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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.



(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
621 ( 236)
Top Rated Movies #122 | Nominated for 4 Oscars. Another 7 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sgt. Al Powell (as Reginald Veljohnson)
Bruno Doyon ...
Joey Plewa ...


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 bank 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


40 Storeys High - with Suspense, Excitement and Adventure on every level! See more »


Action | Thriller


R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



| |

Release Date:

20 July 1988 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Duro de matar  »


Box Office


$28,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$601,851, 17 July 1988, Limited Release

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints) (4 channels)


Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Though Heinrich is supposedly German, the cigarettes John McClane picks up in his pockets are French-made Gauloises. Fittingly, these used to be army-issue and are known for their strong, harsh taste. See more »


Powell's cruiser suddenly has a roll cage when he's fired on and the cruiser drives off the wall. See more »


[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 »


Referenced in Top Gear: Episode #19.4 (2013) See more »


Jingle Bells
Written by James Pierpont
Whistled by Bruce Willis
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

The greatest bad-ass best action movie hands down my personal favorite number 1 movie of all time
4 February 2018 | by See all my reviews

Die Hard (1988) the first action film is by far one of the greatest best action movies of all time from the 80's till this day hands down. It is my number 1 personal favorite action movie of all time, I love this movie to death! I love it so damn much and I have fun watching it so much. I have to talk about this movie: It is one man army fighting against a team of terrorists with automatic weapons and plastic explosives. Bruce Willis performance was excellent in this movie John McClane is his best role ever. It is my number 1 personal favorite action movie of all time, I love this movie to death! It's stay in my heart forever. To me it felt this film realistic and it makes you think that you are alone trapped in a building against bunch of terrorists what will you do?

This film has heart and soul. A lot of movies have try to do that premise since, but no movie has nail it like "Die Hard." This is a modern day action film of the action genre. I watch this film as a teenager I even watch it with my mom it was ultimate thrill ride. I love everyone in here all the characters and the lead character. I love that McClane is alone he has no help, all telephones doesn't work he is barefoot with his gun and the only help has is from Sgt. Al Powell down there who didn't even see him at all but were both talking on a radio from cop to cop. I love that bond between those two lead heroes. I always love when McClane talks to himself whenever he was about to do something crazy.

It is going to be 30 years anniversary this summer 20th July. I love this film to death I am hugh fan of Die Hard films I love this film so damn much. I would really love to see this movie in a widescreen in a movie theater. It was directed by brilliant John McTiernan it is is based on a novel Roderick Thorp Nothing Lasts Forever. This is a masterpiece action film that started all action genre one man army types battling terrorists while trapped in a confined space. It was arguably the first one in the action genre. This movie has everything . It has intense Action, Drama, Thriller, twists, great dialogue, explosions, fights. Exploding building, great helicopter explosion action scenes. John McClane is one man against a whole team of terrorists. A cracking Action Thriller from beginning to end, Die Hard explodes with heart-stopping suspense!

It has great cast, great plot, great explosions, no shaky cam, doesn't deal with CGI, but real actions real practical effects. Great Direction from John McTiernan, great dialogues, great acting from everyone. Everyone does an excellent job. Bruce Willis is a bad ass action star as John McClane. It has a great bad-ass action hero who does impossible buy stopping the terrorists who were actually a real terrorists who try to steal the money in a vault 640.000.000$ in bearer bonds stored in the building's vault.

My favorite action sequences and the best part of Die Hard: McClane grabs the fire hose, ties it around his body jumps with the helicopter about to kill him. Then Gruber blows it a second after McLane jumps off the roof! It was an incredible explosion that totally takes out the helicopter. But McLane is falling down the side of the building and needs to get inside quickly this is the best scene in the movie my favorite. McClane climbs in the elevator shaft escapes Karl and his men trying to kill him. McClane shoots on the table with his gun killing Marco. (According to the director, the proximity of the gun to Willis' ear during this scene caused permanent hearing loss for Willis.) McClane shot's Hans and Eddie "Happy - Trails, Hans..." Incredibly satisfying action in a brilliant action movie! McClane try to save Ellis when Ellis try to save him self. McClane was afraid of flying and he always carry gun because he was afraid someone would have hijack it. The fight between Karl and John was excellent and well choreographed. McClane drops C4 down the elevator shaft and destroys the entire floor where the terrorists are firing from, giving the cops a chance to retreat. I love The broken glass scene. He shoot's and kills two terrorists with his machine gun to escape Hans and Karl, John McClane is forced to sprint over broken glass while barefoot the best bad-ass scene in the movie my all time favorite. Three terrorists are shooting on McClane on the roof chasing him in which he escapes in the beginning of the movie awesome. Karl shoots in an elevator shaft in which McClane is hiding a real kick-ass scene I love this film to death!

I love the characters in this movie: John McClane a real action hero to me that does something that no one can he stops a team of terrorists. Hans Grubar the German mastermind he was ruthless and brilliant and he would do anything to steal the money even killing people and get what he want's. Alan Rickman's performance was excellent I love him to death in this movie. I really miss the actor he was the best villain of the whole world. The LAPD Supervisor (Diana James) I like that girl she was so good when McClane call's her for help, I love it. I love Sgt. Al Powell how he stand's up and defends McClane against his supervisor. Reginald VelJohnson does a brilliant performance as a great supporting hero in this movie. I love Deputy Police Chief Dwayne T. Robinson to death he is my favorite character in here. Paul Gleason was so good I love his performance - "kick ass." I love how he tried everything to safe the hostages including SWAT team who were badly hurt. I like Richard Thornburg in this movie who is annoying reporter but I still like it. Bonnie Bedelia as Holly McClane's wife was great.

John McTiernan directed excellent this masterpiece Jeb Stuart and Steven E. de Souza wrote a script that it delivers. The helicopters in here were models in this movie delivered, to me the action scenes felt realistic. This movie has ton's of action and you never get bored with it. Michael Kamen made a music score and you never get bored with it. You'll see lots of heavy automatic and explosive weapons, and you'll see them used well. The film is violent, and bloody rated R with real blood squibs.

10/10 it is my favorite action film in the action genre I love this film to death it is my personal action favorite film. I miss movies like this I miss action movies like this one today I want them back. It is a shame we don't have movies like this today.

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