The movie was adapted by Stirling Silliphant from the novels The Tower by Richard Martin Stern and The Glass Inferno by Thomas N. Scortia and Frank M. Robinson. It was directed by Irwin Allen and John Guillermin.
It won Academy Awards for Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, and Best Music, Song (for Al Kasha and Joel Hirschhorn for We May Never Love Like This Again). It was nominated for Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Fred Astaire), Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Music, Original Dramatic Score, Best Picture, and Best Sound.
There are many small parts in the movie acted by actors who appeared in The Poseidon Adventure, which Irwin Allen also produced.
In order to avoid having two similar films produced at the same time, the 20th Century Fox production of The Tower and the Warner Brothers production of The Glass Tower were pooled. Fox was given the United States box office receipts, and Warner Brothers got the profits from the rest of the world. Stirling Silliphant was hired to combine both novels, taking seven main characters from each book.
Steve McQueen demanded that he and Paul Newman have exactly the same number of lines, that they get exactly the same salaries, and that they get identical billing.
This was Jennifer Jones's last film.