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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.

Director:

John McTiernan

Writers:

Roderick Thorp (novel), Jeb Stuart (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Popularity
498 ( 293)
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 (as Reginald Veljohnson)
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
Edit

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:

Duro de matar 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

Hans's personal weapon is a German Heckler & Koch P7. Its strange shape is a result of its unique safety features. In weapons terminology, it's called a "squeeze-cocking" mechanism. The black strip sticking out under the trigger is the actual safety. Hans has to squeeze the safety strip with his shooting hand. This unlocks the firing pin and cocks the hammer. He cannot release it after the first shot to do follow-up shots. It has to be held down to repeatedly fire the gun. If Hans accidentally dropped it, the safety would snap back on, making it a very safe handgun to use. In addition, a red pin in the back of the slide sticks out when the safety is squeezed to the "off" position so Hans knows it will fire. The P7 is expensive, costing over $1,000 and is renowned by firearms experts for its small size. Many who have used it say its accuracy is better than many larger handguns despite its very short barrel. However, there is an error in the film. When Hans takes off the suppressor to threaten Takagi into giving up the combination, viewers will see that it has a standard length barrel. The P7 would need an extended treaded barrel that sticks about half an inch out of the gun to screw the suppressor on because it has to be airtight to work. See more »

Goofs

When Takagi speaks to the employees at the party they erupt in loud applause. Looking at the employees, none are clapping their hands. 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 Who Wants to Be a Millionaire: Episode #8.78 (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Singin' in the Rain
Written by Arthur Freed and Nacio Herb Brown
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
The ultimate thrill-ride – and still the standard by which I judge an action movie
27 July 2014 | by gogoschka-1See all my reviews

Seeing 'Die Hard' for the first time as a teenager was a one-of-a-kind experience. This level of raw, "edge-of-your-seat" action was unknown to me prior to this film; it made my head spin and the intensity of it was nearly unbearable. When it was over, I could only think of one word: Wow!

For a long time - at least in western cinema - the only "true" action movies (by that I mean films that were all about the action and you went to see them because of the action) were the 'James Bond' movies. They had the most unreal stunts and crazy, over the top action sequences that you could imagine at the time, and they were (and still are) great fun. However, they usually lacked three vital ingredients:

1. A sense of realism (meaning: the hero is only human and can get hurt)

2. Grit (messy, unpolished action, dirty people and LOTS of swearing)

3. R-rated violence (showing the audience what real weapons do to the human body)

Well, it took John McTiernan to bring those three key elements together in 'Die Hard' - and thus the modern action film was born (it had a good run through the late eighties until the end of the nineties – then the studios figured out they could maximise the box-office by taming down the swearing, violence and sex and thus, alas, the contemporary, toothless PG-13 action film was born). Sure, there have been a couple of others before McTiernan's masterpiece ('First Blood', 'Terminator', 'Predator' - which was also by McTiernan - or 'Lethal Weapon' and probably some more), but those films could have fallen into any number of other categories as well ('Adventure-/Survival-/War-', 'Sci- Fi', 'Horror-' or 'Buddy-movie') – and I can't think of another film that was just such a relentless, pure-action-from-the-beginning-to-the-end film as was 'Die Hard'. To me, it's the ultimate thrill ride. The formula has since been repeated so many times, but the original still sets the standard by which I judge an action film. Should be seen every Christmas. 10 stars out of 10.

Favorite Films: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054200841/

Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite Low-Budget and B-movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/


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