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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
863 ( 239)
Top Rated Movies #125 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 8 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:

$83,519,093

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$141,482,154
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

While making this film, cinematographer Jan de Bont got trapped in a lift. This later gave him the inspiration for the opening scene of Speed (1994) which he directed. See more »

Goofs

When Gruber shoots Takagi, presumably through the head, blood splatters all over the glass door behind him. But somehow the bullet itself doesn't break the 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

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 Almost Human: Are You Receiving? (2013) See more »

Soundtracks

Winter Wonderland
Written by Felix Bernard and Richard B. Smith (as Dick Smith)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

An influential action film blessed with great performances and state-of-the-art thrills.
26 February 1999 | by ChoiBabySee all my reviews

Exhilarating, thrill to-the-moment joyride that will have you cheering! Tough New York City cop, John McClane (Bruce Willis) travels to Los Angeles on an invitation by a powerful corporate leader to celebrate at a Christmas Eve Party, where McClane's estranged wife (Bonnie Bedella) is attending. This was supposed to be a peaceful, joyous occasion, but before McClane could reconcile with his wife,internationally based terrorists lead by Hans Gouber (Alan Rickman, in a terrific performance) and his assistant (the late Alexander Godunov in a fine supporting role) hijack the tall skyscraper. Several hostages are killed, and the police and FBI have been called in to negotiate.

What follows is a non-stop spectacle of stunts, explosions, and amazing action cheorography. Hans Gouber has kept several of the patrons hostage, and he assumed only too much that he had tied all the loose ends. However, Gouber and his mercenaries have not counted on McClane to intervene on the action! The stakes are rising though...as McClane's wife is among one of several hostages captured at this moment.

Don't count McClane out yet!

DIE HARD is a one-of-kind action movie that has a breathtaking pace and offers plenty of wits between McClane and Gouber. Bruce Willis gives an excellent performance as McClane, the ordinary guy who has entered the wrong scenario at the right time. Alan Rickman made a terrifying villian, Hans Gouber. Bonnie Bedella was annoying but hysterical as a wiseacre ex-wife turned hostage. The direction by John McTieran (PREDATOR, THE LAST ACTION HERO) was not short of being superb and first class.

DIE HARD is one action packed movie that offers thrills, excitement, and plenty of fast paced humor and wisecracks from Willis. The action is fast and furious, and the film pulls enough punches to keep the energy flowing! DIE HARD is simply one of the most cinematic action masterpieces ever. It is often a rarity to see such a white knuckle adventure that keeps you on the edge of the seat throughout the entire film. Bravo!

RATING: ***1/2 out of ****.


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