The movie premiered on December 16, 1974. It won three Academy Awards--Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Song ("We May Never Lose Love Again"). It was also nominated for Best Picture, Supporting Actor (Fred Astaire ), Art Direction, Music (John Williams ) and Sound. It made over $100 million on its domestic run alone. William Holden demanded first billing. However, his career had declined so much that his only hit in recent years was The Wild Bunch (1969), which was an ensemble project. Therefore he was billed after Steve McQueen and Paul Newman.
Both novels were inspired by the construction of the World Trade Center in the early-1970s, and what could happen in a fire in a skyscraper. In Richard Martin Stern's novel "The Tower", the fictional 140-story building was set next to the north tower of the World Trade Center. The climax of the novel was centered around a rescue mounted from the north tower.