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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
719 ( 53)
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 ... 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:

He's the only chance anyone has got. See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

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

The MP-5 submachine guns used by the terrorists are actually modified HK 94's which were imported into the US as semi-auto carbines for civilian sales. Stembridge Gun Rentals bought a quantity of them and converted them to fire full auto with blanks and cut the barrels down to closely match the MP-5. The 94 does not have a "flapper" magazine release, but rather a button catch on the right side of the lower reciever, which is also different from the MP-5. "Marko" is seen reloading his by using his right thumb to hit the button and shake the magazine loose, a common complaint from users. Missing on the 94, the MP-5's also have a 3 lug barrel, for attachment of suppressors and flash hiders. They were widely used in Hollywood films and television. See more »

Goofs

When the APC blows up and you are viewing the outside view of the vehicle exploding you can clearly see a camera man standing in the window where the rocket was shot from. 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 FX Channel adds a scene prior to the electricity-controlled opening of the vault. In it, the city engineer pulls the plug locally, but even though the power goes off, the electromagnetic seal still holds. After realizing the building has alternate power sources, Hans orders Theo to "annoy them", which leads Theo to type in commands to turn the power back on. The lights come back on, where Special Agent Johnson (Robert Davi) tells the city engineer to shut the whole grid down. A quick black-and-white frame flashes before it rejoins the original footage. See more »

Connections

References The Roy Rogers & Dale Evans Show (1962) 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

 
Action-packed thrill ride that could be the best in the genre!!!
13 April 2001 | by jlevin1937See all my reviews

Quite possibly the best modern action movie since the classic "Dirty Harry", "Die Hard" simply rocks. Based on the interesting novel "Nothing Lasts Forever" by Roderick Thorp, "Die Hard" made headlines for its combination of a terrific cast, excellent script, amazing action sequences and superb direction. Headed up by screen favorite Bruce Willis (The Sixth Sense), "Die Hard" also features the talented Alan Rickman (Galaxy Quest) and Bonnie Bedelia (Needful Things). Directed by action veteran John McTiernan, the mastermind behind such action spectaculars as "Predator", "The Hunt For Red October", "The Thomas Crown Affair" (1999), and "Die Hard With A Vengeance".

In the role that shot him to stardom, Willis plays Detective John McClane, a hard-hitting cop from New York on Christmas Vacation in LA. He is there to visit his wife (whom he is separated from), Holly Gennaro, who recently got a great job working for the Nakatomi corporation and has permanently moved to Los Angeles with their two children. John arrives at Nakatomi Plaza expecting a fun Christmas party and a relaxing night. Man was he wrong! A few minutes after getting settled, twelve gun-toting Eastern Europeans take the entire 30th floor hostage. The supposed terrorists are headed up by the brilliant megalomaniac Hans Gruber (Rickman), who actually wants the $640 million dollars inside the floor's vault. Somehow, McClane escapes upstairs armed only with a handgun and starts causing a ruckus, slowly hunting down each well-equipped thug.

"Die Hard" succeeds is because it presents every challenge McClane has to face realistically and clearly. As the tension mounts, the ordeals for John become increasingly harder. First, it's just a terrorist. Then a whole slew of them. Later, it's the NYPD and even the FBI! Director McTiernan gives the film a good pace and makes the film work by showing that John isn't superhuman; he only uses his brain more than his gun. Also, screenwriters Jeb Stuart (The Fugitive) & Steven E. De Souza (48 Hrs.) add touches of humor that lighten up the viewer and classic one-liners ("Yippy-Ki-Yay, !@#$") that ignite the screen. Their subplots actually add to the story instead of overcomplicating it, especially one featuring good cop Sgt. Al Powell (Rejinald VelJohnson of TV's "Family Matters").

Overall, this movie was awesome. Willis is very believable and has significant screen presence. Character development is superb, and even though Stuart and De Souza leave some loose ends untied - like how a man gets hung with a chain and still comes back for more - the film remains to be an action classic. Note to Parents: the nudity, drug use, continual profanity, and extreme violence would make this a bad choice for kids under 13. Otherwise, see "Die Hard" ASAP! Overall Rating: *** Worth 9 out of 10 dollars ***


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