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Die Hard (1988)

R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  20 July 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 549,379 users   Metascore: 70/100
Reviews: 705 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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Top Rated Movies #121 | 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


Twelve terrorists. One cop. The odds are against John McClane... That's just the way he likes it. See more »


Action | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



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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 film's ending had not been finalized by the time filming had begun. One result is that the truck depicted as transporting the terrorists to the building is too small to house the ambulance that was later revealed to be inside it. Other scenes also lacked context: the building's computer room was built before anyone knew what it would be used for. See more »


John's tank top changes from white to gray in various scenes. 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 Rollerball (2002) See more »


Resolution & Hyperspace
from Aliens (1986)
Composed by James Horner
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 141 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Why did John Mclane say that he was invited by mistake ? gmunoz_no
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
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