For the episode, see MST3K K16 - City on Fire.

City on Fire is a 1979 disaster movie directed by Alvin Rakoff.


A disgruntled oil refinery worker sabotages a major city with incendiary devices. As the metropolis burns, firefighters and emergency responders try to minimize the damage. Government officials also react.


  • Barry Newman as Dr. Frank Whitman
  • Susan Clark as Diana Brockhurst-Lautrec
  • Shelley Winters as Nurse Andrea Harper
  • Leslie Nielsen as Mayor William Dudley
  • James Franciscus as Jimbo
  • Ava Gardner as Maggie Grayson
  • Henry Fonda as Fire Chief Risley


  • The film was partially financed by the government agency Telefilm Canada and filmed on a relatively confined budget. Some of the fire sequences utilized stock footage from both existing movies and news footage. City on Fire was ultimately a failed venture for the company and had a limited run at the American box office. [1]

MST3K Connections[]

Critical Response[]

  • Leonard Maltin wrote: "One-and-a-half stars. Dull, fill-in-the-blanks disaster film [...] Good cast wasted. For pyromaniacs only."[1]
  • Gene Siskel picked this movie as his Dog of the Week on the October 4, 1979 episode of Sneak Previews.
  • Received Dishonorable Mentions for Worst Picture, Worst Supporting Actress (for Ava Gardner), and Least Special Special Effects categories in the 1979 Stinkers Bad Movie Awards.


  1. Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide, 2015 Edition