, the architect.
- What do we got here, Kappy? - Fire started, st floor, storage room.
It's bad. Smoke's so thick, we can't tell how far it's spread.
- Exhaust system? - Should've reversed automatically.
It must be a motor burnout.
- Sprinklers? - They're not working on .
- Why not? - I don't know.
- Jim? - Yes, sir?
Give us a quick refresher on your standpipe system.
Floors have and . -inch outlets.
Fifteen hundred from ground to from to ...
...and from there to the roof.
Are these elevators programmed for emergencies?
- What floor are your plans on? - . My office.
That's two floors below the fire. It'll be our Forward Command.
Men, take up the equipment.
Yeah, it's all our fault.
You know we can't fight a fire in anything over the th floor.
But you keep building them as high as you can.
Are you here to take me on, or the fire?
What about the st floor? You got everybody out of there?
I wanna see all floor plans, through .
This is what worries me. Those beams and that glass.
Chief, has been evacuated, but it doesn't look too good up there.
Give me a list of your tenants.
Don't worry. We're moving them out now.
Not live-ins. Businesses.
We lucked up. Most of them haven't moved in yet.
Those that have are off at night.
I wanna know who they are, not where.
What's that got to do with anything? Who they are?
Any wool or silk manufacturers?
In a fire, wool and silk give off cyanide gas.
Any sporting-good manufacturers, like table-tennis balls?
They give off toxic gases. Now do you want me to keep going?
- One tenant list, coming up. - Thank you.
What do we got?
Elevator bank, central core.
Service elevators here. Air conditioning ducts, inches.
- Pipe alleys here? - One, two, three, four, five.
- This is south? - South.
Have you got any construction on ?
Anything that can blow up, like gasoline, fabric cleaner?
I don't think so.
Good. I'll be up on .
For what it's worth, this is one building I figured wouldn't burn.
Neither did I.
And they're celebrating. A party.
What party? Where?
In the Promenade Room. people.
Why didn't you get them out?
Why don't you go talk to Duncan? He ain't listening to me.
Here he is now.
This is Duncan.
A battalion chief?
I'll watch out for him. Thank you.
Ted, take your men down to check that hallway.
Jack, how bad?
I don't like the looks of it. It's running the ceiling.
Work it around. Up there.
- I'll be up topside. - Right.
Keep it high.
- Looking for me, chief? - Lf you're Duncan.
Everything under control?
Gotta move these people out of here.
Now, just how bad is it?
It's a fire, mister, and all fires are bad.
You're not familiar with the many modern safety systems...
...we have designed into this building.
We've got them all.
It's your building, but it's our fire. Now get out.
I don't think you're listening.
A fire on can't reach up here, not in this building.
- I'll do it. - Hold it, hold it.
Do you want me to pull rank with the mayor?
With a fire, I outrank everybody here.
One thing we don't want is a panic.
I could tell them, but you ought to.
Just make a nice, cool announcement to all your guests...
...that the party's being moved down below the fire floor. Now.
Patty, you and Susan stay right here where I can find you.
Now, don't leave this table.
You, I wanna talk to.
Did you change any of Doug's electrical specifications?
- I most certainly did. - For God's sake, why?
The reason should be obvious, especially to you.
We've got a fire.
If it was caused by what you did, I'll hang you out to dry.
And then I'm going to hang you!
Would you please stop playing?
Stop playing, will you?
Ladies and gentlemen...
Ladies and gentlemen, may I have your attention?
It seems that we have a small fire...
...in one of our storage rooms...
... floors below.
I assure you there's no danger.
But in accordance with the fire department's orders...
...a purely precautionary procedure...
...we're going to move the party down to the lobby for a while.
And we'll be serving cocktails and champagne in our Continental Room.
But I promise you, dinner will not be delayed.
Now if we can all move to the elevators...
Now, ladies and gentlemen...
...there's no reason to rush.
Senator Parker, you and your party.
It's really all right.
Stay here. I'll be right back.
- Lisolette! - Frank!
- How's it going, chief? - Better get ready.
Kappy, get the floor plans on . We got problems.
- Are your com lines tested? - Phone jacks on every floor.
- I'm plugging into your PA system. - No sweat.
- Emergency setup? - Battery-powered standby system.
Splice these lines into our two-way communications van.
- No problem? - No problem.
- How long will this take? - A minute.
Here's our problem.
The fire's lapping up through the windows.
Get down! Get down!
What was that?
- Come on! - The ceiling's going!
Men trapped! We need help! Bring a line!
Pull them out, pull them out!
Pass the fire hose! Pass it along!
Battalion Two to Forward Command. Urgent!
Forward Command, go ahead.
Explosion on fire headed toward elevator banks!
We need more crews up here fast!
- They need relief on . Hit it. - They're on their way.
Tell Duncan to stop those Tower Room people...
...from using that express elevator, or somebody'll get killed.
Ring in a third alarm.
I want some rescue squads and some choppers here.
We may need them to get those people down.
Come on, Park.
I'll be on .
The fire's moving toward the main shaft.
Use the scenic elevator. Don't overload.
I don't like how you talk to me.
- You drunk? - Not yet.
- Then get out of my way! - You didn't talk like this before.
Running over budget and out of money.
Did you ask me then to shave $ off our electrical costs?
Shut up and help these people!
- Let me ask, father-in-law... - Excuse me.
Did you encourage other subcontractors to cut corners?
Where did you save the other in Doug's original budget?
Ladies and gentlemen, I'm sorry.
Move back into the Promenade Room...
...and we'll take you down by the scenic elevator.
Now these express elevators can be activated by fire.
And with the probability of short circuits...
...the cars might stop on the floor where the fire is.
So please, we'll use the scenic elevators over there.
For God's sake, get out of there!
It looks bad, Jack.
It is. I got a couple of men hurt.
The fire's spreading.
I got a third alarm in. What about this ceiling?
Must have just happened. I'll check the other corridors.
Firemen, let's pull it down before it falls down.
Bring it out! Take it down!
Empty all the water out.
Chief, it's out of control.
Bring in another line!
Get another tank!
Phillip, open the door!
What ideas can I use upstairs...
...to explain where I've been all this time?
Well, what you might do is just...
...walk right up to him and say, "J.D., I'm sorry for the delay...
...but my secretary had an urgent personal problem."
What happens if he asks what the problem was?
- You know what astonishes me? - What?
You make love with a girl...
...and there's no visible evidence.
Nothing to mark the event.
Look at you.
You look like you could be going to church.
In this outfit?
I love you.
Did you leave a cigarette burning?
That's not a cigarette.
Get some towels. Stuff them under the door.
- What'd they say? - Help's on the way.
There's nothing to worry about.
We'll just sit tight and wait till they get here.
I won't panic.
Not to worry, baby.
Please, just join the end of the line.
Oh, no, ma'am. Please.
But I can't find my daughter. She's here somewhere.
- They're aware of that. - She's wearing a purple dress.
- I've got to find her! - I promise, they'll find her.
Now, only at a time.
I'm sorry. That's it.
We'll be in the next group, maybe.
It won't be too long.
What's she doing on ?
Forward Command? I wanna speak to Jernigan.
Damn it, man! You should've sent a man up there!
How do you expect her to hear a phone call? She's deaf!
Sure, the kids can hear!
I don't know, maybe they were in the shower when you called.
You stay there. I'll get them down!
All my men are committed. I need fresh crews, damn it!
y:i -We'll send them right up. - Still got people on .
I'll get them down.
I'll give you a hand.
Turn your face away.
There never were any firemen, were there?
I said that to make it easier on you.
I switched off the phones.
There's no way to call out.
Nobody knows we're up here.
Well, I always did want to die in bed.
Nobody's going to die.
At least they'll never find out about us, will they?
I used to run the in flat.
I'll be back with the whole fire department.
You all right?
The mother and the two children are in there.
- Don't worry. We'll get them out. - Wait!
Please, Mrs. Mueller! Please stay back.
- What do you think? - I don't know. Give it a kick.
I'll take the back.
I got Mrs. Allbright.
Anybody in here?!
It's okay, kid. It's okay. Come on.
- Mom, Mom! - Your mom's all right.
Mr. Jernigan took her downstairs.
My sister. Where's Angela?
He'll get her.
Angela, where are you?
It's gonna be okay, Angela.
Hold it right here. Hold it right here.
- All right! - That's it.
It'll take hours to get everyone down.
Those of us with stout hearts and trim waistlines should use the stairs.
- That's floors. - All downhill.
It's closer than they told us.
Let's try the south exit. That might be clear.
- Yes, sir. - Help us get this thing open.
Is it stuck?
Here, let me try to kick it.
- I'll call security. - Yes, sir.
Battalion responding to fourth alarm.
Where are those choppers, Kappy?
Navy's been alerted.
Why do they make these goddamn things so heavy?
You want it easy, chief?
They should design a survival suit for us like for football players.
Who pays to see us play?
Let's go to work.
I need two men up the stairwell to the tower.
The door's jammed. I want it cleared.
Okay, you got it.
Timmy, I want you with me.
Get two men with minutes of air. Kappy?
Glass will be sailing everywhere.
Tell the police to move those barricades four blocks back.
- Got it. - Let's hit it.
Yo! Security guard. Anyone here?
Say, kitty, almost missed you.
Keep away from the walls.
There's fire on the other side.
Wait a minute.
It's a ruptured gas line. Get back!
Oh, my God!
Is there any way you can get down?
I think I can.
Let him try.
There's no other way.
Come on, Phillip! Come on.
That part's easy.
Come on, boy. Easy does it.
Get your foot over there.
Come on, Phillip. Come on, Phillip!
It's just a couple of inches away now. There you go.
Don't look down!
I gotcha. I gotcha.
We were supposed to have fire drills, but nobody ever told me anything.
They said we would have fire drills. But they never did.
It's going to be all right.
It's going to be all right.
You all right?
You know, I had a...
I got up, but I'll have trouble getting down. Can you help me?
Could you just hold on around my neck, real tight?
Come on. Give it a try.
Just put your arms around me, and you tell me what to do.
Put her legs down.
Hold on tight. Hold on real tight, now.
Just hold on tight.
Hold on tight, now.
It's gonna be okay now.
- Hold on, Angela. - I've got ahold of you!
Get your arms around my neck!
Mrs. Mueller, come on! You gotta try!
Take it slowly, now.
You've got about a foot to go.
Feel around with your feet now.
Can you see it?
Hold on to that pole and grab ahold of my belt.
Try to get your hand over there.
Come on, half a foot. Six inches.
Try to swing now.
Just try to pendulum.
Can you swing?
Come on. Just get to me over here.
Are you all right?
All right, let's go.
Come on. Come on.
Nobody's gonna get down this way.
Oh, God! We're cut off.
Well, the only way is up.
Come on, let's go.
Inside, security phone on the right.
- Get me Chief O'Hallorhan. - I'm trying to get through now.
Can't we go down?
The fire's below us. We gotta go up, underneath the Promenade Room.
Tim, get that phone.
Check your ventilating systems over here.
I'll send up another truck company.
Pull this ceiling, and vent that other side.
It's the copter air-control officer.
Thank you. Jack, I know you've been hitting it.
I'm getting relief for you and your men.
Who am I speaking to?
Chief Flaker, sir. U.S. Navy, Air Rescue.
It's about time. We need your rescue choppers.
Right away. Our communications will be near the Forward Command center.
No, too dangerous. Stay out of those elevators.
Then, sir, we'll just trot up the stairs.
You'll just trot right up to huh?
Standing by in the lobby.
This ain't gonna help any!
They won't hear us in there. There's people!
It's a fire door. It's over . inches thick.
I could crawl through the duct.
Will we be able to go with you?
That leads to a pipe shaft that's floors straight down.
Phillip, take care of these ladies. They're your responsibility now.
All right, I'll tell him.
- How is it on ? - They're containing it.
Well, it's still below us.
Let's take a look. Okay, watch the electrics.
The master generator's blown.
The backup should've kicked on. See what's holding up our starters.
Where the hell are we?
Security, this is Duncan. Have the main breakers gone?
The whole system's failed.
What's the last report on the firemen getting here?
Are they on their way?
Hold on to me a second.
Christ! That's one of our men!
Go down by rope. Better get it.
We'll rappel down to and use the top of that elevator as an exit.
Why not pry open the doors at this level?
I don't think so.
I can't make it.
I'll fall. I know I'll fall.
Then you better go first.
That way, when you fall, you won't take any of us with you.
Let's go to work.
Check all rooms in that corridor.
Check this room.
Tear it down.
See? Just like we taught you in training.
Open it up.
Of course I read you!
I don't know where he is, but if I see him, I'll tell him.
- Must be an easier way to get to a fire. - Not for us.
- Where've you been? - We had trouble getting here.
The Navy flight commander needs you.
Just walk floors down?
Only five. A freight elevator on 's running auxiliary power.
- Got it controlled? - Getting there.
You men stay here with the chief. Tell him I'm on my way.
This one of your men?
"Dan Bigelow". Nope.
Must be a civilian.
Okay to O'Hallorhan. He's on his way.
There's another one there!
Carlos, give me that security phone, will you?
How'd you get in here?
I'll give it to you later.
Give me O'Hallorhan.
Listen, the south stairwell is blocked. Cement, for chrissake!
Can you send somebody up to break it loose?
They're on their way? How...?
Oh, my Lord, Elke. My poor cat.
She's still in the apartment.
I'm sure the fire didn't get up that high yet.
She'll be all right.
- Hello, ma'am. - Hello.
- How're you doing? - We're fine. Glad to see you.
That's the door right there. It's blocked with cement.
We're gonna have to blow that thing.
It's Mr. Roberts!
Mrs. Mueller! Phillip!
We hear you. We're gonna blow this door.
Get everybody clear.
You've got about seconds. Understood?
Okay, ma'am, let's get down there. Out of the way.
Please go back. They're gonna dynamite this door.
Step back, please. We're blowing the door.
Okay, get down low.
- What kind of explosives are you using? - It's plastic C- .
Blow a hole in anything.
Here, shine this on the bag for me.
That's it. Keep it up here.
Is there gonna be a bang?
Nothing for you to worry about, baby. You'll be safe.
Okay, everybody ready?
Good going, Brian.
You all right?
I'm James Duncan. Can we get down that way?
No, not a chance, sir. The stairway below is completely gone.
- Hold it down! - Listen!
I've been informed that there's no possibility...
...of using this stairway to get out.
Now, I'm sorry.
There's still a chance we can get out of here.
Didn't you hear what my father said? You can't get out that way.
Are you coming or not?
If you have to wait for permission to save your own life, go ahead.
- I'm getting out. - Roger, you...
You guys, hose the ceiling.
You two, in there!
- I guess you thought I stood you up. - It crossed my mind.
You sure you're all right?
Those helicopters, they'll get us out of here, won't they?
Sure they will if there's not too much wind.
Can I get you anything else?
The choppers are here, but the winds make a landing attempt too risky.
Get some men on top of the Peerless Building...
...and get a breeches buoy to the Promenade Room.
We can't shoot a line that far in this wind.
Why not shoot it from a chopper?
I'll get right on it.
- Doc? - Chief, the ceiling fell in on him.
By the time I got to him, he was covered with hot stuff.
Pretty ridiculous spectacle, right?
- There's no way down. - Thank God you're all right.
- Oh, Roger, what are we gonna go? - I know what I'm gonna do.
Get quietly drunk.
If you're responsible for this, I know what you must be feeling.
You don't know the meaning of the word.
- Responsible? - Feeling!
You know about responsibility. It's a family trait.
Duncans are big in that department, at least on the surface.
That's not fair! I don't think it's wrong to feel a sense of duty.
Sometimes, when you turn the exact same phrase...
...lift an eyebrow in the exact same way...
...I see and I hear your father.
The two of you, one!
Like a big tree and a little tree in its shade, where the acorn fell.
Roger, I came over here to you because I thought you might need me.
...what I need most...
I promised myself if I ever saw you again, I'd make a full confession.
No, but thank you.
- But you don't know anything about me. - But I do.
...you have no villa in the south of France...
...no antiques coming, no paintings.
But, Harlee, I don't care.
I'm a cheap tinhorn. A two-bit con man.
Not cheap. Maybe unsuccessful.
But you see, your heart isn't in it.
How can you cheat people effectively...
...if you don't enjoy cheating them?
I came here to sell you shares in Greater Anaheim Power and Light!
Is it a good investment?
There is no Greater Anaheim Power and Light.
Only the certificate I had printed.
I think you'd have admired the artwork. Beautiful engraving.
I'd like to see it.
It's in my jacket.
I took the jacket off. It was needed elsewhere.
You see what I mean?
I can't even deliver a phony stock certificate.
Did you hear what I said?
Then tell me you're shocked...
...or at least disappointed.
But I'm not.
You must be!
Harlee, I'm not.
I'll be right back.
Give me a few minutes with Doug, will you, dear?
Will Giddings is dead.
He died minutes ago.
I wonder how many more will be dead tomorrow?
I thought we were building something...
...where people could work, live and be safe.
If you had to cut costs, why didn't you cut floors instead of corners?
Any decisions that were made for the use of alternate building materials...
...were made because I, as a builder, have a right to make those decisions.
If I remain within the building code, and goddamn it, I did!
Oh, here we go again!
The building code. Come on.
That's a standard cop-out when you're in trouble!
I was crawling around up there.
The duct holes weren't fire-stopped!
Corridors without fire doors and the sprinklers won't work.
And an electrical system that's good for what?
I mean, it's good for starting fires!
Where was I when all this was going on?
Because I'm just as guilty as you and that goddamn son-in-law of yours!
What do they call it when you kill people?
- Who is it? - Chief O'Hallorhan.
Part of the central corridor just blew.
We've got in the fifth alarm.
It's too windy. We'll set up the breeches buoy on the Peerless Building.
What can we do to help?
Move your combustible material away from the window.
There's nobody on those drapes. Let's get them.
Jake, give me a hand.
Did you reach her?
The phones are all out.
Just a little while longer, and we'll all be home together.
If only I could have talked to her.
Let her know we were thinking of her.
Told her how precious she is to us.
She's still such a child.
She doesn't even know where I keep the key to the safety deposit box.
How will she be able to get into it?
...if she should have to.
The things you think of.
Do you wanna help me?
- Here he is. - The wind's down a little.
We're gonna try for a landing.
Get people on the roof. Have the rest stand by.
We're gonna start airlifting.
Put these over there.
Give me a pad of paper and a pencil.
Give me that brandy snifter too.
- Doug, are they going to land? - They're gonna try.
We'll send the kids out first, then the women.
Number these up to or so.
High-rise roulette. That's right.
- There may not be time to tell you... - There will be.
I'll go tell everybody.
Pass those out when you're ready.
There'll be a lot of wind up there, so everybody stay in one group.
Stay back, stay back!
Chief O'Hallorhan wants to speak to you.
All right, make way. Coming through, coming through!
Here he is now.
Roberts, I know those pilots are dead, and I...
God, it was just awful up there.
Listen, our best chance now is the breeches buoy.
I told my two firemen to knock out a window.
We'll try to shoot a line from a chopper.
Hey, one of you guys got a pair of clippers?
- Sure, what do you want them for? - I want to try something.
Step back. The firemen are gonna knock out the windows.
Step back and you won't get hurt.
May I have your attention, please?
We've activated a gravity brake on that outside elevator.
There's no power to bring it back up, but at least we can get people out.
The same group that was up on the roof and two additions.
The woman who saved the children's lives and a fireman!
I want a trained man in there.
All right, let's move it out!
Take this. Take it! You can get out! Go on.
What are you doing?
I want you out of here.
So you can stop worrying about me? What about me worrying about you?
It's the only way you can help me.
If you asked me to go to the North Pole...
...or even the cliffs of Mendocino, I'd go.
What if I ask you tomorrow?
- Ma'am, I'll take her. - Thank you.
Come on, Phillip.
I'll never let you go anywhere without me again.
I don't want to.
- I'll meet you in the lobby. - I'll be waiting.
We're still a lady short.
- You've gotta go. - I don't want to leave you.
Honey, I'll make it. I promise you.
Have I ever broken a promise to you?
Good luck, honey.
All set, everyone?
Okay, here we go.
Out of sight!
Yeah, it's coming.
Let's untie this, take it off, pull in the rest of the line!
Okay, come on. Let's get it through.
All right, hold it right there!
Bring in another feet of that main line.
All right, bring in a little more!
That's it. Hold it now. Brace yourselves.
Watch your heads!
Grab it! Take it back and secure it!
All right, let it go! Let it go!
All right, go on! Take it out!
Okay, take ahold.
How about the main line? Secured?
Explosion above ...
...blew the elevator off its track. It's hanging by a cable.
- How many people in it? - Loaded. I'd say about .
What're you gonna go?
Can you give me a chopper with a winch and some cable?
Have them pick me up on the Peerless Building.
Try and get a hitch on that elevator.
Drop it down to the deck by the chopper.
I won't cry if you won't cry.
It's all right.
Yeah, take it up out of there.
Pull it. Come on!
Tie it over there.
Okay, let her go!
Look out below!
Okay, that's it.
All right! There's one in there!
Come on! Pull it in!
All right, let's haul that chair in! Come on!
All right, keep it going!
All right, hold it right there.
Who's next in order?
I am. I am!
I can't do that.
Yes, you can.
- I can't! - Yes, you can.
Oh, God! Don't let go of me!
Don't let go of me! Don't let me fall!
Don't let go!
Don't let go of me!
Get me out, please!
Hold it right there.
Okay, lower the cable.
Grab that hook!
What about the torch?
Lash it tight.
- This is O'Hallorhan. y:i -We read you, chief.
Pick me up with the hook...
...and set me down on the scenic elevator.
Then you'll pick up the elevator and gently set it down on the street.
Can you handle the weight?
y:i I think we can handle it. y:i We'll find out in a hurry.
Take it away!
How much time do we have?
I wish I knew.
Goddamn it, Jim, you built the place!
I just don't think that all of us are gonna make it.
Well, I guess I'm next.
I don't suppose you'll let me stay.
Come on. I'll see you soon.
I love you.
Let it go!
You think this'll hold it?
It'd better. We have to cut the elevator cable.
- What's your number? - .
Here, Mrs. Ramsay, you'll be all right now.
- You'll be all right. - Tell my husband I'm all right.
- Tell him I'll be all right. - I will.
- And I'll see him at home later. - I will.
Oh, my God, you're all right!
Thank God you're all right!
Watch the ladder.
...deputy wants to see you.
Mike, we've been checking the situation in the Promenade Room.
We figure they've got or minutes left, if that.
It'll take more than hours to get them down by breeches buoy.
They'll die up there if something's not done.
We might have the answer.
Johnson's a structural engineer. Tell the chief your calculations.
The structural strength of the joists in that room...
...could definitely withstand the explosion.
Chief, we've got the copter ready.
Wait a minute. We'll handle that.
Just get back to your job.
We can blow the tanks two floors above the Promenade Room.
They hold gallons of water. That's enough to drown the fire.
Mike, it's the only way.
You could kill everybody up there.
I don't think so.
You don't think?
When you take into account the stress factors, the design...
Wait a minute. Just hold it.
We've already made the decision.
Someone has got to go up there, rig the charges and blow them.
There's only two people qualified for that. You and Conners.
They just brought Conners down. He's on his way to the burn center.
Under the circumstances, we can't order you to go up there.
I'm just laying it out for you.
You see how it is, don't you?
How do I get back down?
The women are gone.
We are going next.
You've all got numbers.
And you're gonna take your turn.
And if it's any consolation...
...I'll be the last one out of here along with my son-in-law.
It's out of control. And it's coming your way.
You got about minutes.
Now, they want to try something.
They wanna blow those water tanks above you.
They think it'll kill the fire.
How are they gonna get the explosives up here?
They'll find some dumb son of a bitch to bring it up.
Hang on, I'll tell them.
They want to put out the fire by blowing the water tanks above us.
We'll eat a lot of water and concrete, but if they don't try it, we'll burn.
The fire's out of control.
They think we got maybe minutes.
This way, some of us might survive. We got no options.
Get that line.
You crazy bastards! Drop this line!
Let go of me!
Drop the line. It's not gonna work.
It won't hold everybody!
- Get the hell out of there! - Go!
We lost the breeches buoy. It was panic up here.
It's under control now.
I'll try and set down on the roof. I'll need you up there.
I know where to place the charges, but I don't know how.
I know how.
See you up there.
You'll have to tie yourselves down. Ropes, tablecloths, belts...
...anything you can find!
- Carlos! - Yes, sir.
Get some knives.
There we go.
For God's sakes, Carlos. Don't tie yourself up to a lot of glass.
That's the ' .
...I never thought this could happen.
- How much time you think we got? - Ten minutes, maybe less.
We'll have to blow the floors as well as the tanks, you know.
All right. This is your detonator.
You're running instantaneous. I'm running delayed. Here you go.
This is your explosive. This is the timer.
Later on, after you throw the wire...
...we'll plug it and splice it into the timer, set it, and it blows.
Set your explosive like this.
Take your detonator, pull the plug.
- Got it? - I got it.
- Good luck. See you later. - Okay, thanks.
Here you go.
What will you set it for?
I think we can make that.
Tie yourselves down, goddamn it!
You'll never make it through there. How much time?
Three and a half.
I'm burning up!
She was in the elevator with you. The fine-looking lady. Mrs. Mueller.
Have you seen her?
I'm sorry, she's dead.
- Claiborne! - What?
I didn't want you to see him.
You know, there's nothing any of us can do to bring back the dead.
All I can do now is pray to God...
...that I can stop this from ever happening again.
I don't know.
Maybe they just ought to leave it the way it is.
Kind of a shrine to all the bullshit in the world.
You know, we were lucky tonight. Body count's less than .
One of these days, they'll kill in one of these firetraps.
And I'll keep eating smoke and bringing out bodies...
...until somebody asks us...
...how to build them.
Okay. I'm asking.
You know where to reach me.
So long, architect.