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Die Hard (1988)

R  |   |  Action, Thriller  |  20 July 1988 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 549,487 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 #122 | 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


40 Stories Of Sheer Adventure! See more »


Action | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



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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
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Did You Know?


After seeing the movie Heart Like a Wheel (1983), Bruce Willis loved Bonnie Bedelia's performance in that film, he personally recommended her to play his estranged wife. See more »


The FBI sends two helicopters to Nakatomi, but just before the John-on-the-roof sequences, the second helicopter disappears and is never seen again. 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 The Raid: Redemption (2011) 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

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