From a 7.12.09 piece called "The Art of Paycheck Acting": "The Towering Inferno was entertaining crap when it opened [in 1974], but Paul Newman and Steve McQueen are honorable and oak-solid in their starring roles. This is impressive given that neither actor has a real part to play -- they were just paid to show up and go through the Irwin Allen paces. They knew it then and we know it now, but they deliver the goods anyway. That’s professionalism and star power.