8.2/10
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Die Hard (1988)

John McClane, officer of the NYPD, tries to save his wife Holly Gennaro and several others that were 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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Top Rated Movies #122 | 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

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

Taglines:

High above the city of L.A. a team of terrorists has seized a building, taken hostages and declared war. One man has managed to escape. An off-duty cop hiding somewhere inside. He's alone, tired... and the only chance anyone has got. See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| |

Release Date:

20 July 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Duro de matar  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$601,851, 17 July 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$83,008,852

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$140,767,956
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

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

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The scene in which Gruber and McClane meet was inserted into the script after Alan Rickman (Hans Gruber) was found to be proficient at mimicking American accents. The filmmakers had been looking for a way to have the two characters meet prior to the climax and capitalized on Rickman's talent. See more »

Goofs

The flash and fire from the second rocket attack on the police armored vehicle originate from under the vehicle - something impossible from a top-down rocket attack which struck the roof of the vehicle, and furthermore, a frame-by-frame analysis of the shot shows no shell whatsoever hitting the vehicle. 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 »

Crazy Credits

In the widescreen version, the 20th Century Fox logo is stretched. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Heaven's Fire (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont
Whistled by Bruce Willis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
The ultimate thrill-ride – and still the standard by which I judge an action movie
27 July 2014 | by See all my reviews

Seeing 'Die Hard' for the first time as a teenager was a one-of-a-kind experience. This level of raw, "edge-of-your-seat" action was unknown to me prior to this film; it made my head spin and the intensity of it was nearly unbearable. When it was over, I could only think of one word: Wow!

For a long time - at least in western cinema - the only "true" action movies (by that I mean films that were all about the action and you went to see them because of the action) were the 'James Bond' movies. They had the most unreal stunts and crazy, over the top action sequences that you could imagine at the time, and they were (and still are) great fun. However, they usually lacked three vital ingredients:

1. A sense of realism (meaning: the hero is only human and can get hurt)

2. Grit (messy, unpolished action, dirty people and LOTS of swearing)

3. R-rated violence (showing the audience what real weapons do to the human body)

Well, it took John McTiernan to bring those three key elements together in 'Die Hard' - and thus the modern action film was born (it had a good run through the late eighties until the end of the nineties – then the studios figured out they could maximise the box-office by taming down the swearing, violence and sex and thus, alas, the contemporary, toothless PG-13 action film was born). Sure, there have been a couple of others before McTiernan's masterpiece ('First Blood', 'Terminator', 'Predator' - which was also by McTiernan - or 'Lethal Weapon' and probably some more), but those films could have fallen into any number of other categories as well ('Adventure-/Survival-/War-', 'Sci- Fi', 'Horror-' or 'Buddy-movie') – and I can't think of another film that was just such a relentless, pure-action-from-the-beginning-to-the-end film as was 'Die Hard'. To me, it's the ultimate thrill ride. The formula has since been repeated so many times, but the original still sets the standard by which I judge an action film. Should be seen every Christmas. 10 stars out of 10.

Favorite Films: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054200841/

Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite Low-Budget and B-movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/


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