Starring Barry Newman, Ava Gardner, Henry Fonda, Leslie Nielsen, James Franciscus, Susan Clark, Shelley Winters

Image result for city on fire 1979

(3-Horrible Film)

Dull. Bemusing. Hack.

I love disasters movies, but The Birds is the only one that I consider great. There is a handful that I consider very good, another handful of mediocres, but, to this point, City on Fire is the first awful disaster film that I’ve seen. Some malcontent causes a fire at an oil refinery in the American mid-west that soon spreads and destroys the small town and the people in it. That’s a solid premise, and the cast includes Henry Fonda, Shelley Winters, and Ava Gardner. How could this film go so wrong? Where a film like The Poseidon Adventure demonstrated the strength of ensemble acting, City on Fire is bogged down in the flip-side. Too many characters, no character development. As a result, it’s tremendously hard to follow with no rooting interest whatsoever in any of the leads. Twenty minutes in, I just stopped caring.

-Walter Tyrone Howard-


2 thoughts on “City on Fire (1979, Directed by Alvin Rakoff) English 3

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