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Die Hard (1988)

 -  Action | Thriller  -  22 July 1988 (USA)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 456,232 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 677 user | 212 critic | 13 from Metacritic.com

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.

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(novel), (screenplay), 1 more credit »
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Title: Die Hard (1988)

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Top 250 #115 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 6 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

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

New York City Detective John McClane has just arrived in Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his wife. Unfortunatly, it is not going to be a Merry Christmas for everyone. A group of terrorists, led by Hans Gruber is holding everyone in the Nakatomi Plaza building hostage. With no way of anyone getting in or out, it's up to McClane to stop them all. All 12! Written by Film_Fan

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

40 Stories Of Sheer Adventure! See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

22 July 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Duro de matar  »

Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$81,350,242 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The firearms used in the film are, as in most action films, real firearms modified to function with blanks. Although modern small arms ammunition is intended to have minimum muzzle flash, director John McTiernan wanted vivid, "exaggerated realism" in the muzzle flashes. Weapons specialist Michael Papac hand fabricated some blanks that were so powerful that the standard firearms modifications weren't workable. Papac had to specially modify the firearms involved. Special effects coordinator Al Di Sarro said of these blanks that 'in the world of blanks, there are loads that are not so loud and loads that are deafening', and these were deafening. These blanks did cause some cast members, notably Alan Rickman, to flinch. Furthermore, normally most sound effects come from a studio library of sound effects. Sound designer Richard Shorr didn't want to use these clips as modern sound equipment would show their age, as some of them were recorded in the 1950s. To resolve this and further the "exaggerated realism", the sound crew took the appropriate firearms to a firing range in Texas and recorded them being fired with live ammunition. See more »

Goofs

Much of the "word play" between" McClane (Bruce Willis) in the building and Sgt. Powell outside made reference to Roy Rogers, by calling each other "Roy" and with McClane shouting "Happy Trails" (Roy Rogers' theme song) at the terrorists. However, the phrase "Yippee Ki O" to Hans is line more associated with Gene Autry than with Roy Rogers. See more »

Quotes

[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 »

Connections

Featured in Great Movie Mistakes (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Winter Wonderland
Written by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith (as Dick Smith)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

An influential action film blessed with great performances and state-of-the-art thrills.
26 February 1999 | by (New Jersey, USA) – See all my reviews

Exhilarating, thrill to-the-moment joyride that will have you cheering! Tough New York City cop, John McClane (Bruce Willis) travels to Los Angeles on an invitation by a powerful corporate leader to celebrate at a Christmas Eve Party, where McClane's estranged wife (Bonnie Bedella) is attending. This was supposed to be a peaceful, joyous occasion, but before McClane could reconcile with his wife,internationally based terrorists lead by Hans Gouber (Alan Rickman, in a terrific performance) and his assistant (the late Alexander Godunov in a fine supporting role) hijack the tall skyscraper. Several hostages are killed, and the police and FBI have been called in to negotiate.

What follows is a non-stop spectacle of stunts, explosions, and amazing action cheorography. Hans Gouber has kept several of the patrons hostage, and he assumed only too much that he had tied all the loose ends. However, Gouber and his mercenaries have not counted on McClane to intervene on the action! The stakes are rising though...as McClane's wife is among one of several hostages captured at this moment.

Don't count McClane out yet!

DIE HARD is a one-of-kind action movie that has a breathtaking pace and offers plenty of wits between McClane and Gouber. Bruce Willis gives an excellent performance as McClane, the ordinary guy who has entered the wrong scenario at the right time. Alan Rickman made a terrifying villian, Hans Gouber. Bonnie Bedella was annoying but hysterical as a wiseacre ex-wife turned hostage. The direction by John McTieran (PREDATOR, THE LAST ACTION HERO) was not short of being superb and first class.

DIE HARD is one action packed movie that offers thrills, excitement, and plenty of fast paced humor and wisecracks from Willis. The action is fast and furious, and the film pulls enough punches to keep the energy flowing! DIE HARD is simply one of the most cinematic action masterpieces ever. It is often a rarity to see such a white knuckle adventure that keeps you on the edge of the seat throughout the entire film. Bravo!

RATING: ***1/2 out of ****.


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