The Drill Down Is It Even Christmas If You Haven’t Seen Die Hard Yet? Published 3 months ago on Nov 21, 2018 By Allie Lewis The Holiday Season is upon us and you know what that means – time to watch Die Hard! Your televisions and movie theaters are probably already flooded with cheesy Christmas movies, and the radio is just Mariah Carey’s “All I want For Christmas Is You,” but there’s one thing that we can all agree on, Die Hard is a perfect piece of holiday cheer. We know the debate has raged on for nearly 30 years: Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? We’ve done the leg work (watched Die Hard so many times we’ve lost count) and we have the definitive answer. Yippee ki-yay it’s Die Hard season! 1. A Christmas Eve Caper Die Hard is a whole bunch of action jam packed into one never-to-be-forgotten night, much like another night many years ago – that’s right, the night before Jesus was born. The movie literally takes place on Christmas Eve! Let’s set the scene: 20th Century Fox John McClane leaves his beloved New York City to reunite with his family in Los Angeles the day before Christmas. But instead of going straight to see his kids, he first surprises his estranged wife, Holly (think it’s a coincidence his wife shares a name with the makings of mistletoe?) at her office in Nakatomi Plaza. But this isn’t an ordinary night, it’s Christmas Eve, and anything can happen. 2. A Weary Traveler John is picked up at the airport by a limo driver, Argyle, and heads straight to his wife’s office. He’s just flown across the country and man, does he look weary. You know who else was weary after a long trip? Mary and Joseph on their journey to Bethlehem. 20th Century Fox After a long flight of canned air, the first thing anyone wants is to wash up. McClane’s wife Holly, leads him to the office restroom, where the two forget that it’s Christmas Eve and a time for forgiveness, and get into a fight. It’s only moments later that Hans Gruber and his henchmen hijack the night. 3. The Gruber Who Stole Christmas OK, this one might be obvious, but we can all agree Hans Gruber is worse than the Grinch. German supervillain Hans Gruber travels to Los Angeles to steal $640 million in bearer bonds from the Nakatomi Corporation and ruin Christmas for everyone. All the Grinch did was steal some presents from the residents of Whoville, meanwhile Gruber went global! Pinterest/20th Century Fox Yes, Gruber and the Grinch have burglary in common, but Gruber’s not a common thief he’s “an exceptional thief.” To distract from the theft Gruber orchestrates a terrorist act on the good people of Nakatomi. As far as Christmas villains go, Gruber is one bad dude. 4. HO-HO-HO Santa himself doesn’t make an appearance, and there’s no Saint Nick lookalike, but there is a man in a Santa hat and that counts. And not only is he wearing a Santa hat, he’s got a message of hope for the holidays to share with everyone at Nakatomi. 20th Century Fox After John and one of Hans’ henchmen, Tony, engage in a pretty rough and tumble fist fight, a defeated Tony is placed on an office chair, festively sporting a Santa hat, and with a message written across his sweater, “Now I have a machine gun HO-HO-HO.” It’s in that moment that the good men and women of Nakatomi are given the greatest gift of all, a hero. 5. John McClaus Some of Die Hard‘s Christmas symbolism is seriously subtle, but some of it is as easy to spot as a giant teddy bear with a big red bow. As John McClane treks through the airport and over to his wife’s office, he’s all the while toting a sweet stuffed teddy bear for his children, just like Santa on Christmas Eve. 20th Century Fox But Santa doesn’t deliver his presents without a little help, and neither does John McClane. Sometimes, you need a young buck to help out, and just like Santa’s sleigh being led through the night sky by everyone’s favorite reindeer Rudolph, John’s got Argyle. Only this Santa has a supervillain to deal with before delivering his presents. But that’s not all. 6. Santa’s Little Helpers We’ve already made the comparison between John McClane and ol’ Saint Nick. And Argyle is obviously Rudolf, but Santa has a whole lot of helpers who take part in the preparations for Christmas, and John McClane has a team of ” Santa’s Little Helpers” as well. 20th Century Fox True, their uniforms aren’t nearly as cute as Santa’s elves’ little green vests, but John McClane has the fine folks at the Los Angeles Police Department and the F.B.I. helping him, and they even wear vests too (although theirs are bullet-proof). With the help of Sergeant Al Powell in particular, Christmas will be saved. 7. The Seventh Seal Theo, Hans Gruber’s trusted henchman and expert safe-cracker is tasked with one of the toughest jobs in the film. Mr. Takagi, the head executive of Nakatomi (RIP), doesn’t have some flimsy little safe, but a super secure safe with seven locks. Seven locks, just like the Seven Seals from the Book of Revelation perhaps? 20th Century Fox See, nothing is a coincidence in this Christmas classic. In the Book of Revelation, opening the seven seals causes Apocalyptic happenings, pretty on the nose don’t you think? Theo knows the first six locks will be a cinch, but the seventh? As Theo tells Hans, “it looks like this last one’s gonna take a miracle.” 8. “It’s the time of miracles” Is there anything more festive than a Christmas miracle? Die Hard doesn’t just have a Christmas miracle — that would make it only as good of a holiday movie as Miracle On 34th Street, but to be The Best Christmas movie, it’s got a miracle fake-out, and a surprise second act miracle! 20th Century Fox Bad guy Theo knows he needs a miracle to crack the seventh lock, but Hans reassures him, “It’s Christmas, Theo. It’s the time of miracles. So be of good cheer and call me when you hit the last lock.” Sure enough, Theo hits that last lock, but that’s not the only miracle Hans and his men will need. 9. Ode To Joy Is there a moment more exciting than opening a pile of presents on Christmas morning? Die Hard depicts the moment Hans, Theo, and the rest of the henchmen finally get into the Nakatomi safe with all the childlike joy of Ralphie Parker realizing he got the Red Ryder air rifle in A Christmas Story. 20th Century Fox The F.B.I. (doing more harm than good, but not everyone can be a John McClane style savior) takes out the power grid to Nakatomi Plaza, thereby knocking out the seventh and last lock. Beethoven’s “Ode To Joy” (a Christmas song for sure) plays as Theo wishes his fellow thieves, “Merry Christmas,” and the men go to town ransacking the safe. 10. ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas As the LAPD and F.B.I. try storming Nakatomi Tower, Theo, who has hacked into the security camera footage (seriously, every other henchman does half the work Theo does, he’s the real bad guy MVP), hops on the two-way radio to recite a Christmas poem for the rest of his team of evildoers. 20th Century Fox “‘Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house not a creature was stirring except the four a******s coming in the rear…” Aside from being a classic Christmas poem (albeit with a Die Hard twist), it also appears in the beginning of the Dr. Seuss seasonal story, “How The Grinch Stole Christmas!” Unfortunately, Hans Grinch Gruber’s heart won’t grow two sizes before the film’s end. 11. Jesus McClane At the height of the action, Hans Gruber has the whole place rigged with explosives and ready to blow. He’s holding Holly hostage at gunpoint. She needs a hero, she needs a savior! She needs her husband, John McClane, who appears at just the right moment, bathed in a golden halo of electrical sparks. 20th Century Fox Holly sees his silhouette and can’t help but say, “Jesus,” as John comes to save her. The John as Jesus imagery can be found all over Die Hard, and while this moment is a bit on the nose, when Hans Gruber looks up at the barefoot John McClane as they meet on the roof is pure cinematic brilliance. 12. A Shimmy Down A Chimney Santa shimmies down a chimney, but action-hero Santa, John McClane, wedges a machine gun into a window frame and climbs down the elevator shaft. We’re not sure what kind of magic Santa uses to get down without injury, but John McClane’s drop looks seriously treacherous. 20th Century Fox After successfully making it down the elevator shaft, John yet again finds himself needing to shimmy down to a lower level, but this is Die Hard, and what makes it so great is that it’s a Christmas story pushed to extremes. John McClaus ties himself to a fire hose and repels down the outside of Nakatomi Tower with a special present in tow. 13. All Wrapped Up For Christmas Just as the top few floors of Nakatomi Tower are blown to bits, McClane shoots his way through a window and comes crashing through, knocking over a big Christmas tree in the process. This every-man Santa lacks the subtlety of the real Kris Kringle, but he’s trying his best! 20th Century Fox Keeping the John McClaus thing going, he’s got a gift for Hans Gruber, and just like Ralphie’s Red Ryder, this one will definitely “shoot your eye out.” That’s right, strapped to his back, in Christmas wrapping tape no less, is the gun that will take out Gruber, and save Holly. Merry Christmas Hans! 14. Down With Consumerism Just as it seems like it’s a wrap on this action-packed Christmas Eve, Hans just won’t let go – literally, he’s dangling out the window of Nakatomi Tower, hanging on with all he’s got to Holly’s watch (a Rolex she was gifted at work). But Christmas isn’t about consumerism. 20th Century Fox Christmas isn’t about celebrating with presents, it’s about who you’re celebrating with. As Hans grips onto Holly’s watch, John unlatches the band and finally! Hans falls to his death. Down goes Gruber and all his Grinchy greed, and Holly’s Rolex too. Die Hard really is about teaching us all the true spirit of Christmas. 15. A White Christmas It’s a classic Christmas movie trope we’ve seen a thousand times: in the film’s closing moments, the star-crossed lovers come together or a family is reunited (two things that happen in Die Hard), the music swells, and snow begins to fall. If you thought a Christmas movie set in Los Angeles wouldn’t have snow, Die Hard found a way! 20th Century Fox After the roof of Nakatomi Tower is dramatically blown to bits, there’s a flurry of bearer bonds falling like snow all around. In that moment, McClane and Holly, embrace, reunited in time for Christmas with their kids – it’s going to be a white Christmas after all! But hold on, there are still plenty of reasons why Die Hard is actually a Christmas movie. 16. The True Meaning of Christmas Everyone (except for the bad guys) learns an important message at the end of this movie – the spirit of Christmas. Christmas is a time to gather with loved ones and celebrate the things that really matter. McClane learns the true meaning of Christmas, he learns it hard. 20th Century Fox John and Holly work through their marital issues, and John realizes that it’s not about New York City vs. Los Angeles (a debate that will never die), it’s all about being together as a family. Would he have come to that conclusion if he hadn’t been in a near-death experience and defeated a team of international baddies on Christmas Eve? 17. Lit Up Like A Christmas Tree Die Hard is so packed with Christmas decorations, how could anyone convincingly try and argue it’s not a Christmas movie? There are Christmas trees left and right, twinkling lights, and bouquets of holly everywhere you look. But in Die Hard, not even the decorations can all make it out alive. 20th Century Fox A light-up Santa and his friend, light-up Frosty the Snowman, unfortunately, are lost to some pretty heavy gunfire. A few Christmas trees get taken out too. And if you’re really paying attention, you’ll see someone even started to graffiti a wall up on the roof with “merry chri” before presumably getting interrupted by a band of international bad guys bent on blowing up Christmas. 18. “…up to the man upstairs” It could maybe be possible to count every religious phrase used in Die Hard, but it might be even more difficult than it was for John McClane to crouch in an air duct and use a Sharpie on his bare arm to tally every baddie mentioned by Hans. 20th Century Fox Of course, there’s the many times McClane and Co. say “Jesus Christ,” but McClane also let’s out a “Jesus Mary Mother of God,” and knows that his chances of getting out alive are, “up to the man upstairs.” But none of that compares to John’s “oh please God don’t let me die” – and of course, his prayer is answered. 19. Jingle all the way A good soundtrack can really set the overall tone of a movie, and this soundtrack is jam packed with Christmas jams. The movie kicks off with Argyle bumpin’ RUN DMC’s “Christmas in Hollis,” and the holiday hits keep on coming. 20th Century Fox Throughout the film Christmas classics such as “Jingle Bells,” “Winter Wonderland,” and “Ode to Joy,” can be heard not just in the background, but are even absentmindedly hummed by Hans’ henchman and even Sgt. Al Powell lets out a few notes of a festive carol. It all leads to the final shot of the film as the credits roll onscreen, and “Let It Snow” caps off this Christmas caper. 20. A Tale of Love and Redemption Speaking of Sergeant Al Powell, he has his own Christmas themed story-line. Aside from his rapidly blossoming friendship with John McClane (because Christmas is about friend love too!), Sgt. Powell is on a journey of personal redemption that only Christmas could bring about. 20th Century Fox We find out that kindly Sgt. Al Powell has been relegated to desk duty after an unfortunate incident involving the discharging of a firearm in a false alarm. Since then, poor Powell has been too traumatized to take out his gun. But after guiding his new friend John through the most insane night of his life, he fires off a few shots at the final bad guy, and just in the nick of time. Convinced yet? There’s even more still to come! 21. Die Harder Die Hard understands that there’s no such thing as too much of a good thing, and thus gifted us all with Die Hard 2: Die Harder. John McClane just cannot catch a Christmas Eve break, and once again, finds himself fighting a troupe of terrorists the night before Christmas. 20th Century Fox This time, McClane is waiting for his wife Holly to arrive from Los Angeles when terrorists take control of the airport. There’s multiple planes full of people at risk, and only a Christmas Eve hero like John McClane can save the day in time. And of course, there’s plenty of Christmas music to get you into the holiday mood. 22. Frank Sinatra as John McClane? Die Hard, The Greatest Christmas Movie Of All Time, almost didn’t star Bruce Willis as John McClane. Some other actors considered for the part? Richard Gere, Clint Eastwood, Burt Reynolds, Don Johnson, Harrison Ford, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone were all rumored to be either considered or even offered the part – oh, and a 73-year-old Frank Sinatra. Wikimedia Die Hard is based on a novel by Roderick Thorp, “Nothing Lasts Forever,” which was the sequel to the novel “The Detective,” which had been made into a film starring Sinatra in 1968. Contractually, 20th Century Fox had to offer the role to Sinatra first, but as you can imagine, Old Blue Eyes turned it down. 23. Non-Traditional Festive Films Alright, alright, we’ve danced around it long enough. Yes, this movie is pretty violent as far as holiday movies go, with a total body count totaling twenty-three. But there’s another Christmas movie that’s got booby traps and bad guys, and it’s beloved too – Home Alone. Disney In the spirit of Christmas movies with a little edge, may we recommend a few more? Of course there’s Die Hard 2: Die Harder, and The Nightmare Before Christmas is a holiday switch-hitter, perfect for Halloween and Christmas. Gremlins is another non-traditional classic set at Christmastime. Lastly, Batman Returns, full of winter wonderlands has Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle under some mistletoe, and is sure to bring you some action-packed holiday cheer. 24. Bruce Willis’ Hot Take So back to that so-called debate: Is Die Hard a Christmas movie? The evidence speaks for itself. But what does Die Hard star and the man who made John McClane the beloved Christmas Eve hero, Bruce Willis, have to say? Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images After a brutal, and brutally hilarious Comedy Central Roast of Bruce Willis, the famed action-movie movie-star took to the podium to declare, “Die Hard is not a Christmas movie.” But don’t worry! Die Harder writer Steven E. de Souza assures us he was just joking, and urged us all to remember the venue – it was a comedy roast after all! 25. Finally, The Answer If somehow, after all of that, you still aren’t sure if Die Hard is a Christmas movie, highly respected CNN investigative journalist Jake Tapper took it upon himself to settle the debate once and for all. Tapper went straight to the source, de Souza, and we have the official verdict. TheGazette.com In an exchange on Twitter, de Souza responded to Tapper, tweeting, “Yes, because the studio rejected the Purim draft #DieHardIsAChristmasMovie.” And while we kind of love the idea of Hans Gruber as an evil Haman ruining Purim, de Souza has also said, “If Die Hard is not a Christmas movie, then White Christmas, is not a Christmas movie.” So there you have it. Yippee ki-yay and happy holidays! Sources: ew.com, goodnewsnetwork.org, nerdist.com UP NEXT Gunsmoke: Top Facts Behind The Longest-Lived Show on Television... Next Page Related Topics:a christmas storybruce willischristmasdie hardfestiveholidayholiday spiritnostalgia Up Next These Celebrity Doppelgangers From The Past Have Us Seeing Double Don't Miss Black Friday Inspiration: The Most Bizarre Celebrity Purchases Continue Reading You may like Every Movie Sequel To Look Forward To In 2019 And Beyond The Craziest Holiday Gifts Celebrities Have Received Is ‘Die Hard’ A Christmas Movie? 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