Die Hard (1988)

 ●  English ● 2 hrs 12 mins

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Raw and rugged, this action-oriented crime thriller follows the adventures of New York City detective John McClane, who has just arrived in Los Angeles to spend Christmas with his wife. Unfortunately, it is not going to be a Merry Christmas for everyone. A group of terrorists are out to destroy the jolly and friendly mood of the holidays. Led by Hans Gruber the team of terrorists succeed in holding everyone in the Nakatomi Plaza building hostage. With no way of anyone getting in or out, it's up to McClane to stand up in resistance of the terrorists, and protect the innocent citizens. Can he successfully defuse their violent ambitions and ensure that peace and happiness reign once more for the holiday season?
See Storyline (May Contain Spoilers)

Cast: Alan Rickman, Bonnie Bedelia, Bruce Willis

Crew: John McTiernan (Director), Jan De Bont (Director of Photography), Michael Kamen (Music Director)

Rating: A (India)

Genres: Action, Thriller

Release Dates: 22 Jul 1988 (India)

Tagline: 40 Storeys High - with Suspense, Excitement and Adventure on every level!

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Did you know? Due to the tourist interest in the Fox Plaza building in L.A., people are now forbidden from taking photos outside the building. Read More
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as Hans Gruber
as Holly Gennaro McClane
as Officer John McClane
as City Engineer
as Franco
as Rivers
as Eddie
as Ginny
as Dr. Hasseldorf
as FBI Agent Little Johnson
as Fritz
as Harry Ellis
as Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi
as Alexander
as Capt. Mitchell
as Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson
as Sgt. Al Powell
as Walt, City Worker
as FBI Special Agent Big Johnson
as Richard Thornburg




Executive Producer
Associate Producer


Screenplay Writer

Camera and Electrical

Director of Photography


Music Director


Sound Effects Editor
Sound Editor
Sound Re-recording Mixer


Production Designer
Art Director


Casting Director

Costume and Wardrobe

Costume Designer


Makeup and Hair

Makeup Artist
Hair Stylist

Special Effects

Special Effects Coordinator
Special Effects Technician


Stunt Coordinator

Visual Effects

Visual Effects Producer
Visual Effects Coordinator
Film Type:
Feature Film
Colour Info:
Sound Mix:
Frame Rate:
24 fps
Aspect Ratio:
2.35 : 1
40 Storeys High - with Suspense, Excitement and Adventure on every level!
It will blow you through the back wall of the theater!
40 Storeys. Twelve Terrorists. One Cop.
40 Stories Of Sheer Adventure!
He's the only chance anyone has got.
Suspense, Excitement, Adventure, On every level!
John's vest is white when he enters the vent system and dark green when he exits. This is not, as some think, a result of accumulated dirt.

When McClane goes to the roof to get the hostages off, he is not wearing his undershirt, but in the view from the helicopter when he is firing into the air, you can see him wearing a white undershirt.

The FBI sends two helicopters to Nakatomi, but just before the John-on-the-roof sequences, the second helicopter disappears and is never seen again.

McClane's shirt goes from white and then to a dark grey and then to a mixed color or dirt, blood and white.

When the officers are first trying to enter the building, Uli is seen biting into a Nestle Crunch candy bar. Seconds later, he is seen again but his candy bar has become a Mars Bar.

Character Error
After Hans and Karl shoot out the glass, Karl is furious that McClane eluded them, whereas Karl should have actually been able to track down McClane easily by following the bloody footprints he would have left from the huge gashes in his feet.

Character Error
When the terrorists are first walking in as a group looking very serious and sinister, the one on the far left is on a collision course with the wall! The camera cuts away just before he walks into it.

Character Error
Gruber says "Schiess den Fenster" ("shoot the window"). The correct German term would have been "Zerschiess das Fenster".

Character Error
After the terrorists blow the roof up, and the hostages are running down the stairs, one of the hostages gets hit in the head with a softball-sized rock and it doesn't faze him.

Character Error
When McClane first arrives at the Nakatomi building, he is told to search for his wife's name in the database. When he clicks "G", Holly's name comes up with her last name spelled "GennEro". When he clicks on her profile, it is spelled "GennAro". It is spelled with the "E" on her office door as well.

Audio/Video Mismatch
When Takagi speaks to the employees at the party they erupt in loud applause. Looking at the employees, none are clapping their hands.

Audio/Video Mismatch
When the terrorist car first pulls up to the Nakatomi Plaza, the noise from the brakes is not consistent with the movement of the vehicle.

Audio/Video Mismatch
During the "shoot the glass" scene, the muzzle flashes frequently do not match up with the sounds of gunfire.
This film actually originated from a failed Commando 2 script.

The scene in which Gruber and McClane meet was inserted into the script after Alan Rickman (Hans Gruber) was found to be proficient at mimicking American accents. The filmmakers had been looking for a way to have the two characters meet prior to the climax and capitalized on Rickman's talent.

The Nakatomi tower is actually the headquarters of 20th Century Fox. The company charged itself rent for the use of the then unfinished building.

Hart Bochner's line "Hans... Bubby!" was ad-libbed. Alan Rickman's quizzical reaction was genuine.

The scene where Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman meet up was unrehearsed to create a greater feeling of spontaneity between the two actors.

Bruce Willis received a then unheard of $5 million, a fee that was OK'd by Fox President Rupert Murdoch.

Deputy Chief Robinson says that John McClane (Bruce Willis) "could be a fucking bartender for all we know" (because of McClane's claim to be able to "spot a phony ID"). Prior to becoming a well-known actor, Willis was a bartender.

Much of the script was improvised due to the constant screenplay tweaks that were being made during filming.

There are two FBI Agent Johnsons and a Harvey Johnson who were characters in the film. This is an in-joke aimed at co-star Reginald VelJohnson.

The LAPD officer who gives medical attention to Sgt. Powell following the terrorists shooting up his car is actor Anthony Peck, who also plays NYPD Detective Ricky Walsh in Die Hard: With a Vengeance (1995).

Hans Gruber was also the name of an adversary in Our Man Flint (1966) with James Coburn.

Bruce Willis took the role of John McClane after it had been turned down by Robert De Niro. Willis had just been turned down to play the Charles Grodin role opposite De Niro in Midnight Run (1988). Ironically both films eventually opened the same weekend.

The office interiors were designed to resemble Fallingwater, a house designed by architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

Clint Eastwood originally owned the rights to the novel "Nothing Lasts Forever" on which the film is based, and planned to star in the film around the early 1980s.

John McTiernan turned the script down several times. He felt it was a nasty piece of work. When he was finally persuaded to take on the assignment, he was able to lighten some of the film's darker edges.

The addresses and phone numbers depicted on the LAPD dispatch's computer for the Nakatomi plaza management are the actual numbers for management of Fox Plaza, where the film was shot.

The building used in the movie was designed by William L. Pereira, and was one of his last projects before his death in 1985.

Sam Neill turned down the role of Hans Gruber.

Due to the tourist interest in the Fox Plaza building in L.A., people are now forbidden from taking photos outside the building.

Charles Bronson was considered for the role of John McClane but he was under contract with Cannon Films at the time.

Bruce Willis was the sixith choice to play John McClane. It was offered to Arnold Schwarzenegger, then Sylvester Stallone, then Burt Reynolds, then Richard Gere, then Harrison Ford, then Mel Gibson and finally Willis got the job. Although on the bright side, he received an unprecedented (at the time) $5 million pay packet for Die Hard.
Movie Connection(s):
Followed by: A Good Day To Die Hard (English)