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Die Hard (1988)

R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  20 July 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 540,710 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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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?


The addresses and phone numbers depicted on the LAPD dispatch's computer for the Nakatomi plaza management are the actual numbers for management of Fox Plaza, where the film was shot. See more »


In the fight between John and Karl, John jumps onto Karl's back and knocks him onto his stomach on the rolling cart. In the next shot, however, Karl is lying on his back. 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 CSI: Miami: Bolt Action (2009) See more »


Christmas in Hollis
Written by Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels and Jason Mizell
Performed by Run-D.M.C.
Courtesy of Profile Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

John McClane terminates all other action heroes
22 October 2001 | by See all my reviews

Prepare yourselves for one of the most action packed thrill rides starring one of the best action stars in Hollywood. Bruce Willis is stirring up trouble for the bad guys in "Die Hard." In the first of three awesome films, he stars as Lt. John McClane, a New York police officer, who has been invited to the wrong Christmas party.

This is an action film for future actors and directors to watch and use as a model because it describes what an action film should contain. I have seen many action films in my life, but this ranks at the top of my list because it has all the right components. Action packed sequences, explosions, special effects and most of all superb performances with excellent dialogue.

"Die Hard" is a movie I will not soon forget because the story is so well crafted. Though there are no twists or curves thrown at the audience, the audience can be assured they will be treated to two hours of non-stop action from beginning to end.

"Die Hard" did not only produce great action and explosions but future stars as well. I am talking about Clarence Gilyard Jr. who now stars in Walker, Texas Ranger and Reginald VelJohnson who starred in the series Family Matters. These two actors were pivotal to this film in their respective roles.

Two other names to keep in mind while thinking of key performers are Bonnie Bedelia and Alan Rickman. I was blown away when I saw the impact they had on this film. It is as if they came in and said 'Okay boys, watch out I'm taking over." They certainly did that; however, nobody could have done better than the impact performer himself Bruce Willis.

On a scale of 1-10; "Die Hard" is given a 100 by yours truly. My only regret would be that the movie ended. I wish there was more to see in this film. I CAN'T WAIT TO SEE "DIE HARD" AGAIN.

75 of 122 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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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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