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Die Hard (1988)

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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.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
621 ( 236)
Top Rated Movies #122 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 7 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. Twelve Terrorists. One Cop. See more »


Action | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| |

Release Date:

20 July 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Duro de matar  »


Box Office


$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$601,851, 17 July 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

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


Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?


Al Pacino was considered for the role of John McClane, but turned it down. See more »


When McClane drops the monitor with the C4 down the elevator shaft, he has time to jump away from the door as the explosion rises. The gases from C4 actually expand faster than the speed of sound, so his face would have been melted off. 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 »

Crazy Credits

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


Referenced in Speed (1994) See more »


Winter Wonderland
Written by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith (as Dick Smith)
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

"Welcome to the party, pal!"
25 June 2007 | by See all my reviews

When people think action - they remember Die Hard. They remember Bruce Willis in his star-making role as that guy in the wrong place at the wrong time. They remember John McClane, they remember Han's Gruber, Holly Generro and Ellis, alright not really Ellis... but everybody will always remember those immortal words, "Yippee-Ki-Ay Motherf*&ker" Die Hard is the ultimate action film, packed with all the firepower you can handle and enough C4 to level a building. It's and a genuine no-holds-barred roller coaster ride from beginning to end.

With a relatable everyman John McClane, (Bruce Willis in his iconic role - brilliant)and a sinister villain in Han's Gruber (Alan Rickman)Die Hard has the action-genre by the balls and sets a standard in this genre that has never been equaled. "Welcome to the party, pal!"

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