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Die Hard (1988)

R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  20 July 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 540,452 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 700 user | 221 critic | 13 from

John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save wife Holly Gennaro and several others, taken hostage by German terrorist Hans Gruber during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.



(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Top 250 Movies #120 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sgt. Al Powell (as Reginald Veljohnson)
Bruno Doyon ...
Joey Plewa ...


NYPD cop John McClane goes on a Christmas vacation to visit his wife Holly in Los Angeles where she works for the Nakatomi Corporation. While they are at the Nakatomi headquarters for a Christmas party, a group of bank robbers led by Hans Gruber take control of the building and hold everyone hostage, with the exception of John, while they plan to perform a lucrative heist. Unable to escape and with no immediate police response, John is forced to take matters into his own hands. Written by Sam

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


40 Storeys High - with Suspense, Excitement and Adventure on every level! See more »


Action | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| |

Release Date:

20 July 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Duro de matar  »

Box Office


$28,000,000 (estimated)


$81,350,242 (USA)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints) (4 channels)


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Deputy Chief Robinson says that John McClane (Bruce Willis) "could be a fucking bartender for all we know" (because of McClane's claim to be able to "spot a phony ID"). Prior to becoming a well-known actor, Willis was a bartender. See more »


On the VHS and DVD box for this movie, the description says, "Armed with only a service revolver and his cunning, McClane launches his own one-man war." McClane uses a Beretta Model 92 semi-automatic pistol, not a revolver. See more »


[first lines]
Businessman: You don't like flying, do you?
John McClane: What gives you that idea?
Businessman: You wanna know the secret to surviving air travel? After you get where you're going, take off your shoes and your socks then walk around on the rug bare foot and make fists with your toes.
John McClane: Fists with your toes?
Businessman: I know, I know, it sounds crazy. Trust me, I've been doing it for nine years. Yes sir, better than a shower and a hot cup of coffee.
John McClane: Okay.
[the businessman sees John's gun]
John McClane: It's okay, I'm a cop. Trust me, I've been ...
See more »


Referenced in Cool Runnings (1993) See more »


Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 In G Major, (Allegro Moderato)
Composed by Johann Sebastian Bach
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Top action film of the 1980's
17 May 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Every so often,a film comes along that resets the standard for it's genre.Die Hard did just that very thing for action films.Any film that inspires copycats and wannabes really does it's job well.Bruce Willis made a very successful transition from the small screen to the big screen as the everyday Joe forced into being the hero.This film has all the necessary ingredients to qualify it as a great action film.All you have to do is see it for yourself.Particularly well done is the performance of Alan Rickman as the chief villain,Hans Gruber.You can come up with good arguments for many action films as to which is the best all time,and this one is no exception.Well done.

96 of 138 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
This is NOT a Christmas Film patchesdf-62-114042
Most far-fetched moment in the film blanketman77
Favorite line in the film... kmay144
Can anybody explain.... nazcarfanatic24
What happened to John's shoulder holster? crazydave682000
John McClane is the Antagonist... ac_rulz_mf
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