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Die Hard (1988)

R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  20 July 1988 (USA)
8.3
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Ratings: 8.3/10 from 514,568 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 696 user | 221 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 #120 | 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, but when a group of terrorists, led by Hans Gruber, holds her and everyone in the Nakatomi Plaza building hostage, it's up to McClane to stop them. 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:

20 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) (4 channels)

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the original script, the action took place over three days, but John McTiernan was inspired to have it take place over a single night by Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. See more »

Goofs

Holly's office is used as the command for Hans Gruber. Early on, the office appears to be located down the hallway with the door on the right hand side of the office, such that Hans would not be able to see Holly and the rest of the hostages from inside. When Hans realizes that Holly is married to John, the office then appears to be a corner office with the door on the left hand side, giving Hans a direct and unobstructed view of Holly. Holly's office actually has a long window on the left side and a second door that opens out into the main atrium, and the desk is angled so that Hans can look out through either door, accounting for the two different shots used. This is only apparent in the wide screen version. 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

Referenced in Mike Celestino's Potentially-Amusing Vignettes (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont (as James Lord Pierpoint)
Performed by Bruce Willis (whistling)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Action-packed thrill ride that could be the best in the genre!!!
13 April 2001 | by (Midwest) – See all my reviews

Quite possibly the best modern action movie since the classic "Dirty Harry", "Die Hard" simply rocks. Based on the interesting novel "Nothing Lasts Forever" by Roderick Thorp, "Die Hard" made headlines for its combination of a terrific cast, excellent script, amazing action sequences and superb direction. Headed up by screen favorite Bruce Willis (The Sixth Sense), "Die Hard" also features the talented Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest) and Bonnie Bedelia (Needful Things). Directed by action veteran John McTiernan, the mastermind behind such action spectaculars as "Predator", "The Hunt For Red October", "The Thomas Crown Affair" (1999), and "Die Hard With A Vengeance".

In the role that shot him to stardom, Willis plays Detective John McClane, a hard-hitting cop from New York on Christmas Vacation in LA. He is there to visit his wife (whom he is separated from), Holly Gennaro, who recently got a great job working for the Nakatomi corporation and has permanently moved to Los Angeles with their two children. John arrives at Nakatomi Plaza expecting a fun Christmas party and a relaxing night. Man was he wrong! A few minutes after getting settled, twelve gun-toting Eastern Europeans take the entire 30th floor hostage. The supposed terrorists are headed up by the brilliant megalomaniac Hans Gruber (Rickman), who actually wants the $640 million dollars inside the floor's vault. Somehow, McClane escapes upstairs armed only with a handgun and starts causing a ruckus, slowly hunting down each well-equipped thug.

"Die Hard" succeeds is because it presents every challenge McClane has to face realistically and clearly. As the tension mounts, the ordeals for John become increasingly harder. First, it's just a terrorist. Then a whole slew of them. Later, it's the NYPD and even the FBI! Director McTiernan gives the film a good pace and makes the film work by showing that John isn't superhuman; he only uses his brain more than his gun. Also, screenwriters Jeb Stuart (The Fugitive) & Steven E. De Souza (48 Hrs.) add touches of humor that lighten up the viewer and classic one-liners ("Yippy-Ki-Yay, !@#$") that ignite the screen. Their subplots actually add to the story instead of overcomplicating it, especially one featuring good cop Sgt. Al Powell (Rejinald VelJohnson of TV's "Family Matters").

Overall, this movie was awesome. Willis is very believable and has significant screen presence. Character development is superb, and even though Stuart and De Souza leave some loose ends untied - like how a man gets hung with a chain and still comes back for more - the film remains to be an action classic. Note to Parents: the nudity, drug use, continual profanity, and extreme violence would make this a bad choice for kids under 13. Otherwise, see "Die Hard" ASAP! Overall Rating: *** Worth 9 out of 10 dollars ***


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