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Die Hard (1988)

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An NYPD officer tries to save his wife and several others taken hostage by German terrorists during a Christmas party at the Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles.

Director:

John McTiernan

Writers:

Roderick Thorp (novel), Jeb Stuart (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
654 ( 22)
Top Rated Movies #122 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bruce Willis ... John McClane
Bonnie Bedelia ... Holly Gennaro McClane
Reginald VelJohnson ... Sgt. Al Powell
Paul Gleason ... Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson
William Atherton ... Richard Thornburg
Hart Bochner ... Harry Ellis
James Shigeta ... Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi
Alan Rickman ... Hans Gruber
Alexander Godunov ... Karl
Bruno Doyon Bruno Doyon ... Franco
De'voreaux White ... Argyle
Andreas Wisniewski ... Tony
Clarence Gilyard Jr. ... Theo
Joey Plewa Joey Plewa ... Alexander
Lorenzo Caccialanza ... Marco
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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 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's Christmas Eve In L.A. And The Party Action's About To Explode... On The Fortieth Floor! See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | Italian | Japanese

Release Date:

20 July 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Die Hard See more »

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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 IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby Stereo (35 mm prints) (4 channels)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Homer Simpson once wrote a letter to this movie. It read, "Dear, Die Hard, you rocked! The best part is when that guy was on the roof. P.S. Do you know Mad Max?" See more »

Goofs

When Argyle rams his limousine into the broadside of the ambulance, you can see that the lettering contains a misspelled word. Instead of "Los Angeles City Fire Department," the lettering reads "Los Angeles City Fire Deparment." 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 »

Alternate Versions

German TV and video versions are cut for violence to get a 16-rating. Several scenes are shortened or deleted. Theses are the main-changes:
  • The killing of the second guard in the lobby
  • The execution of Mr. Takagi
  • McClane shoots a terrorist in the knees 4 times
  • The fight between Karl and McClane
  • Karl's Death: we only see a single bullet-impact
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Cinema Snob: Donald Tramp (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Jingle Bells
(uncredited)
Written by James Pierpont
Whistled by Bruce Willis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

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 TheLittleSongbirdSee 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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