Paul Newman as Doug Roberts, ambitious architect
San Francisco, Summer 1974
Film: The Towering Inferno
Release Date: December 14, 1974
Director: John Guillermin
Costume Designer: Paul Zastupnevich
WARNING! Spoilers ahead!
Alongside disco and bell-bottoms, one major cultural trend that emerged during the 1970s—for better or worse—was the disaster movie. True, the genre had existed since the early days of film, but the ’70s saw a boom in these high-budget, star-studded dramas that introduced as many calamities as the decade’s most popular celebrities could handle. After conquering air (Airport), earth (Earthquake), and water (The Poseidon Adventure), the Hollywood gods—specifically Irwin Allen—turned their attention to the one remaining element.
Thus, on the eve of National Fire Prevention Week, let’s take a look at one of the protagonists who was trapped in The Towering Inferno!
Ray Milland as Stanford White, debonair playboy architect
New York City, June 1906
Film: The Girl in the Red Velvet Swing
Release Date: October 1, 1955
Director: Richard Fleischer
Wardrobe Director: Charles Le Maire
Tomorrow is the 110th anniversary of the famous Madison Square Garden shooting of architect Stanford White by the deranged Harry Kendall Thaw, one of the first of many incidents dubbed as “The Trial of the Century” by contemporary reporters due to the juicy scandal embellished by manipulative millionaires and illicit sex.
On June 25, 1906, the psychotic Thaw was escorting his wife, actress and artists’ model Evelyn Nesbit, to the premiere performance of Mam’zelle Champagne at Madison Square Garden’s rooftop theater. Nesbit, renowned for her beauty as the archetypical “Gibson Girl”, had married Thaw the previous year despite his violent and manipulative desire to control her. One of Thaw’s most tenacious provocations was the subject of Stanford White, Nesbit’s former lover and the man who had – in Thaw’s eyes – robbed her of her virtue. Continue reading