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Die Hard
Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman




Overview -
One of the greatest action movies of the late 1980s, DIE HARD ushered in a new standard for the genre. With the dissolution of the Cold War, both the stereotypical Russian threat (represented in movies such as TOP GUN and RED DAWN) and the destructive egoist (as seen in OCTOPUSSY) became less fearful. With DIE HARD, director John McTiernan introduced Hollywood to a new type of villain: the terrorist entrepreneur. Alan Rickman stars as Hans Gruber, a relentless businessman whose lethal tactics achieve his goals. Unlike most '80s film villains who committed globally dangerous acts for liberty, genocide, or megalomania, DIE HARD's Gruber uses guns, explosives, and cunning to storm the Takagi Corporation's Christmas party and heist millions of dollars from the company. In addition, DIE HARD also saw the development of the clumsy or bad luck hero with John McClane (Bruce Willis), a man in the wrong place at the wrong time who chooses to intervene. Action fans would see this misfit hero archetype again in UNDER SIEGE (Steven Segal) and THE PHANTOM MENACE (Jar Jar Binks). Although DIE HARD contains many action movie cliches (one-liners, pyrotechnics), it also broke new ground in its genre.

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Overview

One of the greatest action movies of the late 1980s, DIE HARD ushered in a new standard for the genre. With the dissolution of the Cold War, both the stereotypical Russian threat (represented in movies such as TOP GUN and RED DAWN) and the destructive egoist (as seen in OCTOPUSSY) became less fearful. With DIE HARD, director John McTiernan introduced Hollywood to a new type of villain: the terrorist entrepreneur. Alan Rickman stars as Hans Gruber, a relentless businessman whose lethal tactics achieve his goals. Unlike most '80s film villains who committed globally dangerous acts for liberty, genocide, or megalomania, DIE HARD's Gruber uses guns, explosives, and cunning to storm the Takagi Corporation's Christmas party and heist millions of dollars from the company. In addition, DIE HARD also saw the development of the clumsy or bad luck hero with John McClane (Bruce Willis), a man in the wrong place at the wrong time who chooses to intervene. Action fans would see this misfit hero archetype again in UNDER SIEGE (Steven Segal) and THE PHANTOM MENACE (Jar Jar Binks). Although DIE HARD contains many action movie cliches (one-liners, pyrotechnics), it also broke new ground in its genre.

Main Cast & Crew

John McTiernan - Director
Bruce Willis
Alan Rickman
Bonnie Bedelia
Reginald VelJohnson
Alexander Godunov
Paul Gleason
Hart Bochner
Robert Davi
James Shigeta
Grand L. Bush

 

Details

DVD Format
  • Format: DVD (New Box Art)
  • Run Time: 132
  • Color Format: Color
  • UPC: 024543440864
  • Genre: Action
  • Rating: R (MPAA)
  • Release Date: March 1999

Related Categories:
Movies > Action/Adventure

Related Keywords:
Action
Terrorism
Thriller
Classic Fight Scenes
Christmas
Recommended
Blockbuster
Theatrical Release
Essential Cinema

 

Movie Reviews

More Details

Synopsis:
A New York City policeman, John McClane, visiting his estranged wife and two daughters on Christmas Eve, joins her at a holiday party in the headquarters of the Japanese-owned business she works for. But the festivities are interrupted by a group of terrorists who take over the exclusive high-rise, and everyone in it. Very soon the cop realizes that there's no one to save the hostages -- but him.

Notes:
Color by DeLuxe; shot in Panavision. Estimated budget $28 million. Bruce Willis was reportedly paid $5 million to appear in the film. Began shooting November 2, 1987; shot on location in Los Angeles, California. Released theatrically in the USA July 20, 1988. Shown at the London Film Festival November 27, 1988. Film debut for British stage actor Alan Rickman. Rated BBFC 18 by the British Board of Film Classification.

Reviews:
Rating: A- - 01/07/2000 Entertainment Weekly, pp.71-2


"...It works....Relentless energy and smashing special-effects extravagance..." - 07/15/1988 New York Times, p.C12


"...A triumph of well-oiled mechanical precision that performs miracles of destruction. As a grand flourish of cinematic technique, it is awesome..." - 07/15/1988 Los Angeles Times, p.C1


"...DIE HARD is still the definitive action thriller. Alan Rickman delivers a deliciously ruthless Hollywood debut at the eloquent villain..." - 06/01/2000 Total Film, p.88


"A seductive mix of machismo and humility, Willis reinvented the reluctant hero for the action age." - 04/01/2004 Premiere, p.64

 

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