TV Versions, including that shown on the WB Network, edit out much of the violence and much of the profane dialogue is redubbed. Willis's redubbing is quite obvious because the new voice sounds nothing like Willis. Despite the overt dubbing of Willis's dialogue by a sound-alike actor (who really doesn't sound like Willis, for that matter), this version also utilizes dialogue from other characters to replace John McClane's. As John is leaving the elevator through the roof, he tells Samantha to "Fuck off." In this TV version, the word "fuck" is dubbed over with William Sadler saying "joke" from earlier in the film.
In Sweden, the film had 95 seconds cut when released on cinema. The scenes removed are the shootout at the sky walk, close combat fire encounters, and the scene where John McClane is locked into the cockpit and the terrorists shoot at the plane.
The original film release and early widescreen video releases used an anamorphically-stretched version of the 20th Century Fox logo, probably to continue a running gag from Die Hard (1988) even though the director was new (see trivia for Predator (1987)). The 2001 DVD changes it to a normal-proportioned logo.
The US broadcast version changed the famous "Yippee-kay-aye, motherfucker!" line at the end (where Bruce Willis throws the lighter onto the trail of fuel to blow up the plane) to say "Yippee-kay-aye, Mr. Falcon!" In order for this "Mr. Falcon" line to make sense, the scene with the soldiers in the plane is also changed so that one of the soldiers calls one of the two main bad guys "Mr. Falcon." This likely refers to Esperanza, given that "Falcon" is the codename used by Esperanza when Colonel Stuart (codename "Eagle Nest") is guiding Esperanza down to the runway.
The UK cinema and pan-and-scan video versions are both cut for a 15 certificate. These cuts to reduce violence and language are restored in the 18-rated widescreen video, laserdisc, DVD and Blu-rays.
The German video version (rated 16) has been cut to reduce violent content. The cinema version, also 16-rated, was uncut and is still sometimes shown on German TV.
The new German Special Edition DVD is uncut. It has been re-rated (FSK 16).
The shootout between the airport SWAT team and the terrorists was severely edited before the film received an "R" rating. Among the scenes trimmed down is the scene where O'Reilly (Robert Patrick ) shoots the first SWAT officer in the head with a Glock 17. When the officer is shot in the head in the "R" rated version, it is shown from a distance. In the work print shown to exhibitors in the summer of 1990, the man is shot in the forehead but is shown in a graphic closeup. A lot of the bloodier shots were also trimmed down in this section as were a couple of extended scenes of the people on the plane that Colonel Stuart crashes.