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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 »
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Popularity
817 ( 55)
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:
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 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:

40 Stories Of Sheer Adventure! 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

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

Bruce Willis admitted he still gets squeamish whenever he sees the part where his character pulls glass shards out of his foot. See more »

Goofs

In the battle scene with the police, Alexander's first shot with the anti-tank gun breaks the glass. However, the second shot also breaks the same pane of glass. 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

The US television version is edited for violence but also removes the scene in which Hans and the Japanese CEO are in an elevator and Hans compliments the CEO on his taste in suits. See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Christmas: A Revenge Tale (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

Christmas in Hollis
Written by Joseph Simmons, Darryl McDaniels and Jason Mizell
Performed by Run-D.M.C.
Courtesy of Profile Records, Inc.
Contains a sample of "Back Door Santa"
Written by Clarence Carter and Marcus Daniel
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Wham Bam Action Classic
27 January 2013 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

Die Hard (1988)

*** (out of 4)

Enjoyable and tense thriller about a group of terrorists (led by Alan Rickman) who overtake a L.A. skyscraper and the only thing keeping them from getting away with their crime is a New York police officer (Bruce Willis) there on vacation. There's a lot of very good things about this movie but I've always thought that the majority of the credit has to go to star Willis. He might not have been a A-list star at the time this was released but it's easy to see why he became one afterwards. I think what's so great about him and the character he plays is that we can believe he's just your typical guy you'd see walking around on the streets with you. That every-day-man quality that Willis has works so well here because of the odds stacked against his character you can't help but just sit back and enjoy this one person taking out a professional organization. The hilarious one-liners, the smart remarks and the way Willis makes himself know to the terrorists is just classic and we get so many great showdowns that you can't help enjoy all of them. It certainly doesn't hurt that you've got a strong supporting cast with Rickman being a villain you just love to hate. The coldness RIckman brings to the part is the perfect contrast to Willis' cop and it works perfectly. Reginald VelJohnson, William Atherton, Bonnie Bedelia and Paul Gleason also add great support for Willis to play off of. The action scenes are certainly some of the best you're going to see and what holds them together so well is the direction by John McTiernan. He perfectly blends the humor, tension and the action but he also gives the film a wonderful pace that keeps it moving at a fast rate. DIE HARD might be far-fetched in what one man is able to do but this really doesn't take away from any of the fun.


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