"You know, I don't have a lot of time here. And the people that are trying to kill me, they're not gonna wait."
Die Hard is one of the most iconic Christmas movies out there. Die Hard has everything you need for a great Christmas movie: action, comedy, and drama. Die hard is also set at Christmas time for an even more festive feel. In this blog we answer the question 'Is Die Hard A Christmas Movie?'
Die Hard is indeed a Christmas movie, but not in the traditional sense. Die Hard is set at Christmas time, which might make it seem like it automatically fits the qualifications to be considered a Christmas movie.
Die hard has many of the traditional themes associated with Christmas movies; love (John McClane's relationship with his wife), hope (McClane's faith in humanity), generosity (the Nakatomi Plaza group giving their money to charity) and redemption (McClane finally getting rid of Hans Gruber).
The one thing that separates Die Hard from being a regular holiday-themed film is that Die Hard does not feature any of the standard themes found in most other Holiday films. Die hard doesn't have any scenes portraying kindness or festive spirit, and the only real love story is the one between John McClane and his wife.
John McClane's hope and faith in humanity is evident from the initial scene in the movie with the limo driver, but also in his pursuit of justice and end of violence, even if it does need to be achieved through a bucket load more violence.
Die Hard is Die Hard, not Die Soft, and in John McClane, Hans Gruber met a worthwhile opponent who would make the task of getting the Nakatomi Plaza company and their loot as difficult as possible for criminals like him.
So sure, he might be unpleasant, but you've got to give him something: after all, John McClane mercilessly killed 14 of his best men. Hans is arguably more like an anti-hero than a straight up villain (although such distinctions are often hard to characterize).
The theme of fear features prominently in Die Hard, both for John McClane who must face his fears when he confronts Hans Gruber on Nakatomi plaza, but also emotionally through the family ties between the hostages being held by Hans Gruber at Nakatomi Plaza.
The relationship forged between John McClane and Hans Gruber also seems to have a degree of mutual respect. There are several points in the movie where the two men are speaking and John still believes in the redemption available to Hans, if he would only turn himself in and release the hostages.
McClane is a man of action, but he's also an empathetic and compassionate person. Die Hard would not have been nearly as successful without John McClane being so humanized in the audience's minds.
Die hard was based on Roderick Thorp's 1979 novel Nothing Lasts Forever, which featured a retired New York City policeman named Joseph Leland who finds himself embroiled against terrorists led by Hans Gruber while visiting his daughter at her workplace, Nakatomi Plaza in Los Angeles for Christmas Eve.
Again, we see this theme of Christmas as pivotal to the theme of the source material Die Hard was adapted from.
We can conclude that Die Hard has many traditional Christmas movie tropes, but it doesn't fit into any specific category other than its own self-determined genre: Die Hard - The Ultimate Action Movie!
So next time someone asks if Die Hard qualifies as being a 'Christmas Movie' simply tell them "Yippie Ki Yay Motherf****r!" And let your argument stand on its own merit in doing so...