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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.

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(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
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720 ( 166)
Top Rated Movies #121 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 7 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:

It will blow you through the back wall of the theater! 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:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

In the German version the names and backgrounds of the German-born terrorists were changed into English forms (mostly into their British equivalents): Hans Gruber became Jack Gruber, Karl became Charlie, Heinrich turned into Henry etc... the new background depicted them as radical Irish activists having gone freelance and for profit rather than ideals. (This led to some odd plot holes in this movie and continuity problems with Die Hard with a Vengeance (1995) where Gruber is remembered as having been German.) This was because German terrorism, especially by the Rote Armee Fraktion (the Red Army Faction), was still considered a sensitive issue by the German government in the 1980s. See more »

Goofs

As John is fighting Karl towards the end of the movie, Karl's harness is clearly visible as he is dragged across the room by the chains which are supposedly round his neck. 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 Chelsea Lately: Episode #8.98 (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Skeletons
Written and Performed by Stevie Wonder
Courtesy of Motown Record Corp.
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Not only the best of the Die Hard franchise but one of the best movies of the action genre
15 May 2010 | by See all my reviews

Even if the non-action parts are a tad slow in comparison, that is more than compensated by so many things that makes Die Hard so brilliant.

For one thing the action is explosive and consistently exciting, and the cinematography is astounding being very inventive and colourful. John McTiernon(The Hunt for Red October, Last Action Hero) directs briskly and efficiently, and the pacing a vast majority of the time is exhilarating.

Then there is a terrific score by Michael Kamen, some intelligent and witty scripting and a plot that doesn't feel forced or convoluted. Not to mention some excellent acting. As good as Bruce Willis is, yes his character is somewhat two-dimensional, but he is also resourceful and world-weary and Willis handles this really well, it is Alan Rickman who steals the acting honours as Hans Gruber. Gruber is cold, calculating, suave and menacing, in my opinion only Rickman could do justice to such a character. Overall, a superb movie, not only the best of the Die Hard franchise but one of the best of the action genre. 10/10 Bethany Cox


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