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Films to See before You Die: #15 Die Hard


Die Hard (1988)

Director: John McTiernan

Cast: Bruce Willis, Alan Rickman, Bonny Bedelia, Reginald VelJohnson

Synopsis: New York cop John McClane (Bruce Willis) is visiting his family in Los Angeles for the Christmas holidays. He is unexpectedly met at the airport by a limo driver who has been hired to take him to his wifes workplace the Nakatomi Plaza for the company Christmas party. His arrival is a surprise to his wife Holly (Bonny Bedelia), who had taken this prestigious job is L.A., leaving John in New York.They begin fight about their current living condition when Holly is asked to make a speech to her co-workers. At this moment terrorists have begun to take over the Nakatomi Plaza starting with subduing the security team and then crashing the party on the 30th floor. John is still waiting for Holly to return when he hears the gun fire not being able to grab his shoes he makes for the stair well and goes up to the 32nd floor where he tries to set off the fire alarm. Aware that they have company the terrorist leader Hans (Alan Rickman), sends a man up to investigate. McClane and the man fight with McClane killing him giving him another gun, he uses the body to send a message to Hans and also get an idea of who he is up against. While trying to get the police’s attention again McClane is shot at on the roof of the building so they send the closest squad car to the building to check it out. While checking the place out Sgt. Powell (Reginald VelJohnson), deems there to be nothing wrong. McClane impatient with the lack of cooperation throws the body of another terrorist of Powell’s car getting his full attention. Now that they have the police’s attention the situation turns into a media circus leaving McClane alone to fight the terrorists and save his wife.

Trivia: Director John McTiernan found it necessary to smash cut away from Hans Gruber’s face whenever he fired a gun, because of Alan Rickman’s uncontrollable habit of flinching from the noise and muzzle flash. If you look at Rickman’s face when he shoots Takagi, you can see him wincing. Bruce Willis was the sixth choice for the main character. It originally went to Arnold Schwarzenegger, then Sylvester Stallone, then Burt Reynolds, then Richard Gere, then Harrison Ford, then Mel Gibson before Willis got it.

Why I think you should see this: John McTiernan made quite the name for himself in the late ’80s early ’90s as one of the best action directors out there. With Die Hard and Predator arguably being the best action movies of the decade and then following them up with the incredible Hunt for Red October. That being said this movie would not have succeeded with out the awesome performance by Bruce Willis who is perfect as McClane. I often look at other actors considered for roles and say that another choice of actor would be interesting but I have never questioned the casting of Bruce Willis as John McClane because anyone else playing the part wouldn’t be able to add the heart that Willis does to the character. I am a huge Die Hard fan and recommend you check out all four films and if you know the series well you are just as excited as I am for the fifth installment A Good Day to Die Hard. Even though the names keep getting worse the movies stay at a pretty high quality which is rare for a quadrilogy to stay up to par so long. This is one of my favourites so check it out sometime or watch it for the umpteenth time for old times sake.


About Trevor

Hi my name is Trevor and this is my blog! Films are a passion of mine. I am a total film geek. I own over 700 films and the collection is ever growing. I studied Film Studies and Scriptwriting in College. What I have learned about films is mostly self taught.

3 responses to “Films to See before You Die: #15 Die Hard

  1. noa834 ⋅

    As action movies go, and I am more of a epic historical movie buff I agree with your choice of Die Hard. Bruce Willis was fantastic in this movie,

  2. This is the best Christmas movie I’ve ever seen.

  3. jmount43 ⋅

    It’s been years since I saw this movie.

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